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Mama June's Secret Health Crisis: Former Reality Matriarch Suffering From Painful Spinal Disease

Mama June Health Crisis

Mar. 19 2015, Published 6:16 p.m. ET

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Mama June Shannon may feel "beautimous" at any size, but according to her former brother-in-law, she's already suffering the consequences of being overweight.

Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson reveals to that the former Here Comes Honey Boo Boo matriarch, 35, suffers from degenerative disc disease, a painful spinal condition causing severe back pain.

"She says she feels sick all the time," Thompson, 32, tells "She often sleeps all day."

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New York City internist Dr. Stuart Fischer tells that the disorder is "extremely common" in people who struggle with their weight.

"The body must bear more weight that than intended, creating tremendous pressure on the spine," the Park Avenue Diet author explains. "The cartilage discs can slip, pinching nervous and causing terrible pain."

For many sufferers, it can be nearly impossible to get out of bed.

Uncle Poodle

"The condition can be so severe, the person cannot move or stand up without pain," Dr. Fischer adds.

While some find relief in acupuncture and chiropractic, sometimes surgery is necessary.

However, "all operations on the overweight are inherently risky because of heart disease and other complications," the doctor says.

But it seems like Mama June is taking action to improve her health. As previously reported, the reality star, who often polishes off boxes of chicken nuggets and donuts in a single sitting, is now working out with a celebrity trainer. She is also reportedly interested in being cast on NBC weight loss competition show The Biggest Loser.

Despite her recent efforts, Thompson doesn't believe the mother of four will keep up the good work.

"If she's serious about it, then good for her," he says. "But she never stays on diets for long; she gains the weight right back. She doesn't eat in moderation."



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