Tennis pros and sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, have had their share of health issues. After an 8 month recovery stint, to nurse a foot injury, the younger sister, Serena, ended up in the hospital due to a blot clot in her lungs. In the hospital, Serena was rushed into surgery for a hematoma.
Since then, older sister, Venus, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known as Sjogren`s Syndrome, with the most common symptoms being dry eyes and a dry mouth. Those complications seem minor but Sjogren`s can also cause joint pain, swelling, numbness and fatigue.
Experienceing these symptoms would be difficult for any person, especially a professional athlete. Because of these symptoms, Venus had no choice but to drop out of the U.S. Open. In an interview on Good Morning America, Williams discussed her health problems, “I had swelling and numbness and fatigue, which was really debilitating. I just didn’t have any energy,” Williams said. “And it’s not that you don’t have energy; you just feel beat up.”
Although getting diagnosed with such a serious disease is difficult, Serena is hopeful now that she has an explanation for feeling the way she did. “I think I’ve had issues with Sjogren’s for a while. It just wasn’t diagnosed… The good news for me is now I know what’s happening.”
Sjogren`s Syndrom can be managed with treatment, but the tennis star is also helping herself by changing her diet, including less meat and much more vegetables. With the new and improved lifestyle, Serena says, “My goal next year is to play a full schedule. It will take some work to get there, but I’m no stranger to hard work.”