Zoe Saldana

On Thursday (July 21) Net-a-Porter‘s cover story featured the beautiful and talented actress Zoe Saldana. Inside the magazine’s pages she opens up her ongoing battle with the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

With this condition, first discovered by Hakaru Hashimoto in 1912, the thyroid gland is attacked, which can lead to hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include weight gain, depression, the inability to tolerate cold and chronic fatigue. To combat this, Saldana says she has to eat a healthy diet.

“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,” says the 38-year-old mother of two. “You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean.”

RELATED: Black women react to Zoe Saldana’s ‘black face’ in ‘Nina’ trailer

Saldana admits keeping a strict diet is neither fun or easy and that going gluten- and dairy-free was like going “from night to day.” But it was an important change for her, because she’s not immune to this disease, which tends to strike middle-aged women more often than any other group.

“I had a great time in my twenties. Then your doctor says you’re losing calcium in your bones. What the fuck is that?! I would hear conversations with my mom and grandma thinking I’d never get there. I’m going to live forever!” says Saldana.

RELATED: Selena Gomez reveals rehab stint was for lupus diagnosis, chemotherapy

Saldana’s husband Marco Perego joined her in keeping a clean diet as a show of support. “When a man is wonderful, it’s infinitely sexier than a ‘real’ man,’ the “Star Trek Beyond” actress says, describing how much she relies on Perego’s ongoing support. “We are never apart for more than a week. Love is a lot of work. But it’s work that you should take pleasure doing.”