Zoe Saldana Opens Up About Her Autoimmune Disease: “All Of A Sudden It Hits You”

Zoe Saldana

Actress Zoe Saldana/Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Wife, mother and actress Zoe Saldana can be seen exchanging scenes with the best of Hollywood in movies like Avatar, Star Trek, Columbiana and Guardians Of The Galaxy. Saldana was born in Passaic, New Jersey. Her father, Aridio Saldaña, was Dominican, while her mother, Asalia Nazario, is Puerto Rican. Saldana also has Lebanese and Haitian roots. With regard to her racial identity, Saldana stated, “There’s no one way to be black. I’m black the way I know how to be.” She spent the majority of her early childhood growing up in Jackson Heights, New York. She was raised bilingual, speaking English and Spanish.

The talented star just revealed her personal battle with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; an autoimmune disorder which causes the body to attack the thyroid gland.

In her cover story for Net-A-Porter’s The Edit, Saldana explains that the condition runs in her family. The 38-year-old’s mother and sister also have the disease.

READ: Overlooked Signs You Need Your Thyroid Checked

“Your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to filter toxins, causing it to believe that it has an infection, so it’s always inflamed,” Saldana tells The Edit. “You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean.”

Saldana is committed to caring for her body and maintaining good health. Since her diagnosis, according to The Edit, the Avatar star is gluten-free and dairy-free.

“I had a great time in my twenties,” Saldana continues. “Then your doctor says you’re losing calcium in your bones. What the f*** is that?! I would hear those conversations with my mom and grandma, thinking I’d never get there. I’m going to live forever! But all of a sudden it hits you. I s*** you not, it’s from night to day.”

Saldana is right. Many people who suffer from Hashimoto’s initially aren’t aware that they have it. But there are more than 200,000 cases of the disease in the U.S. each year, according to Mayo Clinic.