Richard Simmons' Secret Medical Crisis! Fitness Guru Admits, 'I Needed Help'

Apr. 19 2017, Updated 4:18 p.m. ET

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Richard Simmons insisted he's alive and well this week following his sudden hospitalization, speaking out for the first time in three years.

In an exclusive with PEOPLE magazine, the fitness guru spoke directly to fans for the first time since he left the spotlight in 2014.

"Hello to everyone who has shown concern for me and sent their good wishes. You will never know how much it means to me. Aren't you sick of hearing and reading about me?! LOL Well by now you know that I'm not 'missing,' just a little under the weather. I'm sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days," Simmons said in the statement, accompanied by a photo of Simmons from 2014. "This has reminded me that when you need help you can't be afraid to reach out and ask for it. We all think we should always be able to solve our problems all by ourselves and sometimes it's just bigger than we are."

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"I reached out and I hope you will too. I'm sure there are people in your life who love and care for you and would do anything to help you with the challenges you face. Just knowing you care has already made me feel better," he continued. "Hope to see you again soon!"

As Radar previously reported, Simmons was rushed to the hospital one month after the Los Angeles Police Department conducted a wellness check on the reclusive fitness guru.

"Richard Simmons was hospitalized on Monday at an undisclosed location in California," the star's publicist Michael Catalano told ABC News. "After a few days of battling severe indigestion and discomfort while eating, we agreed it was best for him to seek treatment."

"He's already feeling better and is expected to make a full recovery."

As Radar readers know, Simmons, 68, has disappeared from the public eye three years ago after decades in the spotlight.

While friends feared he was being held against his will in his Hollywood Hills home, the star made a rare statement denying the shocking rumors.

"I am not kidnapped," he told ET in March 2016. "No one should be worried about me."

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