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Glenn Beck Says Mysterious Illness ‘Made Me Look Crazy’

Photo: Evan Agostini/Corbis

On Monday night, emotional conservative broadcaster and not-infrequent conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck managed to complicate our feelings about him by revealing that he has been suffering from a serious neurological illness for years. “About five years ago … I had begun to have a string of health issues, that quite honestly, has made me look crazy and, quite honestly, I had felt crazy because of them,” he explained during a show on his Blaze TV network.

Beck said that he started feeling unwell around the time of his big “Restoring Honor” event in D.C. During his last year at Fox News he experienced an array of terrible-sounding symptoms, including “vocal cord paralysis,” “strange eyesight problems,” and pain that made “my hands and feet, or arms and legs would feel like someone had just crushed them, set them on fire or pushed broken glass into them.” He also had severe insomnia that allowed him to sleep only two hours a night, though his energy level remained high (as even the most casual viewer of his work during that period can confirm).

Things didn’t improve after he left Fox in 2011. “I noticed was what I call a ‘time collapse.’ If we had met before, I couldn’t tell you if it was a month ago, a year ago or when we were in high school. I then began to lose names to faces and over time, entire conversations would go away,” he said. Doctors were unable to determine what was wrong with him, and medications and changes to his diet failed to improve his condition.

Beck moved from New York to Dallas in 2012, in part because he thought the warmer climate would help him: “Then … my body began going into a seizure-like state,” characterized by shaking and “[curling] into a fetal position.” He was told he had “anywhere between five and ten years before I would no longer be able to function.”

About ten months ago, Beck visited an experimental clinic in Dallas called Carrick Brain Centers — a place where “they do crazy stuff.” There, doctors diagnosed him with an unnamed auto-immune disorder and adrenal fatigue. “Me never having to sleep was finally understandable. The last sign of adrenal failure is a hyperextension of your adrenal glands. In other words, I didn’t need sleep.”

And now he’s doing much better. “I did all kinds of tests and therapies, which included everything from electric stimulation to weird gyroscope tests like the astronauts use where they’re flipping you around,” he said. “After months of treatment and completely changing the way I eat, sleep, work and live, along with ongoing hormone treatment and intensive physical therapy, I have reversed the process. Some of the physical scars will be with me for the rest of my life … but my brain is back online in a big way.” Make of that what you will.

Glenn Beck Says Illness ‘Made Me Look Crazy’