Kesha is opening up for the first time about a private health issue she has been experiencing for years.
The singer revealed in a new interview with Self that she was diagnosed in 2022 with common variable immunodeficiency, or CVID, a condition that impairs the immune system, making a person more prone to infection, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Kesha, 36, said she received the diagnosis after seeking medical care for what she thought was exhaustion while promoting her music career.
"When you're lucky enough to have a song that catches on, you're just trying to keep up. I had a really hard time saying no to interviews or photo shoots because I didn't want to let my one chance fall away by not being able to fulfill every request," the singer told Self. "It led to severe exhaustion physically and mentally."
She said she kept her CVID diagnosis private for the past year out of a fear of potential backlash.
"I just never wanted to be the whiny, privileged girl," Kesha said. "Also, my image had been that of going out and having fun."
CVID is a relatively common immune disorder, affecting about one in every 25,000 people, according to the Immune Deficiency Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on immune disorders.
The exact cause of the disorder is unknown, although it is sometimes linked to genetic abnormalities, according to the NIH.
In addition to being more prone to infection, people with CVID are also at increased risk for developing some cancers and may have abnormal liver function and difficulties absorbing some food nutrients. The condition may also cause frequent respiratory infections, swollen glands or lymph nodes and swollen joints, according to the NIH.
In addition to contributing to her fatigue, Kesha said CVID was part of a life-threatening health emergency she faced earlier this year.
The singer told Self she "almost died" last January, after finding herself too weak to walk after a performance in the Bahamas.
Kesha said doctors told her she had developed a complication from previously freezing her eggs due to, "in part, her weakened immune system," according to Self. The magazine did not share further details, noting, "Kesha chose to share some of the specifics off the record."
It is not clear how egg harvesting affects a weakened immune system.
"I finally feel recovered, but it took a couple months," said Kesha, who said she spent nine days hospitalized in Miami. "It was horrifying."
CVID is a chronic condition with no cure, but treatments for it include immunoglobulin infusions or injections, as well as antibiotic treatments for bacterial infections, according to the NIH.
Kesha said she has found help in her recovery through rest.
"I learned after my diagnosis that sleep is the most important thing. I took that for granted for, god, about 29, 30 years. I feel like I'm just playing catch-up on my teens and 20s, still," she said. "But I try to get as much sleep as possible, and I have to protect that fiercely."