'American Pickers' Star Frank Fritz Makes Serious Strides in Battle With Crohn's Disease

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Jul. 21 2021, Updated 10:51 a.m. ET

As American Pickers has become one of the History Channel's biggest success stories, the show's stars have also become a much bigger deal. Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz have proven to be charismatic co-hosts with a deep knowledge of the history of American antiques. Because Frank is so well known, in fact, there was a great deal of concern when he began losing significant amounts of weight.

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Is Frank from 'American Pickers' sick?

When Frank first returned to American Pickers looking much thinner in Season 9, fans began to worry that there was something wrong with him. The buzz around Frank's initial weight loss ultimately became so loud that he felt the need to address it and explain why he was now slimmer than he'd been during earlier seasons. "A lot of you have been wondering about my health and my weight loss," Frank wrote in 2013.

American Pickers
Source: Getty Images
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"I have an illness called Crohn’s [disease], which at times is difficult to deal with," Frank continued. 

Frank has been battling with Crohn's disease for more than 30 years, and in that time, he's come to deeply understand the symptoms that come with the illness. The symptoms of Crohn's include diarrhea, abdominal pain, reduced appetite, and bloody stool. 

With Frank's recent disappearance from the show mid-season, fans have speculated his Crohn's disease returned with a vengeance. After revealing he lost a shocking 65 pounds, Frank told The Sun, "The weight loss is me watching what I’m eating so I can keep my disease under control the best I can. I’m just eating healthy."

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Frank added, "Not drinking helps with the weight loss because when you drink you eat. I’m not dieting." He also explained that his sobriety helped his journey to good health. Previously, Frank admitted he was struggling with sobriety as a result of his split with ex-fiancée Diann Bankson.

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz.
Source: Getty Images
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Now that Frank is managing his Crohn's symptoms, will he return to 'American Pickers'?

"Crohn’s and travel is all about management," Frank said during an interview with the National Enquirer in 2012. "My entire crew knows about my Crohn’s. They understand it when I need a break. I mean … if I have to go, I have to go!"

Frank stepped out of the spotlight during the most recent season of American Pickers to pay better attention to his health and hasn't been seen on the show since an episode in March of 2020. Does his weight loss journey mean he's ready to go picking once more?

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A report from TMZ says fans might not see Frank on future episodes of American Pickers. After his rushed exit from the show, Mike took over as a solo host, but Frank told the outlet that Mike hasn't spoken to him in two years. Frank did intend to return to the show after his health improved, but American Pickers could remain a solo act.

Frank suffers from mental health challenges.

In part because of his fame, Frank said that he also suffers from anxiety. When he was arrested for operating while intoxicated in 2017, he disclosed that he had a prescription for Xanax. At the time, Frank explained that his celebrity had led him to seek medication for anxiety. Given the spotlight that's been on him for more than a decade, it makes sense for Frank to be forthcoming about all of his struggles. 

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