Ashley Olsen’s Lyme disease is getting worse: ‘she’s having a difficult time’

Ashley Olsen

A few weeks ago, several outlets reported that Ashley Olsen was suffering from a severe, debilitating case of Lyme disease. In Touch Weekly (via Jezebel) reported how Ashley contracted the disease a few years ago from tick bites. She’s experiencing constant flare ups that are “affecting her day-to-day life,” and her condition is growing worse. Ashley was reportedly seeking alternative treatments in Europe, and it all sounded very scary. I don’t know if the story is true, but countless outlets ran with the tale, and Olsen’s camp never denied anything. A new account from Radar says Ashley’s case isn’t getting better:

Ashley Olsen‘s struggle with debilitating Lyme disease has taken a turn for the worse.

The petite 28-year-old is suffering from low energy and “she’s in a lot of pain,” an insider close to the star reveals to In Touch.

As reported, Olsen contracted the incurable disease, which is spread through ticks, several years ago.

“Her symptoms have gotten worse,” the insider notes. “She’s had to take a step back from her business. She used to be in the office all the time, but lately she’s often just not well, so she rests a lot at home. She’s really having a difficult time.”

Unfortunately, Olsen’s moods are all over the place as she battles the disease that often causes sufferers pain that feels like pins and needles or burning as well as brain fog and forgetfulness.

“She’s really struggling, and it comes out in anger — she’s at the point where she’s having a hard time dealing,” the insider says. “She just seems all-around cranky. Between her pain and her exhaustion, “she’s really having a difficult time.”

[From Radar Online]

Ugh. This source doesn’t understand what people go through when they have Lyme disease. Of course someone will be irritated and angry when they’re in constant pain, and doctors can’t do anything to help. Radar adds that Ashley is trying to manage the condition with physical therapy and exercise, but the results have been “a major disappointment.” I hope Ashley finds some relief soon. The realities of the disease can ruin lives and end careers. She’s so young (28), and a single tick can cause so much damage. Avril Lavigne recently revealed her own battle with the disease. She’s finally feeling a bit better. I hope the same happens for Ashley soon.

Ashley Olsen

Ashley Olsen

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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83 Responses to “Ashley Olsen’s Lyme disease is getting worse: ‘she’s having a difficult time’”

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  1. Kasia says:

    Jesus…I was bitten by a tick 2 weeks ago and in about one week I will be tested for Lyme disease…this story really got me scared. The worst part that I got this tick in the part of my country where people often get infected with this disease.

    • Bridget says:

      With Lyme disease, early detection is key because you can treat it. The cases that get really serious are because they didn’t find until way past the early detection window, and at that point treatment options are very limited. 2-3 weeks is still early, I think it’s after 6 weeks that it gets bad. Runners World did a big piece on Lyme disease last summer.

      • mimif says:

        Good post, Bridget. I used to live in a very heavily infected (Lyme’s) tick area and frequently got bit, and I’m disease free. You’ll be okay. Get your test and keep us posted!

      • Bridget says:

        Thanks! I’ll admit, I have a bit of a paranoia on the subject as well – I hate ticks to begin with. But it’s also important to remember that not all ticks are Lyme carriers, they have to be deer ticks. Plus, the Lyme bite is distinctive – it has a weird bullseye pattern.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        I visit an island each summer which is Tick Mordor, and am ultra paranoid about tick bites. The good news is that if you do a THOROUGH tick check each day, your chances are pretty good to avoid Lyme. The deer tick need to hang on for a certain period of time for you to get infected, so if you catch it within 24 hours, you are probably going to be fine. After that, just be on the lookout for that bullseye pattern, and if you see it, get to a doctor ASAP. It CAN be treated if it is caught quickly.

      • qwerty says:


        Tha lack of bull’s eye rash does not guarantee you haven’t been infected. If it’s there, you have Lyme 100%. If it’s not, you can still have it.

      • nb says:

        Just a heads up that not everyone gets the bulls eye pattern from an infected tick. If you live in an area with a lot of reported cases of Lyme disease and you get bit by one it’s best to get tested either way, whether you get the rash or not.

        Good luck to you Kasia, I’m sure you’ll be ok but I’m glad you’re getting tested!

