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America's Got Talent star Jackie Evancho reveals that yearslong battle with anorexia has left her with bone damage.
In an interview with People, the season 5 alum shared that her battle with anorexia has left her with osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and prone to fractures.
In January 2021, Evancho was hospitalized following a car accident that left her back broken in two places, and was soon diagnosed with osteoporosis.
"They were abnormal breaks, breaks that you see in 80-year-olds, that's how I learned that my eating problems created osteoporosis. So now I'm a 22-year-old with osteoporosis," she said.
Evancho shared that the diagnosis actually exacerbated her negative relationship with food, as her recovery process caused her to gain weight.
"I had to eat [for my bones] to heal, and that really messed me up with my eating problems, because I was gaining weight to heal, once I finally healed, my disorder said, 'Ok, now you've got to be really hard on yourself to get all of that out of you . . . and then some,'" she said.
In October 2021, Evancho sought inpatient treatment for anorexia and is 'still fully in the throes' of her disorder but is optimistic about the future.
"I'm still struggling, but I'm fighting, which is good because a year ago I was giving in to it completely, and that's so dark and painful," Evancho said. "I'm not healthy yet, but I have been able to implement healthy coping skills and better eating habits," she said.
Evancho has battled anorexia since she was 15 when what started out as "mild" dieting and working out turned into an all-consuming disorder when she didn't see the progress she wanted. "When I started to go days without eating, in my head I said, 'I know that this isn't normal,' I felt exhausted, moody, tearful, but after a bit of time, I started to feel nothing," she said.
While she admits she is not 100% recovered, she says she refuses to let the disorder take over her life after all of the time and effort she has put in to get where she is now.
"Since I was a kid I've put so much blood, sweat and tears into my career and to see that sort of fade away because of this demon in my head? No, I'm going to fight this now because you can't take this one thing from me," she said.
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