Why Did Glenn Frey Die?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Musician Glenn Frey performs on stage during the After Hours Tour opening night at Town Hall on May 9, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Why did Glenn Frey die? (Getty)

Why did Glenn Frey die? What was his cause of death? Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles, died at 67 and his death took many fans by surprise. What happened to this music legend?

According to several sources, Frey had been having intestinal issues, TMZ reported. He eventually died of a combination of complications from pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute ulcerative colitis, his family said in a statement.

Frey had been battling intestinal issues for months, WSOC TV reported. He had dealt with the issues before, but this time they required major surgery and a long recovery period, his band back in November when Frey had to postpone tour dates due to surgery. In the last few days before his death, his condition took a turn for the worse. He died in New York City.

Many of his fans had no idea that the problems he was dealing with were this serious. The Eagle’s website said that he fought a courageous battle for the last several weeks, but ultimately succumbed.

Frey had rheumatoid arthritis for more than 15 years, Eagles manager Irving Azoff told TheWrap.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that may at first attack the small joints in the hands and feet, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints’ lining and can cause bone erosion, but may extend to the internal organs. For some people, rheumatoid arthritis can become very severe. According to the CDC, it can cause premature death or permanent disability. There’s no known cure. A more in-depth look at rheumatoid arthritis can be found on the CDC’s website.

Azoff said Frey’s “knees would hurt, his hands would hurt,” and the pain moved from joint to joint.

“The colitis and pneumonia were side effects from all the meds,” Azoff told TheWrap. “He died from complications of (ulcerative) colitis after being treated with drugs for his rheumatoid arthritis.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulcers and long-lasting inflammation. It can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening and has no cure, although some treatments can reduce the symptoms or even bring remission. The symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, severe cramping, bleeding, weight loss, and fatigue. Ulcerative colitis can become more severe if it leads to severe bleeding, a hole in the colon from infection, or rapid swelling such as with toxic megacolon when part of the colon becomes paralyzed. Surgery for this debilitating disease will typically involve removing the entire colon and rectum and adding a pouch to the small intestine. It’s unknown if this was the type of surgery that Frey was having.

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