Suzanne Somers has bared a horrific, nearly fatal episode in her life — revealing how the simple act of moving into a new home came close to killing both her and her husband.
And the ageless blonde bombshell — author of the new book "Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick,"
published by Harmony — said their frightening brush with death could happen to anybody at any time.
The beloved "Three's Company" star and health guru told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
that the nightmare began after the home she shared with husband Alan Hamel burned down in a wind-driven wildfire that swept through Malibu in January 2007.
"We moved into a leased house up on the hill in the interim. We're there four years and during those four years we both started getting sick," Somers said.
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"My husband started getting sinus [problems] all the time — red eyes and watery eyes and sneezing, sneezing — and then he started having facial spasms and grimacing, [with] an inability to control it.
"I'm rather thin and … my stomach would blow up like a basketball at the end of the day and I'd think, what did I eat? And then I ended up in the hospital [with] anaphylactic shock and it was diagnosed as cancer."
Doctors were so concerned they wanted to start Somers on chemotherapy the very same day. They also said her husband had pre-Parkinson's disease symptoms.
But Somers decided to look closer at their illnesses — and that's when she discovered the numbing truth.
"It turns out they were wrong.... It was black mold," she said.
"Under our house that we leased, there was an unfinished room with standing water like 'Little Shop of Horrors.' The black mold, the worst kind, stachybotrys, was climbing up in the drywall, up through the air conditioning ducts, and making us deathly sick.
"So once we discovered what it was we had to leave that house like bandits and again leave our stuff.... You can't take the moldy stuff with you."
And Somers, who describes mold problems and how to protect against them in "Tox-Sick," said the issue is more common than people believe. One area hit hard by mold was the Sandy Hook area of New Jersey, which was walloped by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, she said.
Just as alarming is the fact that sickness from mold can also disguise itself as other diseases — diseases that are worsened by what one eats, Somers told Steve Malzberg.
"When you have bloating and cramping and you don't know what it is — mold. Mold, candida yeast, fungus [and] cancer all are similar organisms," she said.
"They thrive on one thing and that is sugar. So it didn't matter. Like one day I had a date and that's when I started piecing it together, a date, which is a healthy food, lots of selenium, sugar.
"The little organisms in there go, yes! A 'Happy Meal!' And they multiply 52 million times in a 24-hour period. So that was the basketball [in my stomach]."
Somers said ADD, ADHD, OCD, bipolar issues, schizophrenia, asthma, autism, childhood cancer, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autoimmune lupus and fibromyalgia, can all be associated with chemical contamination.
"It goes on and on and nobody is thinking about where it's coming from and this book follows the pathway of how the chemicals come in and get into the [gastrointestinal] tract, eat holes through the barrier wall," she said.
"And then it leaks out into the bloodstream, goes looking for organs of opportunity — the brain being the favorite target because they like to live in fat and the brain is 65 percent fat.
"A statistic that we have to be so alarmed about, the childhood cancer rate has risen since 1950, listen to this, 67.1 percent in children. They are born toxic now, according to the Environmental Working Group."
And if a woman is toxic, her baby will be born toxic, added Somers, whose book includes a protocol for detoxing.
"It's what we did. My husband no longer has the facial tics, he doesn't have the sinus, I don't have the basketball."
Somers — who recently spent five weeks on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" with dance partner Tony Dovolani, before finishing in ninth place — called the experience, "the hardest thing I've ever done in my whole life."
"I can do the salsa at a wedding with two tequilas and I'm really good at it. The salsa, 'Dancing with the Stars' style, is precise and you have to close your feet and bend your knee and straighten your leg and pull up your knee cap and hold your core in, and I was like, ahhhh," said Somers, who dedicated her performance to John Ritter, her late co-star on "Three's Company."
But at the age of 68, with one son, two step-kids and six grandchildren in her family, the energetic blonde performer remains in tiptop condition, thanks in part to a daily regimen of exercise and healthy eating.
Her popular exercise product, the ThighMaster, has now been reinvented in a new model called the ThighMaster Vibrato.
"This one vibrates and that's good for lymphatic stimulation and it feels good if you're working out. You can massage your neck and things," said Somers, who described how the ThighMaster revitalized her career.
"The Thighmaster has been so good to me because you know I was fired from "Three's Company" because I asked to be paid commensurate with the men. I was on the No. 1 show with the highest demographics.
"They wanted to make an example, so no other female would have the audacity. So I couldn't get a job after that. Can you imagine going from No. 1 to flat line. I was personified as a troublemaker."
But Somers, whose hit sitcom chronicled the adventures of three single roommates, was determined to bounce back after being replaced by actress Priscilla Barnes.
"It was [my 'Three's Company' character] Chrissy Snow they thought they were negotiating with, it wasn't right. So [ThighMaster] came our way and I said to my husband, 'If I front this product and we ended up owning the product, will that ruin my career?'" she said.
"And he was very blunt and said, 'at this point, Suzanne, you don't have a career. So if you win it's a big deal' … So anyway, we've sold over 10 million of these.
"It's a great gift, it's great fun, and actually works. I can crack walnuts with my thighs. Be careful."
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