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Selena Gomez taking ‘time off’ music to deal with lupus side effects

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez performs at the Staples Center on July 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Selena Gomez fans who were hoping to take in one of the singer’s remaining Revival Tour dates are out of luck, after she announced Tuesday that she’s taking “time off” of music, effective immediately, to deal with lupus symptoms.

Gomez, 24, was diagnosed with lupus approximately a year ago, and on Tuesday she released a statement confirming she’s suffering from complications of the autoimmune disease. She says she’s experiencing “anxiety, panic attacks and depression” as side effects, which can take a toll on someone, especially if they’re expected to perform for thousands of people.

READ MORE: Selena Gomez to Justin Bieber: “If you can’t handle the hate, don’t post pictures of your girlfriend”

“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways,” she said in a statement. “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.”

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“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off,” she continued. “Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”

This isn’t the first time Gomez has cut a tour short; she cancelled the Asian and Australian legs of her Stars Dance tour in late 2013 and early 2014.

Two mega-concerts (or so they’re being called) planned for Atlantic Canada are cancelled for this weekend.

Gomez was set to play in Paradise, N.L. on Saturday and Moncton, N.B. on Sunday, along with performers Flo Rida and DNCE. Refund information is not yet available.

The pop star is also cancelling the entire European leg of her Revival tour.

During Gomez’s previous break from touring, rumours of substance abuse and rehab began to circulate, prompting Gomez to lash out at the haters, insisting she was undergoing chemotherapy to counter lupus symptoms.

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“I wanted so badly to say, ‘you guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re a**holes,'” she said in 2015. “I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”

READ MORE: Selena Gomez shares photos of Calgary during Revival Tour

People reports that Gomez’s current break is “absolutely not related to alcohol or substance abuse,” and that she “hadn’t felt like herself” recently.

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory condition that can impact any part of the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, and nervous system. It is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, and afflicted people can display a wide variety of symptoms, including the ones described by Gomez.

It’s an unpredictable lifelong condition that typically affects young women between 18 and 40 years of age. Currently, there is no cure for lupus, but there are ways to manage symptoms and alleviate distress.

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