Christina Applegate Says She Has MS: 'It's Been a Strange Journey'

The actress asked for privacy on Twitter "as I go through this thing."

Christina Applegate shared surprising news with fans on Twitter early Tuesday morning: She has multiple sclerosis.

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"Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS," she wrote in her tweet. "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."

The comments of the Dead to Me actress' posts were filled with support, including messages from fellow MS patients. "I've been fighting MS since 1998. It is the Snowflake disease. No one patient is the same," one person said. "My way that I deal with it is don't let it take over your life. Take it one day at a time. You will have goods and bad days. I feel that there is more good than bad. Tell your own story."

"Strange is the perfect way 2 explain this journey," someone else wrote. "U will learn 2 laugh at yourself, at every opportunity. U will cry, when u don't want to. And u will learn how incredibly strong you really are. None of our stories are the same. But together our stories can lift each other up."

Applegate, 49, is one of several actresses who has publicly opened up about their MS diagnosis. Selma Blair and Jamie-Lynn Sigler both regularly talk on social media about having the condition.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease where the immune system damages the myelin, or outer coating, in the brain and the spinal cord, influencing how nerves communicate with each other. It affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide, according to the National MS Society.

Applegate has been open about going through several health issues over the past few decades. She had a double mastectomy in 2008 after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She also had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in 2017 because she carries the BRCA1 gene that causes an increased risk of cancer, developed menopause from the surgery the following year, and has openly struggled with insomnia.

Applegate followed up her original tweet with the following message: "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."

Applegate didn't disclose her symptoms or how she was diagnosed. Signs of MS can vary wildly depending on the patient and how severe their illness is, the Mayo Clinic says, but symptoms generally include:

  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, usually on one side of your body at a time
  • Electric-shock sensations that happen with certain neck movements
  • Tremors
  • Lack of coordination
  • Unsteady gait
  • Partial or complete loss of vision
  • Prolonged double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
  • Problems with sexual, bowel, and bladder function

There is no cure for MS, but there are treatments that can help patients cope with symptoms and even slow the progression of the disease.

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