Tennis ace Venus Williams, 31, the seven-time Grand Slam champion is diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome and pulled out of the US Open yesterday. Sjogren’s syndrome is one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases. It’s a chronic condition in which the person’s white blood cells attack the body’s moisture-producing glands. The syndrome often strikes in tandem with other autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. This disease left Williams so weak that she can barely raise her arms. “I enjoyed playing my first match here, and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to,” Williams said in a statement, reported by the Associated Press. “I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon.”

Williams suffered from symptoms for years without knowing what was wrong, but hopes that the treatments she’s now receiving will take effect within three to six months. More >

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