'Mama June' Reveals Potentially Fatal Diagnosis Amid Sobriety Quest

Mama June Shannon revealed in Friday's episode of Mama June: Road to Redemption that she was diagnosed with lymphedema and lipidemia. Shannon, 41, revealed the diagnosis during a conversation with her sister, Jo "Doe Doe" Shannon, 56, when explaining why she has to use a walker. The new season of Mama June: From Not to Hot is chronicling Shannon's efforts to stay sober.

"I've seen the walker thing in some of your video thingies," Jo told Shannon, reports InTouch Weekly. "So is it because of the drugs?" Shannon said this was not the reason. "A month ago, when I went to get my chin done, he said, 'It looks like you got [lymphedema],'" Shannon explained. During a confessional, Shannon explained that lymphedema is "where fat kinda makes some nodules up underneath your skin and your lymphatic system doesn't work right."

Shannon told her sister that the condition means her limbs are different measurements. Her left arm is 27 inches long, while her right arm is 21 inches. Her left leg is over 13 inches bigger than her right. Shannon is at "stage 3," she told her sister. "If I don't get took care of, I will die within six months."

After the episode aired, Shannon shared more details about her condition on Twitter. She was diagnosed with lymphedema and lipidemia in September 2020, she said. "A lot of women that [are] obese have this. It happens in every 9 women out of 10 so if [you are] having issues, women get checked," Shannon tweeted. "And I will say a lot of women are misdiagnosed with having cellulitis and is [sic] being obese. That's what I was told for years and meeting Dr. Schwartz in Beverly Hills educated me a lot. So [you] have to find to right [doctor]."

Lymphedema, or lymphatic obstruction, is incurable, but it can be controlled, according to Medical News Today. The long-term condition happens when excess fluid builds up in tissues, leading to swelling. It commonly happens in arms or legs. "The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system and vital for immune function. Fluid called lymph circulates within the lymphatic system. Lymphedema is typically caused by a blockage of this system," notes Medical News Today. Lipidemia happens when lipids, or fatty acids, are present in the blood, notes Vascular Health Clinics.

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Friday's episode featured Shannon's first visit with her sister since she finished her rehab stint. She also asked Jo to reach out to her daughters, Lauryn "Pumpkin" Efird, 21, and Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, 15, who were not answering Shannon's phone calls. The two were estranged from their mother while Shannon was working to get sober. New episodes of Road to Redemption air Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on WEtv.