Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Graves’ Disease
Wendy Williams revealed Wednesday (Feb. 21) that she's been diagnosed with Graves' disease and will be taking a three-week hiatus from her self-titled show to focus on her health.
"My doctor has prescribed ... are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation," she told the audience of her Wednesday episode. "What? Who are you? I was pissed."
According to the Mayo Clinic, Graves' is an autoimmune disorder that causes the overproduction of thyroid hormones, which can lead to symptoms including anxiety, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, puffy eyes, and intolerance to heat. Williams was previously diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which also causes excessive thyroid production.
The news arrives after Williams cancelled several shows last week to recover from flu-like symptoms. She also made headlines last Halloween when she fainted live on-air while wearing a Statue of Liberty costume. At the time, she told viewers she had merely overheated, and that, though the experience was terrifying, experts concluded she wasn't in any medical danger.
"I’m a 53-year-old middle-aged woman going through what middle-aged women go through, if you know what I mean," she said. "The costume got hot. Right before passing out, I felt like I was in the middle of a campfire.”
On Wednesday's show, Williams joked that she'd be "back in two [weeks]" because she needs to "pay [her] bills," but also used the opportunity to remind women to put their health first — something that, as a working mother, Williams knows the struggle of firsthand. She previously dismissed her symptoms as stress from focusing on her son Kevin‘s senior year of high school and applying to colleges, as well as her work. “What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good,” she said.
Williams' representative told CNN she will not have a fill-in host and that they will rerun old episodes during her absence.
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