As Jennifer Esposito puts it, “I was sick since the time I was born.” For 30 years of her life, the actress, health advocate, and author struggled with a stream of physical ailments, searching in vain for a diagnosis and effective treatment. She went to countless doctors, none of whom seemed to care about getting to the root cause of her issues, and each of whom suggested treating her with extreme and damaging measures (including, uh, drilling holes in her face). Ultimately, she found a doctor who was able to diagnose her with an extreme case of celiac disease, and from that point on she began a journey of true healing, and helping others do the same.
Esposito would get recurring sinus infections, her entire face and eye area swelling up constantly. This, as she says, should have been the first sign that she was dealing with an allergy. “As soon as you see a redness and swelling around the eyes, you can pretty much look inside and say, ‘there’s an allergy going on somewhere,” she says.
Yet her doctors did not see that sign. She went to countless practitioners, none of whom even thought to test her for celiac disease. Eventually, one doctor declared he had the answer: the bridge of her nose was too small. He suggested drilling holes through her eyebrows to release pressure and help things drain properly — and this was after a different doctor had proposed shock treatment. As Esposito says, if she’d done everything the doctors had recommended, “I would be like Frankenstein!”
The courses of treatment doctors suggested were all over the place, but there was one constant theme: none of them ever showed interest in wanting to explore WHY so much toxicity — in the form of mucus — was trying to escape her body.
Esposito ended up on both steroids and antibiotics, with all of their attendant side effects. “I was a complete disaster!” she remembers. At the time, she didn’t know about all of the damaging side effects of these medications, and just listened to her doctors. She had her questions, sure, but they were the experts, so she trusted them.
Then, while filming a show in Los Angeles, and her symptoms became dramatically worse: her skin started to peel on her face, her fingernails started to chip really badly, her hair was falling out in clumps, and she was completely exhausted. She just kept working, as she always had, because she didn’t want her illness to stop her ambitions. But then one day, in the middle of a take, her tooth popped out of her mouth. That’s when she recommitted to getting to the root cause of her ailments, and ultimately found a female doctor who was able to diagnose her with “the highest case of celiac disease she’d ever seen.”
Watch our full interview with Jennifer Esposito to hear about how she got so sick she had to be carried to the ENT by her assistant, why she wishes she’d sued the gastroenterologist who didn’t think to test her for celiac, how she ended up in a psych ward, why a doctor prescribed her an antidepressant for her gut, and how she eventually found a med-free, natural path to health.
The recovery story above is anecdotal and specific to this particular individual. Please note that this is not medical advice, and that not all treatments and approaches mentioned will work for everyone.