Christina Applegate
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 3, 2024 ·  4 min read

Christina Applegate Revealed Her Early Symptoms of MS You Shouldn’t Ignore

Around 20 to 30 years ago, hearing a diagnosis like Multiple Sclerosis was a death sentence. Little was known about the disease or its effects, but everything sounded pretty miserable and heartbreaking. These days, it’s becoming a seemingly more common diagnosis, and some celebrities, including Christina Applegate, have been able to shed some light on what to look out for. She also disclosed some warning signs that she ignored, causing her body further damage.

Christina Applegate was born in 1971 in Los Angeles, California. She had her first on-screen appearance at just three months old. She would eventually go on to do some commercials and make appearances in shows until she landed her big break in the hit sitcom Married With Children. Christina Appelgate co-starred in the series from 1987 to 1997. Her career would continue to soar, but fame and success didn’t make the actress immune to health concerns.

Christina Applegate shares the announcement on social media.
Photo Credit: @1capplegate | X

The actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and opted for a double mastectomy. Being no stranger to health woes, she was also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2021. Christina Applegate has generally kept her health concerns private. However, she’s now shared some signs of the disease that she ignored.

Christina Applegate Shares Her Experience

“My symptoms had started in the early part of 2021, and it was literally just tingling on my toes,” shared the Star. “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.” Interestingly, she was speaking with longtime friend and former co-star Selma Blair about some physical sensations and the Multiple Sclerosis veteran warned Christina Applegate to see a doctor.

Christina Applegate’s Symptoms

“They call it the invisible disease. It can be very lonely because it’s hard to explain to people,” Applegate said. “I’m in excruciating pain, but I’m just used to it now.” She acknowledges the possibility that she’d actually been ignoring symptoms for years, noting that her legs would “give out” at times.

“I really just kind of put it off as being tired, or I’m dehydrated, or it’s the weather,” she explained. “And then nothing would happen for, like, months, and I didn’t pay attention.” Essentially, Christina had symptoms like numbness in her toes, weakness in her legs and sharp pains throughout her legs and feet.

Read More: An electric body suit helps people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, walk

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is difficult to diagnose because not everyone will have the same symptoms. Furthermore, it can be a progressive disease, which complicates treatment options as well. Either way, there are a number of symptoms that may be tell-tale signs. Some sufferers might struggle with those commonly associated with the disease, such as numbness, spasms, weakness, or pain, similar to Christina Applegate. However, others will experience symptoms that are less commonly thought of, such as problems with facial paralysis, vision, or cognitive function. Note the vision loss usually happens in one eye and has been described as “painful” by some patients. “Patients describe it as ‘looking through smudged sunglasses’ on one side,” explains neurologist Dr. Robert Bermel. Loss of bladder control or issues with sexual performance can also be symptomatic.

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the protective layer around nerve fibers, called the myelin. This leads to inflammation and lesions. Ultimately making it difficult for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. While they’re still working to find a cure, medical professionals now know much more about the disease, including the types and certain treatment methods that can help minimize symptoms or bodily damage.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

Although it’s not clear what type of MS Christina Applegate has, there are 4 types of the disorder: CIS which may develop into Multiple Sclerosis. Next, the most common type Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It’s estimated that around 85% of cases are RRMS, and the body faces “flare ups” of symptoms that can be old or new and generally goes into remission for a period of time following the attack.

Next, is the progression that comes after RRMS. Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. By this stage, symptoms may be similar or worse. However, periods of “remission” are less likely to occur. Lastly, is Primary progressive multiple sclerosis. In this case, symptoms often start slowly and will worsen overtime, but without any periods or remission. Or even notable relapse.

Treatment options include medications designed to be beta-blockers or suppress the immune system, blood transfusions, and variations of physical and occupational therapy.

Within the last 30 years, numerous celebrities have spoken up about the disease, including Montel Williams, David L. Lander, Richard Pryor, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Through them, and Christina Applegate’s willingness to share their experiences, other are given reassuring knowledge that proves life is still livable even in the face of a painful disorder like Multiple Sclerosis.

Read More: 10 Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis


  1. Christina Applegate.” Biography
  2. 4 Early Signs of MS You Shouldn’t Ignore.” Cleveland Clinic. March 28, 2022.
  3. Understanding Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)” Healthline. Catherine Clark March 8, 2023.
  4. Christina Applegate says MS symptoms began 6 or 7 years before diagnosis: ‘I didn’t pay attention’.TODAY. Anna Kaplan. March 13, 2024.