"Health is the most important thing," said the TV personality, who has multiple chronic conditions

By Christina Dugan
April 26, 2021 04:30 PM
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Carrie Ann Inaba is taking a leave of absence from The Talk to focus on her health.

Inaba, who has multiple chronic conditions, announced her temporary departure from the CBS daytime talk show on Monday.

"Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know personally that I have decided to take a leave of absence from The Talk to focus on my wellbeing," Inaba, 53, said in a video posted on Instagram. "I know you guys understand, health is the most important thing. So, I appreciate your support, I appreciate the love and support from The Talk family, and I hope to be back soon. Take care and I'll keep you updated. Thank you."

During Monday's episode of The Talk, co-host Sheryl Underwood addressed the news with viewers.

"Before we get started today, we'd like to let you all know at home, Carrie Ann is taking a leave of absence from the show to focus on her wellbeing," Underwood said. "She appreciates the support from all of her fans and her family right here at The Talk. Carrie Ann, we miss you and we look forward to having you back with us soon."

Carrie Ann Inaba
Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty

Inaba, who created an online platform called The Carrie Ann Conversations that helps people navigate health and wellness issues, has been open about her health struggles over the years.

In 2007, she was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that can cause pain and numbness. Six years later, she was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an incurable immune disorder that can cause pain and fatigue.

She is also iron deficient and has been candid about dealing with flare-ups of fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain, sleep problems, fatigue and emotional and mental distress.

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Carrie Ann Inaba's leave of absence from The Talk.

In 2019, the Dancing with the Stars judge opened up about how living with chronic pain has affected her, both physically and mentally.

"When you're in chronic pain, you become exhausted because your body is fighting this pain all the time," she said. "Pain is a life stealer. And it's hidden, so people can't see it or understand it."

"It was debilitating," continued Inaba, who gained weight because she wasn't able to work out. "I was in so much pain, I just had to survive. I had to stay in bed three days a week, and I'm so fortunate because I had the kind of job where I could do that. There were days I could barely make my coffee because I was so exhausted."

Carrie Ann Inaba
Credit: Courtesy Content Collective

Still, Inaba is "grateful" for the answers her diagnoses provided her with.

"Once I was diagnosed, it's like I got my life back," she previously told PEOPLE. "I am so grateful. There's a blessing in some of these health conditions because it gives you a greater awareness of your own health. It makes you take care of yourself and realize it's a very important component of a healthy lifestyle is to see the doctor regularly, make sure that you're keeping up all your checkups and getting the right tests."

Just last week, Inaba posted on Instagram about the importance of "listening to your body," adding that she was "grateful" for her family at The Talk "for always being supportive of my health."

"It takes a lot of work to get your health in balance with autoimmune disease," she wrote. "I have always needed systems that work. When the systems breakdown into chaos, the 'autoimmune-enabled' or as my doctor said to me recently, 'differently-abled' autoimmune body cannot stabilize. I like to think that it's a gift when your body says no. That's a sign. And it's important to listen to your body."

"I no longer ignore my pain," she added. "I listen and honor it and try to receive the message with humility. And that is the gift of autoimmune."

Inaba's leave of absence comes two weeks after The Talk returned to CBS without longtime co-host Sharon Osbourne, who exited the show following an on-air dispute with Underwood about racism.