Just a few days after she revealed her difficult battle with autoimmune diseases, Carrie Ann Inaba is opening up even more. Now The Talk cohost is explaining why she is actually thankful for her conditions, including fibromyalgia and Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA).

“Once I was diagnosed, it’s like I got my life back,” the 51-year-old beauty said of IDA, which she was diagnosed with six years ago, in an interview with People. “I am so grateful. There’s a blessing in some of these health conditions because it gives you a greater awareness of your own health. It makes you take care of yourself and realize it’s a very important component of a healthy lifestyle is to see the doctor regularly, make sure that you’re keeping up all your checkups and getting the right tests.”

Carrie — who got very emotional while discussing her battle with fibromyalgia on the April 30 episode of The Talk— admitted that life was much more difficult prior to getting these desperately-needed answers. “Some people start to feel like I did, like, ‘Oh maybe I’m just getting old, and this is sort of the beginning of the end,'” she explained. “I was like, in my early forties and said, ‘Is this what happens to you? Am I just going to get really lethargic and not be able to do anything and be incapacitated?’”

After a long time of suffering, the Dancing With The Stars judge finally consulted with her doctor and did a blood and iron panel. Carrie admitted that she was nervous after hearing the results, but felt much better upon finding out that nearly five million adults in the U.S. live with IDA every day.

Carrie Ann Inaba
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“I have all these autoimmune conditions, and I’m in a really bad flare,” Carrie said while she teared up while discussing her health ups and downs. “It sounds so silly, but people who have these like invisible illnesses — whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis, or a gastrointestinal thing … I feel so much shame when I go through these things, because I want to be what people see. And people see a healthy person, from the outside.”

The In Living Color actress continued, “I look healthy and I am really healthy — all things considered, but then I have these incredible sharp pains like today [the hairstylist] was doing my hair and he barely touched me but I thought he burnt me with a curling iron because my body is in a fibromyalgia flare.”

We are sending our best wishes your way, Carrie!