This Co-Host of ‘The Talk’ Shares Her Battle With Multiple ‘Invisible’ Illnesses

Now in its 10th season, The Talk is settling in with its newest co-host, Marie Osmond, at the table after the departure of host and executive producer Sara Gilbert in August.

Now, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, Eve, and Carrie Ann Inaba, along with Osmond, are forming a solid bond as the new team for The Talk. One co-host recently shared a very personal battle she’s having with some health issues.

“The Talk’s” Sheryl Underwood, Carrie Ann Inaba, Marie Osmond, Sharon Osbourne | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

Double duty

Carrie Ann Inaba replaced co-host Julie Chen in January 2019. Also serving on ABC’s long-running reality competition show Dancing With The Stars, Inaba definitely has a full plate.

The DWTS judge was quite vocal last season with the controversial casting of Sean Spicer as well as the new voting system. Inaba had spoken to Entertainment Tonight after one particular episode where she felt two couples were wrongly placed in the bottom spots where Spicer was safe from elimination despite his lack of dancing skills.

“It’s disappointing to see people go home like this week after week, and Sean is staying in, but it’s always been a partnership between the judges and the people. That is what Dancing with the Stars is. I can’t get too mad, but yeah, I’m a little frustrated,” Inaba said. “I’m a lot frustrated.”

‘Invisible’ illnesses

Inaba recently opened up in a revealing blog post on several autoimmune issues she is currently battling. “Having autoimmune syndromes like Sjögren’s Syndrome or Fibromaylgia, or Lupus, or invisible illnesses like Iron Deficiency Anemia, Depression or Anxiety, does not make for an easy life,” she wrote. “It’s hard enough to function in life without the added chronic fatigue, confusion, pain, discomfort and the daily inconveniences of the dry eyes, joint pain, difficulty swallowing, the reactions to the sun, and the sudden flooring exhaustion.”

The co-host of The Talk also described the difficult side effects of medication, including “swelling or weight gain or loss… or just the fear of what it might be doing to your system in the long run.”

Inaba went on to share how she struggled against her physical symptoms until they become too much to bear. “For years I tried to fight the fatigue, I tried to push through the pain… But eventually it becomes to much to ignore,” she wrote. “So I surrendered. I decided to see myself as a ‘sick person’ a person with limitations. It was a full redefinition of myself and how I interacted with the world… I was mad. I was sad… But mostly, I was scared.”

The DWTS judge revealed for a time after accepting her diagnosis, she started to avoid certain situations in her life that could possibly trigger debilitating symptoms that came with her ‘invisible’ illnesses. “I started to live my life in ways to avoid causing any flare ups or panic attacks. Life became more of an avoiding of life than an actual life,” she wrote. “I lived like that for years. Afraid, and avoiding the things that could cause me pain and more pain.”

Acceptance of her new normal

Inaba wrote in her blog post that she came to a point of discovering that she needed to embrace a new normal.

“Once I recognized I had to let go of the image of being ‘able’ and ‘strong’ in the way I had been used to, I discovered new things about myself,” she shared. “And I learned how to actually accept myself in each moment as I was. And sometimes that meant I was broken, in pain, confused, struggling, weak, and all these words I didn’t like to associate with. However, I made peace with all of these aspects of myself.”

Inaba shared that this acceptance has led her to peace. “I am all of these things and the health challenges put a spotlight on many of these characteristics i didn’t want to accept and forced me to become friends with them,” Inaba wrote. “And for that I am grateful.”

She encourages others with health issues to start on the path to acceptance in order to best deal with their challenges. “Becoming the hero of my own life. Accepting the parts of myself I didn’t want to and making peace with all sides of me,” the DWTS star wrote. “These have become two of the greatest gifts of my health journey… And it is my wish for you to find them as well in your journey if you struggle with health issues like mine.”

See Inaba on The Talk weekday mornings!