LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Jamie-Lynn Sigler has been struggling with multiple sclerosis for the past 15 years.
The 34-year-old actress revealed the news in the Feb. 1 issue of People, telling the magazine she was diagnosed at age 20 but kept her condition a secret, in part because it was "hard to accept."
Sigler was initially symptom-free, but experienced escalating problems in the past decade. She can no longer run, can't walk for a long period of time without resting, and finds climbing stairs "annoying and frustrating" because she has "to think about every single step."
"Things are manageable now," she qualified. "It takes a fighting attitude to deal with all this. This disease can absolutely take over your life if you let it." The star tried a number of treatments, including injections and infusions, and now takes a twice-daily pill.
Sigler's announcement comes just days after her wedding to minor league baseball player Cutter Dyskstra. The actress married the 26-year-old athlete Jan. 16, and said her husband and their 2-year-old son Beau give her courage and support amid her struggle.
"I'm at a point in my life with my son, with my new marriage, it's a new me," she shared. "I don't want to hold a secret where it feels like I have something to be ashamed of or have something to hide. It's part of me, but it's not who I am."
"I don't know what's to come," she admitted. "But I'm excited for the first time in a long time. I've got my brain and my heart and I've prepared myself for everything that could happen. But I've got an amazing husband, the best son, and I hope that we can make more babies and just keep having fun. I'm the luckiest girl in the world."
Sigler is best known for playing Meadow Soprano on HBO series The Sopranos, which came to a close after six seasons in 2007. The actress thanked fans for their support Wednesday, tweeting, "This is a hard but liberating day for me, and I hope together we can help others and fight on."