Renowned actress, producer, and businesswoman Sonia Mbele has chosen to open up about her ongoing battle with an autoimmune disease. In an exclusive interview, Mbele courageously discussed the challenges she faces due to her condition and the strength she has found in persevering.
At 44 years old and a mother of three, Mbele revealed that she received her diagnosis a few months ago, just prior to the launch of Real Housewives of Johannesburg Season 3. Initially attributing her symptoms to fatigue, further medical examinations revealed that she is dealing with chronic anemia caused by an autoimmune disease. Mbele decided to keep her condition private, sharing it only with her immediate family.
"At the time I thought I was just fatigued until my doctors performed additional tests which confirmed that I have anemia that has gone chronic," she said.
Mbele shared that she is currently undergoing treatment for iron deficiency, a result of her autoimmune disease. To manage her condition, she has made significant lifestyle adjustments, including dietary changes, abstaining from alcohol, and regular iron infusions. The impact of the disease has been both physical and emotional, necessitating adaptations in various aspects of her life.
"I had to change my diet and eating habits, quit alcohol and I now have to go for drips to make sure I have enough iron,"
Despite the challenges she faces, Mbele remains resolute in her determination to manage her autoimmune disease and navigate the obstacles it presents. Conventional medications have proven ineffective for her, leading her to rely on weekly infusions and oxygen therapy. Mbele emphasized the importance of additional tests and treatments, particularly when internal bleeding is suspected, and highlighted the positive effects of iron supplementation in addressing iron deficiency anemia.
"Sometimes additional tests or treatments for iron deficiency are necessary, especially if your doctor suspects that you're bleeding internally. You can usually correct iron deficiency anemia with iron supplementation," says Mbele.
Acknowledging that it has been a trying year, the talented Blood and Water actress expressed deep gratitude for the support she has received, especially from her family. With unwavering strength, Mbele continues to face her journey with resilience and a determination to overcome the challenges posed by her autoimmune disease.
According to Mayo Clinic, an autoimmune disease refers to a medical condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages healthy cells in the body, leading to a deficiency of healthy red blood cells. This deficiency can result in various types of autoimmune diseases, including anemia. Anemia occurs when the blood lacks a sufficient number of healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen due to insufficient iron levels. Symptoms of anemia may include fatigue and shortness of breath, among others.