How Is Christina Applegate's Health? The Actress Says She Ignored Her MS Symptoms for Years

“... we’d be shooting and my leg would buckle. I really just put it off as being tired, or I’m dehydrated, or it’s the weather. Then nothing would happen for months, and I didn’t pay attention.”


Mar. 14 2024, Updated 2:14 p.m. ET

Christina Applegate speaks onstage during the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at Peacock Theater on January 15, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)
Source: Getty Images

In 2021, actress Christina Applegate announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (also known as MS). According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS “is a disease that impacts the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, which make up the central nervous system and controls everything we do.”

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How has the beloved actress's health been lately? And how exactly does MS affect the body? Read on for more.

US actress Christina Applegate (L) arrives for the 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, California, on February 26, 2023. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Source: Getty Images

Christina Applegate and daughter Sadie at SAG Awards in February 2023

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How is Christina Applegate's health? A look back at when she was diagnosed — and an update.

Christina Applegate first revealed her diagnosis with MS in August 2021.

“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS,” she wrote on Twitter/X at the time. “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 a-hole blocks it.”

“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," she concluded.

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The following year, in November 2022, Christina gave an update on her health to New York Times while promoting her popular Netflix series Dead to Me. “I put on 40 pounds," she noted. "I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that."

That same month, Christina was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The actress, who was using her cain, noted during her speech that she "can't stand for too long."

Christina Applegate using a cane and being supported by Katey Sagal while getting her star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony
Source: Getty Images

Christina Applegate laughs with 'Married With Children' co-star Katey Sagal while on-stage at Christina's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in November 2022.

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In May 2023, Christina told Vanity Fair, "I have my friend who lives here during the week and she helps me take care of [my daughter] Sadie. And then on the weekend I have a caretaker."

She noted about her health: "Going down the stairs, carrying things — you can’t do that anymore. ... I can still drive my car short distances. I can bring up food to my kid. Up, never down."

A month later in June 2023, she told Variety that she "[doesn’t] know what my future as an actress is going to be," but that but that she was cooking up some projects behind the scenes, including voice work.

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In January 2024, Christina took the stage at the Emmys to hand out the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. With her trademark humor, Christina joked about the standing ovation: "You're totally shaming me with disability by standing up, it's fine, OK." She added: "Body not by Ozempic."

Actor Anthony Anderson and US actress Christina Applegate step onstage during the 75th Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on January 15, 2024. (Photo by Valerie Macon / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Source: Getty Images

Christina Applegate walks with actor Anthony Anderson on stage at the Emmys in January 2024.

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In March 2024, Christina — who had been diagnosed with MS after noticing tingling in her toes while filming the final season of Dead to Me — told Good Morning America in her first on-camera sit-down interview since her diagnosis that she'd actually "probably had [MS] for many, many years" before getting her official diagnosis in 2021, as she'd written off her symptoms as other things.

“I probably had it for six or seven years, I think,” she told GMA. “I noticed, especially the first season [of Dead to Me], we’d be shooting and my leg would buckle. I really just put it off as being tired, or I’m dehydrated, or it’s the weather. Then nothing would happen for months, and I didn’t pay attention. But when it hit this hard, I had to pay attention.”

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She said her friend and former co-star, actress Selma Blair — who has MS as well — encouraged her to get tested. Without Selma's insistence, Christina says, "it could have been way worse."

Christina appeared on GMA alongside actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who also has MS. The two announced the March 19, 2024 launch of their podcast, MeSsy.

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Why does Christine Applegate use a cane? How does MS affect the body?

We asked naturopathic medical doctor Dr. Mel Schottenstein, N.M.D., who has not treated Christina, how MS can affect one's health.

"In our nervous system, we have the equivalent to the multi-lane highway — neurons wrapped in fat — known as a myelin sheath — which transmits information quickly across the neuron," Dr. Mel explained. "In the case of MS, these sheaths are damaged, disrupting signals traveling from the brain to other parts of the body."

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Dr. Mel added that the "disruption of signals" can often result in "vision changes, imbalance, numbness and tingling in the extremities, fatigue, changes in bowel patterns, pain, depression, muscle rigidity or spasms, urinary incontinence, decreased sexual function, brain fog, and other symptoms."

She also noted that the early warning signs of MS include "excessive fatigue, numbness and tingling in your extremities, headaches, loss of balance, brain fog, and vision changes."

The naturopathic doctor also explained that weight gain is common after being diagnosed with MS due to the "subsequent prescribed use of steroid therapies, overwhelming fatigue, decreased movement, reduced metabolic function, and depression."

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