September 14, 2017 10:47 am
Updated: September 14, 2017 1:54 pm

Selena Gomez reveals she had a kidney transplant due to lupus

WATCH: Selena Gomez disclosed the information in an Instagram post early Thursday.

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Selena Gomez recently received a kidney transplant from actress Francia Rasia due to her struggle with lupus.

The singer disclosed the news in an Instagram post confirmed by her publicist early Thursday that she has been somewhat out of the spotlight this summer because she was recovering from the procedure.

The 25-year-old It Ain’t Me singer calls the transplant “what I needed to do for my overall health.”

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

She wrote “there aren’t words to describe” how she can thank Raisa, who she says gave “the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney.”

“I am incredibly blessed,” she added.

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

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The Instagram post includes a picture of Gomez and Rasia holding hands while lying side by side in hospital beds. Another photo included in the post shows a scar on Gomez’s abdomen.

Rasia, 29, is best known for her role on the series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

The Instagram post didn’t reveal Gomez’s current condition or say where or when the procedure took place.

Gomez revealed her lupus diagnosis in 2015 and took a break from her career last year to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and depression stemming from her battle with the disease.

READ MORE: Selena Gomez returns to rehab to ‘focus on mental health’

She released a statement in 2016, confirming she was suffering from complications of the autoimmune disease.

“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.”

“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.”

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The disease causes fibrous tissue and inflammation of internal organs, skin rashes and joint pain. It affects women nine times more than men. Organs affected by lupus include the kidneys, heart and lungs.

Gomez got her start as a child actress before launching her music career. She appeared on Barney and Friends before breaking through as a teen star on the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place. She has a massive following on social media. Her 126 million followers on Instagram are the most on the platform.

—With files from the Associated Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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