      • lucy2 says:

        Agreed – I know a few people who got it but caught it early, and are completely fine. The few I know who really suffered from it didn’t catch it for a long time.

    • Birdie says:

      Hope everything goes well for you.

    • Shambles says:

      Good luck! *big hugs*
      I’ll by sending lots of good energy your way. I really hope everything turns out well for you. I can only imagine how much this story must have scared you. To someone who hasn’t even been bitten, this disease sounds absolutely terrifying. I know that doesn’t help at all though, so instead, let’s talk about cats or something.

      ETA: many thanks to Bridget for that helpful and informative comment. That makes me feel less disturbed by the entire idea of Lyme disease, and I’m sure it makes Kasia feel better.

    • Triple Cardinal says:

      Good luck with your test!

    • Irishserra says:

      Good luck with your test, I hope everything turns out well.

      For what it’s worth, I recently watched the documentary “Doctored” about the chiropractic industry and their fight to be perceived as a valid niche in the medical industry and the medical industry’s fight to discredit chiropracty. I noticed there were multiple references to Lyme disease and how chiropracty was able to really help ones suffering from it whereas conventional medicine had fallen short. When I say recently, I mean within the past month or so and it was late at night and I have terrible memory, so I can’t offer more detail than that but I would suggest taking a peek at it.

    • Liberty says:

      Sending good thoughts your way.

    • Pinky says:

      Best of luck to you. To everyone: if you live in (or have been in) heavily wooded areas–or even just in tall grass during the day, take a shower at night! You’re more likely to find a tick on you when you’re stark naked showering than if you’re just changing for bed. And always keep an eye out for any bullseye-like rash. Early treatment is key.

      • qwerty says:

        Also, use sprays with deet. Even just on your shoes and legs, tick don’t fall from trees – they live in grass and short plants.

    • rudy says:

      Take the antibiotics NOw.

      The tests can be wrong and it is much much better to catch :Lymes early BEFORE it goes into your brainstem.

      I had Lymes. Took the antibiotics and am fine. **knock on wood**

      I was lucky – I had a high fever. Did not see the rasb because it was on the back of my knee but I had a rash.

    • phlyfiremama says:

      If there is ANY question, keeping in mind that tests are unfortunately very frequently false negatives, than going on a round of prophylactic Doxycycline is called for. Once it moves into the chronic stage it gets MASSIVELY more difficult to treat, and make your MD also screen for Babesia and Bartonella (which are the 2 most common co-infections). Ticks are natures dirty needles; they can infect you with multiple diseases AS SOON as they bite. The “bullseye rash” actually shows up in less than 50% of the cases~unfortunately, too many medical and lay people are entirely misinformed and believe that this is the ONLY criteria. While a bullseye rash IS definitively LD, it doesn’t always appear, and even if a rash develops it might not be a bullseye. This is NOT something to mess around with~if there is ANY question, take the doxy for about 4 weeks.

      • qwerty says:

        Preach. Had chronic Lyme, treated it for 2+ years. Would definitely take antibiotics as sson as I saw a bite, regardless of test result.

    • Jag says:

      Depending upon where you live, make sure you are pee-tested, in addition to blood tested. Here in the U.S., the only good blood test is by a private company, if memory serves me. The CDC says that the standard blood test is so inaccurate that one might as well flip a coin – and that’s what happened to me. My blood test didn’t show that I had Lyme, so I was untreated for almost a year. Because of that, I have chronic symptoms. Some people have to have their blood tested over a dozen times before it shows correctly, while pee testing shows antibodies pretty much right away. (I still have yet to be pee tested, but have never been to a Lyme-treating doctor.)

      With all of her money, it seems that she could be put on the long-term, i.v. antibiotics that help many people, and that she could afford to see the Lyme specialists around the country. She could also get cannabis to help her, too, depending upon where Ashley lives.

      I hope you don’t have Lyme and I wish you both well.

      • phlyfiremama says:

        Igenix, in California, has the most accurate testing. The problem with most tests~the western blot, ELISA~are that tney aren’t sensitive or specific for the sub species of LD. On top of that, it can “hide” in the body and evade detection, as well as sero converting back & forth between IgG & IgM.

  2. Bridget says:

    The Olsen twins tend to be so locked down, I side eye reports on them. Especially since they hide and misdirect.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah…there were always rumors that MK’s ED narrative was a massive cover-up for a bad drug addiction. No idea whether that was true or not, just throwing it out there.

