Christina Applegate on Her Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis
Actor Christina Applegate opened up about her struggle with her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in a phone interview with the New York Times published Nov. 1, saying there were signs she might've missed earlier in her career.
Symptoms such as imbalance plagued her while shooting the first season of "Dead to Me."
"I wish I had paid attention," she said in the interview.
Applegate's multiple sclerosis diagnosis occurred in the summer of 2021 while filming the final season of the show. She took to Twitter in August 2021 to make the announcement.
"Hi friends," she wrote. "A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It's been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It's been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it."
Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.— christina applegate (@1capplegate) August 10, 2021
In a follow-up tweet, the star wrote, "As one of my friends that has MS said 'we wake up and take the indicated action.' And that's what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo."
As one of my friends that has MS said “ we wake up and take the indicated action”. And that’s what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo— christina applegate (@1capplegate) August 10, 2021
Filming of "Dead to Me" halted for five months to allow her to undergo treatment.
"There was the sense of, 'Well, let's get her some medicine so she can get better,'" Applegate said in the Times interview. "And there is no 'better.' But it was good for me. I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me. So I needed that time."
MS affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the most common autoimmune diseases. Managing multiple sclerosis, like most chronic illnesses, involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes.
Weeks ago, Applegate tweeted a photo of canes she'd be using for her next public appearance, writing, "I have a very important ceremony coming up. This will be my first time out since diagnosed with MS. Walking sticks are now part of my new normal."
I have a very important ceremony coming up. This will be my first time out since diagnosed with MS. Walking sticks are now part of my new normal. Thank you @neowalksticks for these beauties. Stay tuned to see which ones make the cut for a week of stuff. pic.twitter.com/O543p1G4vS— christina applegate (@1capplegate) October 27, 2022
Symptoms and signs of MS vary depending on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected.
MS occurs when the immune system becomes overactive and mistakenly attacks the protective covering of the nerves, the myelin, in the central nervous system, resulting in nerve damage and disrupting the communication between the brain and the body. This can lead to permanent physical and neurological damage.
The disease can cause various symptoms, such as balance issues, lack of muscle control, difficulty moving, difficulty with everyday bodily functions, fatigue, weakness, vision problems, vertigo and dizziness, bladder problems, sexual problems, bowel problems, emotional changes, cognitive changes and sometimes depression.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, nearly 1 million people are living with MS, and it's two to three times more common in women.
Treatment for MS varies, but it's important to maintain a comprehensive plan of care with various health professionals. As with most conditions, early detection is ideal. And telehealth can play an important role there. Don't let not having a primary care physician stop you from finding care and receiving an early diagnosis. With dozens of healthcare professionals offering same-day appointments for a variety of conditions, Giddy telehealth can help you get help. A video appointment is an important first step.
Various complications with health
This isn't Applegate's first brush with health problems. In 2008, the former "Married With Children" star was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. She also revealed in 2017 that she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to prevent ovarian cancer.
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer to affect women. About 13 percent of women are diagnosed with it in their lifetime.
Treatments vary depending on the stage you're in and what the medical professionals around you recommend, given your specific needs, however, breast cancer treatments are incredibly effective and the likelihood of survival increases with earlier detection.
While there is no cure for breast cancer or MS, lifestyle changes can ease certain symptoms. Recent developments in medical technology have made preventive measures and treatments more accessible and realistic to women seeking help. Applegate's multiple sclerosis is a journey that has just started, but she offers hope and resilience for others struggling with their diagnosis.