Liza Minnelli, 77, is one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, but her health has had its ups and downs. Over the years, the legendary actress, singer, and dancer have reportedly been hospitalized for a variety of illnesses, including viral encephalitis, alcoholism, a jawbone injury, wrist injuries, and more. Although she was once labeled as being in a “very serious condition,” the beauty recovered and appears to be doing well today.
Liza has been seen in a wheelchair in previous years, but in 2022, she was seen getting into a car on her own feet. She also performed some shows after being hospitalized due to major health problems, which surprised and delighted many of her admirers. Learn more about Liza’s illnesses and how she’s doing today.
What Illness Is Liza Minnelli Suffering From?
Liza had an alcohol and prescription drug addiction after the death of her mother, Judy Garland, in 1969. The issues occurred after she was administered Valium, and she allegedly began using recreational drugs in the 1970s. She eventually left the 1984 musical The Rink to seek treatment for her problems at the Betty Ford Clinic.
She continued to battle her addictions on and off during her stay and was challenged with a lawsuit taken on by her fourth husband, David Gest, during their divorce in 2003. He alleged in the lawsuit that she beat him in drunken rages during their marriage.
Liza also had a bad bout with viral encephalitis in 2000. Doctors reportedly predicted she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair and would never be able to sing again as a result of the ailment. She recovered by attending daily singing and dancing lessons. She needed vocal surgery around this time, although she was able to perform “New York, New York” on The Rosie O’Donnell Show in September 2001.
She also appeared on stage at Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Special at Madison Square Garden in New York City that same year, after being asked by Michael Jackson personally. She sang “You Are Not Alone” and “Never Never Land” during the show. Liza has since made numerous performances in concerts and television events.
Unfortunately, Liza’s health problems did not stop there. According to The Sun, she had her jawbone repaired after falling on stage while performing in 2007. She also allegedly fractured both of her wrists in 2013 and her back in 2014 after being jumped on by a dog. She also had three miscarriages and was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia after undergoing surgical operations to preserve one of the pregnant children.
You can also read about other celebrities’ illnesses here:
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What Are Liza’s Health Conditions?
According to the Alcohol Rehab Guide, alcoholism is “the most severe form of alcohol abuse and involves the inability to manage drinking habits.” Additionally, according to the website, it is “commonly referred to as alcohol use disorder” and “organized into three categories: mild, moderate and severe. Each category has various symptoms and can cause harmful side effects. If left untreated, any type of alcohol abuse can spiral out of control.”
Alcoholism can be identified by certain warning indicators, such as “being unable to control alcohol consumption, craving alcohol when not drinking, putting alcohol above responsibilities, spending a substantial amount of money on alcohol, and behaving differently after drinking.”
Three phases make up alcoholism treatment: maintenance, rehabilitation, and detoxification. When someone stops drinking alcohol, they are going through detoxification. To prevent any potentially fatal side effects, they should seek medical advice.
Sometimes medication is also administered. Rehab typically entails admission to a facility where the patient can get mental and physical support while learning how to live an alcohol-free life. Following treatment, maintenance entails continuing to live a life free of alcohol. This can involve attending support groups and having a sponsor who can offer assistance when a craving strikes.
When someone develops an addiction to prescription pharmaceuticals of any kind, whether or not they were prescribed to them, it is known as a prescription drug addiction. The warning signs of prescription drug addiction are comparable to those of alcoholism in that the patient may feel dependent on their use and unable to stop.
When someone can no longer obtain a prescription from a doctor and looks for it elsewhere—even illegally—that is another red flag. The stages of treatment are the same as those for alcoholism and include maintenance, rehabilitation, and detoxification.
According to Better Health Channel, viral encephalitis is “an inflammation of the brain caused by a virus.” According to the website, “some viral diseases, such as measles and rubella, can also progress to involve inflammation of the brain. Other micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites, are capable of triggering encephalitis, but viruses – particularly the group known as enteroviruses – are the leading cause.”
Headaches, fever, light sensitivity, stiff neck, stiff back, vomiting, personality changes, confusion, memory loss, seizures, paralysis, and even coma are among the signs and symptoms of viral encephalitis. Viral encephalitis is difficult to treat since antiviral drugs “only work on a limited number of viruses.”
In order to lessen the intensity of the symptoms, the patient may be admitted to the hospital, get intravenous antiviral medicine, take painkillers, preventive medication, medication to prevent vomiting, medication to lower fever and prevent seizures, and fluids to avoid dehydration. Some patients may recover completely from the illness, while others may need long-term supportive care, depending on how severe it is.
The Mayo Clinic defines a broken wrist as a “break or crack in one or more of the bones of your wrist,” while Wellstar defines a broken back as a “serious injury that occurs when the individual vertebrae of the back section of the spinal column become fractured or dislocated.” Both of these can be brought on by a number of factors, such as aging, falls, auto accidents, and more. Reduction—the process by which a physician realigns the bones—as well as immobilization, casts, surgery, and rehabilitation may all be necessary parts of the treatment.
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) April 20, 2022
Mount Sinai defines a broken jaw as a “fracture in the jaw bone.” Numerous factors, such as falls, accidents, and other non-natural events, might contribute to it. Jaw pain, nosebleeds, dental damage, breathing problems, ear pain, face numbness, and a closed mouth are among the symptoms. Surgery or non-surgical techniques are typically needed for treatment.
As defined by the Mayo Clinic, a miscarriage is “the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage.” Vaginal spotting or bleeding, lower back or abdominal pain, and tissue or fluid leaking from the vagina are among the symptoms. Expectant management, letting the miscarriage pass spontaneously, or receiving medical attention with medicines are the two options for treatment. Another method is a process known as suction dilation and curettage (D&C).
According to the Mayo Clinic, a hiatal hernia occurs “when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm)”. Large hiatal hernias can result in food and acid backing up in your esophagus, which can cause heartburn. Small hernias often don’t create any issues. Certain drugs can aid in managing and preventing this. Surgery can be necessary for a very big hiatal hernia.
You can also read here about the health conditions of other famous people, including:
- Nichole Coats Illness: What Happened to the American Model?
- Tony Kornheiser Illness: The Hidden Health Concerns of a Broadcasting Legend
How Long Has Liza Been Sick?
Liza’s alcoholism and prescription medication addiction apparently began in the late 1960s and has lasted on and off throughout her life. She was diagnosed with viral encephalitis in 2000 and appeared to recover a few years later, though it has never been established whether she recovered completely.
She fractured her wrists in 2013 and her back in 2014, although it’s unclear what kind of therapy she received for either. She most likely recovered from them following treatment. Liza’s three miscarriages and hernia are unclear, however, she told The Guardian in 2008 that the hernia prevents her from eating before performing. “… If I eat and sing like that, and all that muscle, it hurts!” she blurted out.
How is Liza Doing Today?
Liza’s most recent public appearance was in September 2022. She was caught getting into a car with the assistance of two men after eating at Craig’s restaurant in Los Angeles, CA. She cheerfully greeted Daily Mail, who had arrived and was conversing with her. “Hi guys!” she said when asked if she would be releasing new music soon. “I’ve been coming out with new songs since I was born!” she went on to say.
Liza also appeared to be in good spirits when she made a rare public appearance in late February 2023 to sing at her friend Ben Vereen’s cabaret show at the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles, CA. They did a duet version of “Quiet Love” while Ben was on stage and Liza sat at a table with a microphone.