Ashton Kutcher Opens Up About Rare Autoimmune Disease That Brought Him to His Knees

Ashton Kutcher grew up living a simple life in rural Homestead, Iowa.

Though his career path started out in the direction of biochemical engineering, it took a shift when he was discovered by a local talent scout. He was later catapulted to fame as Michael Kelso in “That ’70s Show,” according to IMBD.

Then, a few years ago, the dark storm clouds of a health crisis rolled into his life.

Kutcher was diagnosed with a rare form of vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that caused him to lose his sight, hearing and the ability to walk for a period of time.

Vasculitis causes blood vessels to become inflamed. The vessels may become weakened and stretch in size, which can lead to an aneurysm, or they may become so thin that a rupture takes place, causing bleeding into the tissue.

No one knows what causes vasculitis, and it can affect people at any age, according to WebMD.

On an Aug. 8 episode of National Geographic’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge,” Kutcher shared about the horror of his experience.

The clip opened with Grylls questioning the former “Punk’d” host as the two navigated through the dense coastal jungle of Costa Rica. “Do you know, I’ve never met any strong person who’s had an easy road. Where does that strength come from with you?” he asked the actor.

“About two years ago, I had this weird, super weird form of vasculitis that like, knocked out my vision and knocked out my hearing, and knocked out like all my equilibrium,” Kutcher told the famed survivalist. [Editor’s note: On his Twitter account, Kutcher said it was three years ago.]

“It took me, like, a year to build it all back up. You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone — until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever gonna be able to see again. I don’t know if I’m gonna ever be able to hear again. I don’t know if I’m ever gonna be able to walk again,” he said.

Grylls said he saw all of that as “strength through adversity.”

Kutcher admitted that he feels “lucky to be alive.”

The actor went on to point out a silver lining to the experience. “The minute you see your obstacles as things that are made for you, to give you what you need, then life starts to get fun, right? You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”

The Daily Mail reported that the types and severity of vasculitis are determined by the size of the blood vessels that are attacked.

“Based on Kutcher’s symptoms, it is likely he was suffering from Behçet’s disease or Kawasaki disease, both of which [affect] medium-sized blood vessels,” the outlet reported.

“Both can be treated with over the counter medicines, but sometimes require doctors to prescribe steroids or additional antibodies.”

It took him about a year to recover, but the Daily Mail said it is unclear whether the actor sought treatment or waited out the disease on his own.

The 44-year-old demonstrated how far he’s come in his recovery last month, when he ran in New York City’s marathon, according to the Daily Mail.

Kutcher and actress Mila Kunis have been married for nearly a decade, and they have two young children, a boy and a girl.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.