Zachary Roloff is suffering from a mystery illness. The 27-year-old revealed on a recent episode of Little People, Big World that he’s been dealing with nausea and headaches for the past several months, WFTV (Duluth) is reporting.
As a person with dwarfism – specifically, achondroplasia, this same type of dwarfism his mother, Amy has – Zach has been due for his share of medical problems.As Healthline reports, achondroplasia can cause a variety of health problems (although that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will; more on that in a couple of paragraphs). Some of those problems can include the following.
- Delays in walking and other motor skills.
- Hydrocephalus – so-called “water on the brain.”
- Frequent ear infections.
- Bowing of the legs.
- Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that can compress the spinal cord.
In fact, Zach had dealt with excess cerebrospinal fluid his entire life, having had a shunt installed when he was a small child. During the first season of the original run of Little People, Big World, back when Zach was only 12, he — and viewers — suffered a scare, documented in the episode “Zach’s Emergency.” In that episode, the shunt failed and had to be replaced.
Now, it appears that those very same symptoms of excess cerebrospinal fluid are showing up again in Zach, causing his mother Amy — who herself has been fortunate in that she hasn’t had any medical problems related to her dwarfism — to suspect that Zach’s shunt needs replaced again.
“It was devastating. If the shunt fails, it can be life threatening.”
Zach’s dad, Matt — who has had multiple surgeries to correct health problems related to his own dwarfism — agreed.
“You’ve got to get this solved now!”
The timing couldn’t have been worse for Zach: his wife, Tori, just had a baby — Jackson Kyle Roloff — and he didn’t want to add any additional stress to his wife.
“Now would be a terrible time for me to have to go into surgery. Tori has already gone through enough. I don’t want to frighten her.”
Later in the episode, Zach went to his doctor for some tests, but they came back inconclusive. He was told to keep a log of his symptoms so his doctor can make a more accurate diagnosis.
It bears noting that, due to the realities of TV production, months can pass between when a scene is shot and when you see it on your TV. That means that, whatever was happening to Zach in that episode of LPBW, he’s had at least a few months to deal with it. As of May 1, when he posted the photo below on Instagram, he was apparently well enough to travel internationally to participate in the Dwarf Games.
A post shared by Zach Roloff (@zroloff07) on
Now that Zach is a father, he needs to take his own health more seriously. More importantly, he and wife Tori will need to keep an extra-close eye on their son, Jackson Kyle. Jackson, like his father, has been diagnosed with achondroplasia. That means that he may very well face the same medical issues as his father has. Or, he may luck out and make it through life like his grandmother with few or no medical problems related to his dwarfism.
New episodes of Little People, Big World air on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on TLC.
[Featured Image by Zach Roloff/Instagram]