      • Shambles says:

        As far as MK’s drug addiction, I tend to believe that. If you look at her Met Ball pictures, she has the look of someone who’s been through a meth addiction, a la Fergie (no shade, just trying to think of an example). I think the neck is very telling.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah those pictures were really startling.
        It’s bad when your twin sister who suffers* from a debilitating, chronic disease looks healthier than you.


      • Bridget says:

        Like many folks of a certain age, I will never forget her shadiness about Heath Ledger’s death.

        And correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t think that drug rehabs like The Cirque where MK went don’t allow people to attend for reasons other than drug addiction?

      • Kitten says:

        Oh the Ledger sh*t is SO sketch… so, so sketch.

        And yep, Cirque Lodge specializes in drug and alcohol rehab.

      • littlestar says:

        I was coming here to say the same thing, that I’m taking this with a grain of salt due to MK’s drug addiction being touted as an “eating disorder”.

        I feel bad for questioning it but I don’t know, these two are so odd. I feel bad for them, I don’t think they’ve had normal lives and I don’t think they know how to live normal lives now even out of the spotlight.

      • qwerty says:

        Could’ve been both… ED and addiction can go together. Lainey had a blind last autumn that said she & Sarkozy are hooked on oxy.

    • Cindy says:

      What is her connection to Heath Ledger?

      • Queen says:

        Wasn’t it her apartment he was staying in when he died? The person who found him called her security before calling 911. That’s how I’m remembering the situation but correct me if I’m wrong!

      • Bridget says:

        When Heath was found, MK was the first person called and she sent her private security guards to the apartment. It was very weird. And she refused to comply with the investigation into his death.

      • qwerty says:

        The apartment was his but the masseuse who found him unresponsive called MK instead of 911 first, asking what to do. He had her on speed dial… and from what I understand, she called MK twice before calling the ambulance which she did around half an hour after she entered his bedroom. WTF.

      • qwerty says:

        Here is the link

        My guess would be that she sent her guys to clean up the stuff he was taking so it couldn’t be connected to her/her dealer/whomever. WHY wouldn’t you tell the masseuse to call the ambulance the second she told you he’s unresponsive?? Especially since they were friends and she must have known the state he was in.

  3. blue marie says:

    Aww, my uncle has it and it’s very painful for him. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to deal with that disease.

    • mimif says:

      bwoo mawee!

      Sorry about your uncle, that sucks. It’s astounding how prevalent Lyme’s is these days, and so many people aren’t diagnosed or misdiagnosed as well. Both my neighbor and his son contracted it, the father ended up having major complications that eventually led to his death, and his son struggles so badly with it. He’s on on a constant rotation of antibiotics and constantly in pain, it’s so sad to watch.

      • Kitten says:

        Are you avoiding me? I left you a message on the Swift thread about your boyfriend, who’s obviously still in love with me.

        Sorry to interrupt, Blue. Mimif and I have some unfinished bidness to attend to.

      • blue marie says:

        Hey Mimi! Yeah, it really is. I’m sorry about your neighbors. Lyme Disease is no joke, it can seriously mess you up. Any time I come back from woods I always, always do a full blown body scan.

      • mimif says:

        Did somebody say something? DO I HAVE A BOYFRIEND?!

        @blue, this is a terrible story (and I am not promoting irresponsible use of alcohol as a method of tick control), but one time, you know, at band camp, I drank quite a lot of some sort of delicious adult beverage and was bitten by a tick. It immediately died. Like, immediately. Like Frontline Cuervo for ticks! Shortly afterwards, my boyfriend bought me a keychain breathalyzer from Costco as a present…

      • Kitten says:

        Ladies-I’m talking serious BOYFRIEND DRAMZ here and all you can focus on is Lyme disease. SMH

        May your Pixie Bob bite you in your sleep.

        *slugs Jose Cuervo*

      • mimif says:

        I responded I responded WHERE IS mark .?!

      • Kitten says:

        I bet he’s busy defending menfolk…somewhere out there, over the rainbow….

