The Truth About Jet Li's Illness

Jet Li is an undisputed martial arts superstar who has given the world some of the greatest fighting moves (and movies) in existence. Yet, recent years have brought worrying whispers that insinuate all might not be well in the Li-land. As South China Morning Post notes, the actor has admitted to battling some pretty unnerving health troubles, and some 2018 pictures of him showed Li looking far older and frailer than a 55-year-old lifelong top athlete who starred in Expendables 3 just a few years earlier should have any right to be. What mystery disease could do such damage to a man? What's the truth about Jet Li's illness?

Jet Li is battling with hyperthyroidism

Jet Li is indeed struggling with an illness. According to South China Morning Post, the martial arts superstar is suffering from hyperthyroidism, a condition that "accelerates the body's metabolism" and, if untreated, can lead to some pretty awful stuff, including osteoporosis and even heart failure. Li is actually not the first high-profile celebrity with thyroid problems, as musicians Missy Elliot and Rod Stewart, model Gigi Habib, President George H.W. Bush and Oprah Winfrey have all reportedly struggled with thyroid issues. 

Apart from his thyroid gland ailments, which South China Morning Post tells us he first revealed in 2010, Li is also suffering from other, unspecified illnesses and ailments. He also can't work out like he used to, because he is taking medication to keep his heart beat in check. Li laments this has led to significant weight gain. Oh, and on top of all of this, the cumulative effects of the innumerable injuries Li has amassed over his decades in the spin-kicking business have started to catch up with him. His spine, in particular, has been giving him trouble. Still, though Li can't practice he used to, he remains optimistic. As the man himself puts it: "I'm in pain but I'm not in a wheelchair yet."