zoe saldana*Zoe Saldana has revealed to Net-A-Porter that she’s been battling the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, it’s “a condition that causes the immune system to attack your thyroid, a small gland located at the base of your neck, in turn creating inflammation of the thyroid, which then leaks, resulting in excess thyroid hormones,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Hashimoto refers to the Japanese surgeon who first described the disease in 1912.

Saldana explained the condition in the online magazine: “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… You create antibodies that attack your glands so you have to eat clean.”

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Over time, the disease decreases levels of the thyroid hormone, which the body uses to regulate heart rate, temperature, digestion, metabolism, weight and many other processes.

Saldana opened up about how the disease hit her unexpectedly. “…Then your doctor says you’re losing calcium in your bones. What the f*** is that?!” said Saldana. “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,” she told Net-A-Porter.

To combat the effects of the autoimmune disease, Saldana said she and her husband, Marco Perego, stick to a gluten and dairy-free diet. “The standard treatment is lifelong thyroid hormone replacement, which can usually be done with a daily oral medication,” explained McGann. “Though optimal nutrition is important to help the body fight all disease processes.”

“Extra” caught up with Zoe, mother of twin boys, Cy and Bowie, for an update about her condition. “Sometimes, it’s good to share little things of what your struggles are. It’s not impeding my quality of life. It just means I have to be a little more conscientious of how I live and what I put into my body because I have this predisposed situation,” she said.