Christina Applegate details stomach virus symptoms amid MS diagnosis: ‘I was so dizzy’

Since revealing she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2021, Christina Applegate has been candid about her health and how’s she’s doing.

Most recently, on the sixth episode of MeSsy, a podcast Applegate cohosts with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who also has MS, Applegate revealed she’s been suffering from an illness unrelated to MS for three weeks.

Bluntly, Applegate shared that she’s been “pissing out of my *ss for a few days.”

After having just recovered from COVID which she contracted for the first time, she was sick again. “I was so dizzy. I was so sick. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t anything,” she said.

So, her doctor ordered a stool sample, an experience she says made her even queasier, and she learned she as sapovirus. “It is when you ingest fecal matter of someone else from your food,” Applegate explained.

She’d somehow and unknowingly eaten “someone else’s poop bacteria” which led her to wake up in a pool of her own poop at 3 a.m.

After some investigating, Applegate came to the conclusion that she likely contracted the virus from a salad she ordered from a restaurant she’d been going to for 15 years. While she wouldn’t name the spot, she confirmed it was closing for reasons unrelated to sapovirus.

“Having MS at 3 o’clock in the morning and trying to change your sheets. It’s not fun,” she said. So, now she’s wearing diapers. Something she’s had to do before because of incontinence often brought on by MS.

When Applegate initially revealed she’d been diagnosed with MS on X, formerly Twitter, she described the experience as “a strange journey.”

MS is a “potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord,” per the Mayo Clinic. MS can create “communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body” and “permanent damage or deterioration of the nerve fibers.”

Read on for a full timeline of what Applegate has said about having MS.

April 2024: Christina Applegate reveals her MS has relapsed.

On the third episode of MeSsy, Applegate revealed she was in a relapse that the time of the recording.

When Sigler kicks off the episode by asking Applegate how she’s doing Applegate responds: “I’m in relapse right now pretty bad.”

She described experiencing “intense pain in my legs, not being able to to walk to the bathroom without feeling like I’m going to fall, insane tingling that just has spurts of tingles that are weird coming from my butt down.”

Applegate revealed she hadn’t slept in 24 hours because of discomfort in her eye. Every time she’d close it, she’d feel it shift. “I tried looking it up last night and it can be a symptom of MS that could be some kind of possible damage to the optic nerve in my eye,” said Applegate. “I couldn’t sleep because every time I would close my eye, my eye would start doing some crazy shit.”

She was worried her eye was going to “burst out of my face,” plus her legs still weren’t functioning the way she needed them to. “The legs are just done,” she said. “I can’t get circulation, I can’t get them to stop hurting.”

March 2024: Christina Applegate says “(MS is) the worst thing that has ever happened to me” during a podcast appearance

On March 25, Applegate appeared on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman where she detailed the symptoms she’s experiencing and revealed she has 30 lesions on her brain because of the degenerative disease.

“(There are) sores all over my brain. My biggest one is behind my right eye, so my right eye hurts a lot,” she said on the podcast. It doesn’t affect her vision “right now,” she added.

“I’m not happy about the ones in my brain,” Applegate said, explaining that people with MS will sometimes have similar lesions on other parts of their bodies, including their spines.

She also said she has issues with mobility, described how her “hands go weird” and said she sometimes has a “seizure-y” feeling in her brain but not all the time.

In addition to MS, the “Dead to Me” actress revealed she also has hypothyroidism and cold sores which she isn’t sure is related to MS.

“This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me,” Applegate admitted. “I hate it so much. I’m so mad about it.”

“The second my feet hit my carpet in the morning and they’re hurting as bad as they do every single day,” Applegate says she just gets back in bed. While she knows she’s meant to stretch and attempt to walk for a few minutes per day, when she exerts herself, she feels awful for the following four days. “I beat myself up for that,” she added.

Applegate is no stranger to health challenges. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and underwent a subsequent double mastectomy. The star also had her ovarian and fallopian tubes removed in 2017 to reduce the risk of a recurrence.

