Tyler James Williams’ wellness journey is a reminder to prioritize health

 ‘Abbott Elementary’ star Williams opens up about his journey to health and wellness following a Crohn’s disease diagnosis.

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Tyler James Williams just reminded us of the importance of being in tune with your body. 

In the latest issue of Men’s Health, the actor divulged his current wellness routine and opened up about how he developed a better relationship with his body following a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Williams also takes readers through the signs and near-fatal symptoms that ultimately led to the discovery of his disease, underscoring the importance of paying attention to your body and keeping up with regular doctors’ appointments, even as a young adult. 

Tyler James Williams Crohn's disease thegrio.com
Tyler James Williams in the January/February issue of Men’s Health magazine. (Photo credit: Aaron Okayama / Men’s Health)

In December 2017, after a busy year that included balancing a role on the hit crime drama “Criminal Minds” and traveling for the period film “Detroit,” Williams shared that his then 24-year-old body had unknowingly been put through the wringer. 

“I was really pushing my body to the limit. By the time December hit, it just crashed. Everything shut down,” Williams told Men’s Health.

He developed “searing stomach pain” and couldn’t keep anything down. Eventually, x-rays revealed his bowels were so inflamed and clogged with scar tissue that he had less than a one-centimeter opening in his terminal ileum, part of the small intestine near the pelvis. A gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Health diagnosed Williams as having a major flare-up due to Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that impacts over half a million people in the US. 

Williams underwent emergency surgery to remove six inches of his lower intestine before things turned worse and his intestines perforated. He reportedly went septic as doctors attempted to race him back into surgery, and ended up living on intravenous foods with an ostomy bag for several months. At one point during this ordeal, Williams weighed 105 pounds and could barely stand. 

Five years later, Williams has been revitalized. In the cover story, he discusses how wellness for him now includes easing inflammation and symptoms with cannabis; giving up Crohn’s triggers like alcohol, coffee, red meat; and switching from eating three huge meals a day to just a small lunch and dinner with lean protein and steamed vegetables, along with several shakes and green juice throughout the day.

However, ultimately, Williams had to change his relationship with working out and his body.

“The important thing for me, and those like me, to remember is that longevity is a big part of the game,” he said. “If you can’t [stay strong] and be healthy, there really is no point.”


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