'American Pickers' Star Frank Fritz Has Been Fighting Crohn's Disease for Decades


Feb. 4 2021, Updated 11:50 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 seemed to lose a significant amount of weight between Seasons 8 and 9. 

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Is Frank from 'American Pickers' sick?

When Frank 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 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.

frank american pickers sick
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. 

"I started losing weight and ran with it!" Frank said as he explained his weight loss. "I have been exercising and eating good… Thanks for all of your kind words of concern! I couldn't do what I do without all of you!"

Although the symptoms of Crohn's can be quite severe, Frank has said that he's learned how to manage them so that they don't impact his ability to go picking. 

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Frank knows how to manage his Crohn's symptoms.

"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!"

A year earlier, Frank was honest with the Quad-City Times when he said that the disease had had an impact on both him and the people he loves, saying that it had taken a "terrible" toll. 

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"I’m trying to show people that regardless of the adversities... and the social situations, the awkwardness, accidents, that you can live a productive life," Frank explained in the interview. 

Frank's attitude has also extended to other aspects of his life, where he's been quite frank about what he deals with on a day to day basis. 

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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