- Wendy Williams was diagnosed with Graves’ disease.
- The famed talk show host has been battling the condition since at least 2018.
- She once fainted on camera, prompting concerns about her health.
Wendy Williams first revealed her diagnosis of Graves’ disease in 2018, and she admitted at the time that she hadn’t been watching out for her own health when it happened. “We, as women, particularly if — we have families, you know, we’re taking care of children, we’re taking care of, you know, home, our husbands, we take care of everybody but ourselves,” she told Good Morning America at the time, per PEOPLE.
“And it’s really unfortunate. And that — that is something that has no socioeconomic thing to it. No matter what — no matter what the woman’s status is, it seems like we’re all in the same boat,” she said. “I’m not doing that anymore. Wendy first.”
It’s important to note that when Wendy first learned of her diagnosis, she took the opportunity to speak out publicly and raise awareness for the serious condition. Here’s everything to know about Wendy Williams’ battle with Graves’ disease, from her initial diagnosis to how she’s doing today.
Wendy Williams was diagnosed with Graves’ disease.
In February of 2018, Wendy opened an important public discussion about Graves’ disease. “My thyroid has been totally cattywampus and that is the eye thing that you all have been seeing. You caught it before I did,” she told the audience during her show, per CBS News. She also explained that her hyperthyroidism is connected to the diagnosis. “My thyroid, my hyperthyroid is attached also to Graves’ disease,” she explained. “Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind your eyeballs and so that’s the reason for — ” she then opened her eyes wide to explain what that meant.
At the time, she also admitted that she’d been ordered to take a three-week hiatus from the show by her physician. She’d already missed one, noting that she’d been feeling like she had “birds swimming around my head, like a cartoon” ahead of the diagnosis. “I’ll be back in two. I’m not an heiress,” she quipped. “Who’s gonna pay my bills?”
What Is Graves’ disease?
Graves’ disease is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones. Symptoms can include irritability, bulging eyes, weight loss, anxiety, tremors in the hands, fatigue, and heat sensitivity. Wendy had admitted on her show that she felt stressed out and highly irritable leading up to her diagnosis.
How Long Has Wendy Been Sick?
As noted earlier, Wendy was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in 2018. She noted in her Good Morning America interview that year that menopause had obfuscated her symptoms. “With the menopause I wasn’t pointing a finger to any particular thing,” she told GMA‘s Amy Robach. “I was just feeling like ‘All right, well I’m 53 and this is I guess how it’s supposed to be.'”
She also noted that when she had passed out publicly during her show on Halloween of 2017, she’d been found to have elevated blood pressure. “Even in October when I passed out on Halloween, that particular day when the EMTs got there I had high blood pressure, which I never have high blood pressure,” she said. “My blood pressure is always either perfect or low. It’s never high. But it was high and the lack of sodium so they were filling me with electrolytes, just fill, fill, fill, fill. I can’t believe that I got up after the commercial break and closed out the show.”
How Is Wendy Doing Today?
“I feel a hundred percent better than I was a few months ago,” Wendy told PEOPLE in 2018. “I had a storm going in my body is the best way I can explain it. It came from me neglecting my six month endocrinology appointment. I have Graves disease and hyperthyroid. If you have one you don’t necessarily have to have the other, but I have both, and I was diagnosed with both 19 years ago.”
Her full commitment to health began before the end of her show in 2022. “I love doing the show, but I love me more,” she told PEOPLE. “So I’m going to take care of me, so I can be there for them.” In October of 2022, it was reported that she had left a rehab facility after two months of treatment for “overall health issues.” “We are happy to report that Wendy Williams is home and healing after being in a wellness facility since August,” Wendy’s rep, Shawn Zanotti, told Page Six in a statement at the time.
“Wendy is excited about the road ahead and looking forward to releasing her many projects,” the statement read. “Thank you to my fans for your love, support and many prayers, I am back and better than ever.”