Wendy Williams shocked viewers with her graves’ disease diagnosis. As a result, she admitted on Feb. 21 that she will take a 3-week hiatus from her show.
Wendy Williams, 53, announced on February 21 that she will take three weeks off from her syndicated talk show due to graves’ disease and overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. Wendy’s announcement came after she had experienced “flu-like symptoms,” which caused her to take three days off prior to her diagnosis. After the host’s shocking revelation, questions about the graves’ disease flooded the internet. — Here’s five facts about the disorder.
1. What is graves’ disease? — Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid; a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excessive hormones, otherwise known as overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. It is one of the most common of all thyroid problems, and is the leading cause of overactive thyroid. Graves’ disease is named after Robert Graves, an Irish physician, who described the disorder about 150 years ago.
2. What causes the disorder? — The exact cause is unknown, however, it is triggered by a malfunction in the body’s ability to fight off diseases, or immune system. Genetic and environmental factors may also trigger the disorder.
3. What are the symptoms of graves’ disease? — [via Mayo Clinic]
- Anxiety and irritability
- A fine tremor of your hands or fingers
- Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
- Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
- Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
- Change in menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
- Frequent bowel movements
- Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy)
- Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves’ dermopathy)
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
4. How can the disorder be treated once diagnosed? — Graves’ disease can be diagnosed in a number of ways including, a physical exam, blood sample, radioactive iodine uptake, ultrasound, or imaging tests. As for treatment? — Doctors may choose to conduct radioactive iodine therapy, prescribe anti-thyroid medications or beta blockers. Surgery could be an option of treatment to remove all or part of the thyroid. Lifelong remedies include lessening stress, eating well and exercising, and taking care of your overall health. The goal of treatment is to restore thyroid hormone levels to their correct balance and to relieve discomfort.
5. Who is affected by graves’ disease? — Graves’ disease can affect anyone, but is more common among women and before the age of 40.
WebMD and the Mayo Clinic were referenced to create the content in this article.
HollywoodLifers, do you know anyone with graves disease?