Unlike her cancer diagnosis, there’s no hoping for a brighter future when it comes to MS, Applegate pointed out on the podcast. “There’s no, like, ringing the bell when you’re done with chemo,” she said. “You live with this for the rest of your life. And either you’re gonna die from it or you’re gonna die in a car crash.”

March 2024: Christina Applegate sits down for an interview with Robin Roberts

Applegate appeared on ABC News and shared details about how she’s coping with MS. Even sitting for the interview took a toll on her, Applegate admitted.

“I live kind of in hell. I’m not out a lot, so this is a little difficult, just for my system,” she said. “But of course, the support is wonderful, and I’m really grateful.”

Applegate is still in the midst of grieving her diagnosis. “I’m not putting a time stamp on it,” she said. “I’m never going to wake up and go, ‘This is awesome!’ I’m just going to tell you that. It’s just not going to happen. I wake up and I’m reminded every day.”

“I’m isolating and that’s kind of how I’m dealing with it is by not going anywhere because I don’t want to do it. It’s hard,” she added.

“(MS) can be very lonely because it’s hard to explain to people. I’m in excruciating pain, but I’m just used to it now.”

March 2024: Christina Applegate announces a new podcast with Jamie-Lynn Sigler and shares update on her symptoms

In her March 2024 ABC interview, Applegate was seated next to Jamie-Lynn Sigler of “The Sopranos” fame, who was diagnosed with MS 22 years ago. The two discuss their journeys with the disease in “MeSsy,” a new weekly podcast that premiered March 19, where they bring on co-stars and friends as guests.

“She’s the only person who really knows me,” Applegate said about Sigler in a People cover story. “I can talk about anything with her. … We would talk on the phone for hours, laughing and crying. And then we were like, ‘This is helping us. Let’s record this.’”

However, the podcast is not only be about MS. “That would be boring,” Applegate said. “I don’t want to talk about it that much.”

Applegate also shared an update on her symptoms.

“My symptoms are worse in the morning, like crazy-town bad,” she told People. “The pain and the numbness and the balance. It’s horrible. So of course first thing in the morning, I’m real pissed off about it all. But I don’t want to be like this always.”

She’s committed to being there for her 13-year-old daughter, “so I’ve got to fight. I got to fight.”

After revealing she’s been hospitalized many times for her condition, she also joked about her weight fluctuation and the diapers she has to wear for incontinence.

“They don’t know what’s wrong, but we’re pretty sure my stomach and my intestines are not very good friends,” Applegate said. “It causes me intense pain and vomiting. I gained 45 pounds when I was diagnosed, from steroids and lack of mobility. … And I’ve lost 30-something. People are like, ‘What have you been doing?’ And I’m like, ‘Vomiting.’ Not Ozempic. Barfing.”

January 2024: Christina Applegate jokes about her MS diagnosis at the Emmy Awards

When Applegate walked on stage as a special guest at the 2024 Emmy Awards, she had an emotional reaction to the standing ovation that awaited her. But she also met the moment with her trademark humor.

“Thank you so much, oh my God,” Applegate said as she looked out to the crowd.

“You’re totally shaming me with disability by standing up, it’s fine, OK,” she teased, continuing on to say, “Body not by Ozempic.”

The star later recalled some of her most well-known roles, and when the audience started to clap in response, she cracked another joke about her disability: “We don’t have to applaud every time I do something.”

Applegate was nominated for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role in “Dead to Me,” but she lost to Quinta Brunson.

A few months later, in a March 2024 interview with ABC News, Applegate said she barely remembered what happened on stage that night.

“I actually kind of blacked out. People said, ‘Oh, you were so funny,’ and I’m like, I don’t even know what I said. I don’t know what I was doing. I got so freaked out that I didn’t even know what was happening anymore.”

But she maintained she felt “really beloved, and it was beautiful thing.”

June 2023: Christina Applegate gives a health update

The most recent time Applegate gave an update on her MS was in June 2023. Speaking to Variety, she said that her disease makes it hard to act, and she wasn’t sure how long she’d be able to continue doing so.

