Hugh Hefner's Wife Crystal Diagnosed with Lyme Disease: 'I Have a Long Road Ahead of Me'

Crystal Hefner Lyme Disease
Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris
David Livingston/Getty

03/07/2016 AT 07:00 PM EST

Crystal Hefner has been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

The wife of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, whom she married in December 2012, announced her tick-borne illness on Instagram Sunday, telling her 2.8 million followers that she recently found out.

"If you have EVER GONE HIKING, please get tested for #LymeDisease. The best lab to do this is called 'Igenex' they are based out of Palo Alto. I was diagnosed a few days ago and have a long road ahead of me," Hefner, 29, captioned a photo of vial of ticks.

The former Playboy playmate of the month also added that she could not recall a specific incident when she was bit by a infected blacklegged tick.



"Supposedly you get it from ticks but I have absolutely no recollection of being bit or having a rash or ANYTHING," Hefner wrote. "Most importantly there are SO MANY of you carrying Lyme that don't even know you have it. Probably because the ticks can be the size of specs."

Though she has a "long road ahead of" her, Hefner is using her platform to educate others.

If you have EVER GONE HIKING, please get tested for #LymeDisease. The best lab to do this is called "Igenex" they are based out of Palo Alto. I was diagnosed a few days ago and have a long road ahead of me. Supposedly you get it from ticks but I have absolutely no recollection of being bit or having a rash or ANYTHING. Most importantly there are SO MANY of you carrying Lyme that don't even know you have it. Probably because the ticks can be the size of specs. I always thought of ticks to be big and noticeable. The symptoms are vast and when it has been left untreated for a long time can turn into MS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Dementia and ALS. Symptoms can range from sore muscles, sore back, sore neck, anxiety, fatigue, heart palpitations, muscle twitches, bladder pain, vision or hearing problems, swollen lymph nodes, flu like symptoms, brain fog, memory problems. Having just one of these could mean you have Lyme. Please please get tested. It is a disease so many people are living with and is becoming an epidemic. I always thought I was a hypochondriac. Doctors told me it was just "stress" or "all in my head" but I finally figured it out and you can too. Lyme is also related to syphilis and can be sexually transmitted and also passed from mother to child during pregnancy. #LymeDisease #lymewarrior please tag some friends to raise awareness for this illness not many people know about

A photo posted by Crystal Hefner (@crystalhefner) on



"I always thought of ticks to be big and noticeable," she continued. "The symptoms are vast and when it has been left untreated for a long time can turn into MS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Dementia and ALS."

Adding, "Symptoms can range from sore muscles, sore back, sore neck, anxiety, fatigue, heart palpitations, muscle twitches, bladder pain, vision or hearing problems, swollen lymph nodes, flu like symptoms, brain fog, memory problems. Having just one of these could mean you have Lyme. Please please get tested."

Hefner is the latest celebrity to reveal her Lyme disease diagnosis publicly. Avril Lavigne, Yolanda Foster as well as her children Bella and Anwar Hadid have all shared their stories of battling the disease.

In closing, Hefner concluded her post by urging fans and followers to get tested and understand the symptoms. "It is a disease so many people are living with and is becoming an epidemic. I always thought I was a hypochondriac. Doctors told me it was just 'stress' or 'all in my head' but I finally figured it out and you can too. Lyme is also related to syphilis and can be sexually transmitted and also passed from mother to child during pregnancy. #LymeDisease #lymewarrior."
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