      • phlyfiremama says:

        Claritin~yes, the over the counter allergy medicine~has been associated with killing off the LD spirochete~it interferes with the bacteria’s ability to use manganese to stay alive, which effectively “starves” the bacteria. Antibiotics are ONLY effective during the actively reproducing stage; when they are encapsulated & burrowed in various body tissues the ABX are virtually useless. I am monitoring and treating several patients who are about to start the Salt/Vit C protocol.

  4. Jenna says:

    If this is true, I feel really badly for her. Lyme is terrible. I had a close friend struggle with it and it really slowed her down, to say the least. She wound up taking an extended leave of absence from work and then slowly disappeared over the next couple of years. I’ve actually not been able to contact her for the past few years: she doesn’t answer email, phone calls, isn’t active on facebook…nobody knows what has happened to her. I still think about her and hope she has gotten good treatment and moved onto something better.

  5. InvaderTak says:

    How horrible. I hope she finds something that works for her.

  6. Birdie says:

    My cat has ticks basically every day, I am very scared of Lyme. How can I protect myself?

  7. Annie says:

    They look so different now. A bit odd sometimes. Their faces changed so much. I feeling they’re aging prematurely, and fast. They’re only 28 but they look much older. I don’t know what’s up but they’re such a mystery to me

  8. Cindy says:

    In that last photo with the two in front of the steps, is ashley on the left?

    I don’t know much about lyme disease but understand it can be debilitating.

  9. Luca76 says:

    This happened to a good friend of mine. She couldn’t work for months and then just as she was finally better she ended up needing back surgery.

    Yeah that sucked.

  10. layla says:

    A close friend of mine suffers absolutely debilitating flares up from Lyme disease.

    She can no longer work and simple day to day (unassisted) functioning is impossible.
    She can’t get out of bed.
    She can’t leave her house.
    She can’t go up or down one or two stairs.
    She can’t lift anything.
    She suffers from absolute sensory overload and her body shuts down. Her body goes into toxic overload and she becomes allergic to EVERYTHING.
    And the lost goes on…..

    It’s absolutely terrifying and I feel for anyone who suffers from this disease.

    • qwerty says:

      Sound like she’s been sick for a while before treatment and has lots of spirochetes in her body (a high spirochete load, if you will). The flare-ups are caused by the toxins lyme bacteria release when they are killed… the more of them, the worse the reaction. But she probably knows that. What is she on? I was on antibiotics for months but they didn’t do much after the initial improvement so I switched to herbals (Buchner protocol) and it did the trick. He has an awesome book that describes how Lyme works and gives many solutions to specific problems caused by Lyme, as well as fighting the infection in general.

  11. kri says:

    I had no idea she had Lyme disease. It’s awful. My cousin contracted it when he was 6. It is very difficult at times. I hope she feels better soon. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

  12. meme says:

    they no longer look the same but I still can’t tell which one is which. regardless, I hope she feels better. I didn’t realize Lyme disease could be so bad.

    • iheartjacksparrow says:

      They aren’t identical twins so I would expect them to look differently as they age.

      • Pinky says:

        They are identical. Just because there were two placentas, doesn’t mean squat. The only way you’d know they weren’t identical would be if you saw their DNA test.

      • Susan says:

        Mary Kate and Ashley have stated multiple times they are fraternal twins.

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      Ashley is the one who looks healthier and younger. Mary Kate’s personal issues caused her to age prematurely and it’s now easy to tell it’s her by looking at her neck and skin. She’s the one on the left in the last picture – her neck has deep lines of someone 15 years older.

  13. Talie says:

    More people must suffer from this than I realized. Yolanda Foster looks like she’s been to Hell and back — she just doesn’t look well.

  14. Yoo Hoo says:

    I question this because as someone else said, they are so private and locked down, I don’t know how this much information would leak. I think the timing is suspicious since everyone was just talking about how terrible she looks after the Met Gala and everyone knows they are heavily into drugs. Lyme disease is getting a lot of press lately with Avril Levine and the Housewife who has it. I think this might be a deflection for whatever is really going on with her.

    • qwerty says:

      People were talking about MK’s appearance. This is about Ashley. Plus I don’t think most people think Ashley’s heavily into drugs.

