The Serious Medical Condition That Montel Williams Lives With

Montel Williams hosted "The Montel Williams Show" from 1991 to 2008. During his stint, Williams, who gained fame for his thoughtful, genuine hosting style, filmed 3,300 episodes and interviewed 36,000 guests, according to Today. One of Williams' most memorable episodes occurred when he interviewed Mike Tyson from prison. However, the episodes revolving around everyday people as they revealed heartbreaking, eye-opening personal tales — such as a group of women who'd been abducted — were also a fixture of his show.

In 1996, Williams was awarded a Daytime Emmy for "Outstanding Talk Show Host," per IMDb. And at its peak, "The Montel Williams Show" brought in millions of viewers, holding strong against its competitors of the time. Since going off-air, Williams has continued to work in entertainment in various capacities, including hosting "Military Makeover with Montel" and authoring several self-help books. And while it's hard not to admire Williams for all that he has achieved, what's even more impressive is that he did it all while living with a super serious medical condition. 

Montell Williams has multiple sclerosis

According to Daily Blast LIVE, Montel Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) — a neurological disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the body's nerves, per John Hopkins — in 1999. However, Williams likely lived with the diseased for far longer. While speaking with WebMD Live, Williams revealed he dealt with a host of symptoms that his doctors failed to connect to MS for nearly two decades. The "initial symptoms are first in the vision or visual acuity," shared Williams (via Medicine Net). While receiving his required immunizations to join the Navy, his "diphtheria and typhoid shots, for whatever reason, it triggered my first MS bout." Williams lost "80% vision in my left eye," which temporarily put his Naval future into question. Ultimately, Williams went undiagnosed for the next 19 years. 

Williams described receiving his diagnosis as "the worst day of my life," per Life Extension, largely due to his doctor's bleak prognosis. "The doctor looked me in the face and said that I'd probably be in a wheelchair in less than three years and that I should stop working, give up exercise and everything stressful in my life," said Williams. However, the talk show host decided to take his future into his own hands and seek out treatments that would help keep him active and healthy. 

How Montel Williams handles his MS diagnosis

Today, Montel Williams' life looks a lot different than what his doctors originally projected. Not only is the former talk show host not in a wheel chair, but he's still incredibly active and agile. However, Williams did deal with debilitating pain for years while filming his talk show. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Williams described his method for coping with his pain. "I would let it go, refocus, come back out and sit down, and do another interview with a person," shared Williams (via Black Doctor). "I was doing that every day."

However, Williams has since found ways to live and thrive with his disease, which includes a combination of prescription medication, balanced diet, supplements, exercise and meditation, according to Life Extension. Williams has also boasted the benefits of medical marijuana, too, which he has claimed has helped to manage his pain, according to Business Insider. Because of his personal experience, Williams has advocated for other people dealing with pain disorders to have access to medical marijuana and even created his own line, per Boston