Angelina Jolie Opens Up About Her Latest Health Struggles

She’s rich and beautiful – you’d think Angelina Jolie’s life would be perfect. But the star reveals new health issues that may have been caused by stress.

Angelina Jolie Bell's Palsyphoto credit: shutterstock

Angelina Jolie shares the details of her health conditions

Angelina Jolie is no stranger to sharing her health journey. The award-winning actress discovered she had the BRCA1 gene, which put her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. She had her breasts removed in 2013 and her ovaries and fallopian tube removed in 2015. And in a recent interview, Jolie shares more of her health issues.

Angelina recently opened up to Vanity Fair for the cover of their September issue, revealing that she’d been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and hypertension – a possible result of a stressful time in her life.

The 42-year-old split from Brad Pitt, her husband of two years (and partner of 12) last fall and then was forced into a court battle over custody of their six children: Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox.

While she didn’t elaborate on exactly what went down between her and Pitt before the divorce, she did say that the children are healing from “what lead to the filing,” not from the divorce itself.

Like many mothers, Jolie blamed her health issues on her tendency to focus on everyone but herself, saying, “Sometimes women in families put themselves last, until it manifests itself in their own health.”

What to know about Bell’s palsy

According to Web MD, Bell’s palsy is a condition where the muscles on one side of the face become weakened or paralyzed, causing a droop. Luckily, symptoms are usually temporary and go away on their own. (Jolie credits acupuncture for her recovery.)

Doctors believe it’s caused by damage to the seventh cranial nerve, also called the “facial nerve.” This damage can happen to anyone at any time, but there is a link between Bell’s palsy and diabetes and those recovering from viral infections.

What to know about hypertension

Hypertension is a fancy word for high blood pressure, and it can be brought on by a number of factors (including stress). Hypertension means that the pressure in your blood vessels is too high, which can damage your vessels and cause a whole whack of health problems. High blood pressure becomes more common as we age, but like Bell’s palsy, can strike anyone at any time.

To reduce blood pressure (and your chances of developing hypertension), make sure you limit your salt and alcohol intake, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet and a healthy weight, avoid smoking and try to live as stress-free a life as possible.

And probably don’t get a high-profile divorce after reportedly breaking up one of America’s most beloved marriages.

Learn what you can do about your blood pressure:

What Do The Numbers Mean When You Get Your Blood Pressure Checked?

• Top 10 Questions About High Blood Pressure, Answered

• Facts About Heart Disease That Can Save Your Life

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