Man Boobs, Narcolepsy and Other Odd Celeb Ailments

First it was mercury poisoning, now man boobs.

Actor Jeremy Piven has had a year of unusual ailments. Recently, the "Entourage" star claimed he had started to grow breasts or "moobs" from drinking 12 cups of soy milk a day.

"I was the guy that dabbled in soy milk, but now I've found out soy milk has enough estrogen for me to grow breasts," the Emmy Award winner told Scottish television last week. "I had to put the soy milk down. It was a very confusing time."

VIDEO: Jeremy Piven says soy milk caused him to grow breasts.
null

One would think Piven had learned a lesson in moderation after he says he suffered from mercury poisoning and had to abruptly bow out of the Broadway play "Speed-the-Plow" late last year. The cause, his doctor said, was eating sushi twice a day for years.

Piven told "Good Morning America" in January that extreme fatigue caused by the mercury poisoning brought him to his knees during the Broadway show.

null

"It progressed to the point where, that final Sunday, I was having problems spatially," he said. The actor said he had trouble remembering his lines and maintaining his balance.

Dr. Carlon Colker, the primary internist treating the "Entourage" actor, detailed his debilitating condition to ABCNews.com.

"This is a situation of mercury toxicity," Colker, the medical director of Peak Wellness of Greenwich, Conn., and a competitive bodybuilder, said. "His level [of mercury] was quite high, almost six times the normal limit. ... In this case, it's either because of fish -- he ate sushi twice a day for years -- or because of the Chinese herbs he was taking, or both. We're pretty sure about the fish, how much the Chinese herbs contributed, we don't know. We don't have the specifics of which herbs he took."

Though Piven spent three days in the hospital, his claim of mercury poisoning was met with skepticism. Piven's not the only celebrity to claim an odd illness, however. ABCNews.com rounded up a few of the more unusual ones.

Jimmy Kimmel

Late night talk show host and narcolepsy would seem not to go together, but Jimmy Kimmel, who hosts "Jimmy Kimmel Live," on ABC, claims he has a mild form of the chronic sleep disorder.

Kimmel, who controls his illness with the drug Provigil, reportedly went undiagnosed until his 30s. Talking about his ailment to Esquire in 2003, he said he finally went to a doctor after he began drinking gallons of iced tea to get him through the afternoon.

"I did know that every afternoon between about three and six, I would get very tired for no reason. I would doze off in meetings, watching TV, even driving. You know how when you're regular tired, your whole body is tired? With narcolepsy, just the inside of your head is tired. It's like somebody's gently sitting on your brain. You have almost no focus. All you're thinking about is not falling asleep."

Kimmel said he fell asleep a few times while emceeing "Win Ben Stein's Money," and once while driving on the freeway.

"My head was diving, then jerking back up. All of a sudden, this loud voice over a megaphone says, "Are you awake enough to drive that vehicle?" Kimmel recalled in Esquire. "And I practically jumped out of my skin. It was the police, one lane over."

But so far, he has steered clear of drawing on his narcolepsy experiences in his work, "though I do have a dream to someday use up an entire hour of television time by sleeping," he said.

Janet Jackson

When Janet Jackson was rushed to a hospital in Montreal shortly after arriving for one of her shows during her comeback tour last fall, many speculated she was suffering from exhaustion or, worse, low ticket sales.

But when she cancelled six concerts and her doctor advised her not to go on stage, it was clear that Jackson's mystery illness was serious. According to a statement released by her publicist, Jackson suffers from a "rare form of migraine headaches called vestibular migraine or migraine-associated vertigo."

Doctors say Jackson's type of migraine is well documented, but it only affects 3 to 5 percent of the general population. Why it happens remains somewhat of a mystery.

"Twenty to 30 years ago, this used to be called floating women's syndrome; [doctors] used to consider it a psychiatric or neurotic syndrome," Dr. Steven D. Rauch, a professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School and a doctor at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, told ABCNews.com.

Rauch said the symptoms of vestibular migraines may mimic the spinning in classic vertigo, or patients might just constantly feel off balance.

