Wendy Williams Diagnosed with Graves' Disease

"This doesn't happen to everybody, but I happen to have Graves' disease".

Wendy Williams is taking three weeks off from her talk show. "A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition". The 53-year-old has Grave's disease and hyperthyroidism, both of which she has spoken about in the past.

On Oct. 31, Williams was celebrating Halloween by dressing up in an elaborate Statue of Liberty costume when she suddenly passed out in front of her studio audience and viewers at home. "But constantly on one, you know?" she said.

Wendy opened up about her battle with an overactive thyroid and Graves disease in July past year, when she revealed the disease affects the muscles in her eyes. The disease also affects your eyes and skin. Graves' Disease squeezes the muscled behind your eyeballs. "In many cases these antibodies can cause destruction of those cells". She has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease. "And intolerance for heat". And in about 30% of patients (including Williams), the disease also inflames the muscles and tissues around the eyes. Only five percent of those patients experience severe enough inflammation to cause severe to permanent vision problems.

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Other symptoms include nervousness, anxiety, irritability and mood swings. The disease is "7-8 times more common in women than men", according to the ATA.

Goiter: A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland that can cause the front of the neck to look swollen. The specific eye disease associated with Graves' disease is known as Graves' orbitopathy or Graves' ophthalmopathy. The test will check for levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, triiodothyronine, and thyroxine.

Graves' disease can be passed on genetically, though doctors and researchers have yet to be able to identify what the specific gene is for preventative screening. Hyperthyroidism due to Graves' disease is, in general, controllable and safely treated and treatment is nearly always successful. Patients should be treated first with beta-blockers. There are three different types of treatment for the disease, including medication, radioiodine therapy and thyroid surgery.

  • Carlos Nash