What We Know About Whoopi Goldberg's Health Issues

Whoopi Goldberg is the queen of daytime TV TMI. It's easy to lose count of the scandalous details Goldberg has revealed about her personal life. From hitting it and quitting it to getting freaky between the sheets, Goldberg is no shrinking violet regarding her sexual exploits. The TV host also doesn't hold back regarding her medical woes, recognizing that getting old really sucks, but it still beats the alternative.

Goldberg wrote about her many ailments in "Two Old Broads: Stuff You Need to Know That You Didn't Know You Needed to Know." The book's description explains it's a guide for racking up the years. "You've survived the past; why not embrace the present and prepare for the future so you thrive and find more time to laugh along the way?" it reads.

Goldberg follows the advice, embracing the present and future with arms wide open. She refuses to adhere to societal norms about older people and lets her freak flag fly. Meanwhile, Goldberg credits her inability to fit with conventional leading lady beauty ideals for allowing her the freedom she's afforded in her career. "I didn't have the same problems a beautiful actress has," Goldberg told The Times. "I don't have to worry about it. My stuff's going to sag and fall, and I will be fine. My chest is gonna do what it does. I can age the way I age." Still, as she ages, Goldberg faces the myriad health issues that inevitably accompany the passage of time.

Fever over festivities

Whoopi Goldberg turns 68 on November 13. However, the medical woes she's suffered give an octogenarian a run for their money. Ironically, despite starring in ads for incontinence pads, a leaky bladder isn't one of them. Goldberg's most recent health scare was contracting COVID-19 for the third time. When Goldberg skipped "The View" Season 2023 premiere in September, rumors spread she was attending the Burning Man festival. Random.

"In spite of everything you've heard, and let me just make sure you all know that it's actually me," Goldberg said in a video, pulling down her face mask to prove her identity. "I am not at Burning Man. I am not still in Italy. I am not, you know, doing stuff. I'm not trying to change the outcome of the election. I just have Covid."

Concern was also sparked two months previously when Goldberg shared details of a debilitating back injury she suffered that scuppered her 4th of July celebration. "I nursed my back. So I was not very mobile, and this is it," Goldberg said, per The U.S. Sun. "People came to see me, people fed me, people took care of me." She explained that the pain was so bad that she even needed help going to the bathroom. "I don't know what I did, but my back said 'pst'...' pst'...' try to get up.' And I was like 'uh...' and my back was like 'yeah. This is our message to you,'" she continued.

Putting the P in pain

Whoopi Goldberg expanded on her health issues in her book, "Two Old Broads: Stuff You Need to Know That You Didn't Know You Needed to Know." She admitted the more she aged, the more medical woes she encountered. "I had no idea how many annoying little things would start to happen to my body as I aged," she wrote. She continued by sharing that when she stands up or cracks her knuckles, it's as loud as an explosion. Goldberg said she once experienced so much discomfort she thought she'd "left her coccyx on the chair," as noted by The U.S. Sun.

Her pain became so bad in June 2021 that Goldberg was forced to use a walker. She explained why after returning to "The View" following a medical leave of absence. "I was out because I was dealing with something called sciatica," Goldberg shared. "Which is basically a bulging disk in your back and impacts the sciatic nerve."

She joked that it was like a pesky ex-boyfriend who refused to go away and that she was unable to even lift her leg due to the intense pain. "It was horrible. I'm glad I'm here," Goldberg continued. She admitted that using a walker had freaked her out initially but that it ultimately grew on her. Goldberg concluded by saying that sciatic flare-ups can be caused by stress in addition to depression.

Brush with death

The most severe medical issue Whoopi Goldberg has had to deal with nearly proved fatal. She spilled the tea during a 2019 episode of "The View." Per ABC News, Goldberg was joined by her primary practitioner, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez. She explained she began feeling sick in November 2018. Nevertheless, Goldberg was close to death when she finally called Rodriguez, who was immediately concerned. "She was in a bad way," he said, sharing she had a 1 in 3 chance of dying from severe pneumonia. 

Goldberg pulled through, but her woes were far from over. According to End Sepsis, she was "close to leaving the earth" when the pneumonia caused sepsis, a potentially fatal condition resulting from the body's reaction to infections.

Then there's Goldberg's 40-plus-year battle with endometriosis, which the Mayo Clinic explains as a condition "in which cells similar to the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, grow outside the uterus." Goldberg has spoken about living with endometriosis during a speech at the Endo Foundation's Blossom Ball. According to NNPA, she shared she'd been diagnosed 30 years earlier and admitted she'd been lucky to have a doctor who recognized her symptoms. "A lot of women have never heard of endometriosis," Goldberg said. "Which is unfortunate, given how often the disease affects African Americans. If you're concerned about the symptoms you've been experiencing, it's imperative to see your doctor quickly."