"Patients feel like they have no balance, or they feel like they're rocking on a boat all the time, like you're lost in space," said Rauch.

Roseanne Barr

Comedian Roseanne Barr has claimed to have had many illnesses, but probably her oddest one would have to be multiple personality disorder.

In 2001, she told Larry King that she has suffered from the disorder since childhood and, even after 12 years of psychotherapy, sometimes regresses.

"I often acted irrationally and I still often do act irrational," she said. "Like, OK, I had glasses. And sometimes I needed glasses and sometimes I didn't. And I never thought about that. I'd just take them on and off. And I would be allergic to different things, like codeine and then sometimes not allergic. And you know, different things like that."

Barr said she would switch personalities so often and so subtly that she would sometimes forget how to drive while she was driving.

"I'd have to pull over off the side of the road and call people to come and get me," she said.

When King asked Barr how she avoided the "nuthouse" with her disorder, she shot back, "I'd never avoid the nuthouse. I've been hospitalized several times. You know that, Larry."

Daniel Radcliffe

Some people are clumsy and others have dyspraxia.

"Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe says he suffers from a mild form of the latter. Dyspraxia is a brain disorder that is often associated with clumsiness because it can impair coordination. It can affect language and intellectual development as well as physical. People with a severe case may find it difficult to walk up or down the stairs, kick a ball or run.

For Radcliffe, it means he still has trouble tying his shoelaces.

"I sometimes think, 'Why, oh why, has Velcro not taken off?''' he told Britain's Daily Mail last year.

"Yes, Dan Radcliffe does have dyspraxia. This is something he has never hidden. Thankfully, his condition is very mild and, at worst, manifests itself in an inability to tie his shoe laces and bad handwriting," his rep told an Australian newspaper.

Radcliffe revealed to the Daily Mail that he became an actor in part because his dyspraxia meant he struggled in school. "I was having a hard time at school in terms of being crap at everything with no discernible talent."

But after auditioning for his first acting role at age 9, Radcliffe found his talent and his career took off.

Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel, the host of the TV game show "Deal or No Deal," is coming clean about his obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD in "Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me," a revealing memoir due this month.

The stand-up comedian has a fear of dirt and germs and won't shake hands with anyone. He even keeps his head shaved because it helps him feel cleaner.

Mandel talked publicly for the first time about his condition -- he also suffers from attention deficit disorder -- on "The Howard Stern Show" in 2006.

Mandel joked that his condition even prevented him from cheating on his wife for 20 years, because he was too afraid to make any moves on the models who appear on "Deal."

Mariska Hargitay

Earlier this year, Mariska Hargitay suffered a mysterious lung collapse.

In January, the "Law and Order: SVU" star was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a partially collapsed lung. At the time, it was rumored Hargitay had been in a skiing accident, but Hargitay never revealed the cause of her condition.

Then, in March, the Emmy winner was again rushed to the hospital after she complained of breathing problems on the set.

"Mariska Hargitay went to the hospital this morning after experiencing some discomfort relating to her earlier lung condition," her rep told People magazine. "She is undergoing routine tests and expects to be feeling better soon. Production will not be affected."

In the August issue of Redbook, Hargitay finally opened up about her ailment. Last October, while shooting an episode of "SVU," Hargitay, who does her own stunts, jumped and landed in a way that a microscopic bleed began in her lung tissue.

"I got up and felt that something inside was not quite right," she said of the stunt that caused the injury. "At first, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me. I was angry with myself. Later, I thought maybe I'd pulled a muscle, but I didn't focus on the injury and kept expecting it to get better."

It didn't. Two weeks later, she was experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains. By January, her right lung had collapsed 50 percent. After surgery, she was told she had a 1 in 1,000 chance of it happening again. It did in March.

"I just thought, 'Please, make me better, please make me better,'" Hargitay said. "I got really scared that maybe something else was wrong. All those old fears about my mom and my grandfather [both of whom died relatively young] came shooting up."

Fully recovered since March, Hargitay, who has a 3-year-old son, told Redbook she has been feeling like "the luckiest person in the world."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9057236.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...