  15. Amy M. says:

    This is exactly why I won’t wander past the tree line in my parents’ yard. We have lots of deer that come and go (much to my father’s chagrin since they eat all of his beloved plants) and with that come ticks. We used to find them on my dog all the time because he was always wandering into the trees to chase his tennis ball. He was actually diagnosed with Lyme’s disease a year before he died–which surprised me he already hadn’t contracted it previously with the amount of ticks we found on him. I don’t know if it contributed to his death but I kind of doubt it. He was 15 when we had to put him to sleep when the vet found a tumor on his abdomen.

    So yeah you won’t find me traipsing around tall grass or wandering around heavily wooded areas (not to mention we have tons of poison ivy in my parents’ backyard too).

    • qwerty says:

      There are dog collars that protect them against ticks. Lyme, and especially Babesia, can be deadly to dogs.

      Just saying, I don’t think it could cause a tumour in your dog in particular.

  16. Trillion says:

    a note that may be of interest: Kathleen Hannah also suffers Lyme Disease.

  17. Liberty says:

    Author Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, etc.) suffers from it too. It’s an awful thing.

    She talked about it in the NYT a couple of years ago, re the issues of diagnosis and even insurance coverage, and also discusses it on her site:

  18. oneshot says:

    Ashley always looked like the healthier, more grounded of the twins, which is why I was so surprised at the way she looked at the Met ball. Sad to hear she’s struggling with a horrible chronic illness like this.

  19. Amy M. says:

    Author Meg Cabot does too (of Princess Diaries fame).

  20. aang says:

    My dog gets a vaccine for Lyme. Do they have one for people?

  21. Melibea says:

    Lyme disease is no joke! I have a friend who has it and he is always in a lot of pain and even limping lately so I feel for her.

  22. BooBooLaRue says:

    So Lyme disease is a total bitch, but I have to wonder when in her sheltered life did she ever get close to a tick? I mean that would presume she was outside in a park with her dog or even, shudder…in the country. Do they ever leave NYC?

    • Bridget says:

      I wondered the same thing. She doesnt exactly seem like the type to spend much time outdoors.

  23. Tracy says:

    Lyme Disease is hell, and is still very under diagnosed. The short answer is if you find a tiny black tick embedded anywhere on you, just remove it immediately with your fingers. And get an RX for at least 14 days of antibiotic Doxycycline immediately. Demand it. The “bullseye” rash around the ite doesn’t appear in many infected people, so don’t wait for it. Just get 14 days of Doxy as a preventative. It’s easy to knock it out if you get it right after you’re bitten.

    That said….I just want to get both the Olsen girls a hot shower and a hairbrush. They always look like they just woke up and they’re hair is always a mess.

    • Jess says:

      Actually, don’t try to pull it out with your fingers. You’re likely to leave the head in. Use tweezers.

  24. Sara says:

    Just looked up how common it is here in CT. Apparently one of the highest amounts of reports in the country…nice…

  25. phlyfiremama says:

    I am a lyme disease literate Acupuncturist livimg in Houston, TX. Several things about LD: it almost ALWAYS presents with multiple co-infections that require different treatments than doxycycline, it can be transmitted sexually and in utero, studies have shown that one of Claritin’s metabolites can KILL the LD spirochete by interfering with the bacteria using manganese~ effectively “starving” it, and it is often called “the great imitator” due to its ability to mimic multiple diseases. If someone is struggling with getting accurate diagnosis for things such as fibromyalgia, RA, chronic fatige, and other autoimmune issues you darn well can BET that LD is a factor. It is one of the fastest growing epidemics in the world, found on every continent and island, as well as every state and city, in the world. It is often called a “silent epidemic” since ALL of the information most MD’s have been taught is dangerously inaccurate. There is an organization called that is a fantastic resource. Anyoneis also welcome to contact me for further information. Look for Fusion Acupuncture on FB and message me if you need more info!

    • Zizi says:

      CLaritin? This interests me…

    • MAC says:

      it can not be transmitted sexually to a partner
      Lyme survivor since 2005. Because it has almost killed me I use the term survivor. I live with it and the damage everyday.
      Education of Lyme is important, please do not give false info.

  26. Zizi says:

    I had lyme disease. I went to one of the leading specialists in the country and after years of therapies and a complete diet and lifestyle change, I am free of it. It is HELL. Everyone thinks you are a hypochondriac and very few people understand that there are sooo many symptoms and offshoot illnesses that come from it. This is a story that I can actually have a lot of compassion for.