“We don’t know what my future as an actress is going to be,” she said. “How can I handle it? How can I go onto a set and call the shots of what I need as far as my boundaries, physically?”

The prior year, in November 2022, Applegate told Variety that she believes her role in “Dead to Me” could be her last acting job.

“I’m pretty convinced that this was it,” she said, adding that she still intends to be involved in the entertainment industry, whether that means producing projects or doing voiceover work.

In May 2023, Applegate gave a raw interview to Vanity Fair about her life with MS.

“With the disease of MS, it’s never a good day,” she said. “There are just certain things that people take for granted in their lives that I took for granted. Going down the stairs, carrying things — you can’t do that anymore. It f—— sucks. I can still drive my car short distances. I can bring up food to my kid. Up, never down.” 

The actor explained that she has a friend who lives with her during the week and helps her take care of her daughter. On weekends, she has a caretaker. According to the star, it’s better that way so she doesn’t get overwhelmed by too much social interaction.

“I also don’t want a lot of stimulation of the nervous system because it can be a little bit too much for me. I like to keep it as quiet and as mellow as possible,” she said.

November 2022: Christina Applegate opens up about her MS symptoms

While chatting with the New York Times in November 2022, Applegate shared the physical symptoms she experienced that led her to seek medical assistance before receiving a diagnosis.

The star explained that the signs began a few years beforehand, when she felt unbalanced while filming a dancing scene for her show “Dead to Me.” She also started noticing that her tennis skills weren’t quite as strong as they used to be.

“I wish I had paid attention,” she said. “But who was I to know?”

While reflecting on her diagnosis, Applegate admitted that she felt angry about what was happening to her body.

“Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed,” she said.

November 2022: Christina Applegate wears no shoes to receive Hollywood star

Receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in November 2022 was the first time Applegate was seen in public since sharing her diagnosis. She wore no shoes to the ceremony, and afterward, she took to social media to explain why.

“Barefoot. For some with MS the feeling of shoes may hurt or make us feel off balance. So today I was me. Barefoot,” she wrote on X.

She also referenced her condition in her acceptance speech, explaining that she “can’t stand for too long.” To help, the actor used a cane, and her friend and former co-star Katey Sagal stood behind her to physically support her.

“Oh, by the way, I have a disease,” she also joked in the speech. “Did you not notice? I’m not even wearing shoes. Anyhoo, you’re supposed to laugh at that.”

August 2021: Christina Applegate reveals MS diagnosis

Applegate revealed that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on social media.

“I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition,” Applegate said on X, formerly Twitter. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a—— blocks it.”

The star ended her post by asking her followers for privacy as she navigated her new normal.

The actor was diagnosed while filming the last season of “Dead to Me,” but admitted in an ABC News interview that her legs used to give out while filming the first season.

“My symptoms had started in the early part of 2021, and it was literally just tingling on my toes,” Applegate told Robin Roberts in the interview. “And by the time we started shooting in the summer of that same year, I was being brought to set in a wheelchair. Like, I couldn’t walk that far.”

When Applegate turned 50, she shared an inspirational message with her followers who may also have MS.

“It’s been a hard one. Sending so much love to all of you this day. Many are hurting today, and I am thinking of you. May we find that strength to lift our heads up. Mine currently is on my pillow. But I try,” she wrote on X.

Since Applegate went public with her disease, she’s also leaned on her friend and fellow actor Selma Blair, who also has MS. It was Blair who encouraged Applegate to get tested for the disease, Applegate shared in an ABC News interview.

“She has a lot on her plate. It’s a lot, but she’s as brilliant and beautiful as ever,” Blair said in a November 2022 interview with Entertainment Tonight.

Humor has been an important tool for Applegate to cope. While appearing on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in December 2022, Applegate said: “My humor shield keeps me OK. But of course, down on the insides, you feel the things. I do it to kind of deflect and also make people not scared to be around me.”

“When people see me now as a disabled person, I want them to feel comfortable that we can laugh about it,” she added.

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