Wendy Williams Opens Up About Battling Graves’ Disease In the Midst of Menopause
Ahead of Williams’ return to her self-titled show on Monday, the talk show host sat down with GMA to discuss how she’s focusing on putting her own health first from now on.
In an exclusive clip from GMA’s interview, which will air in full on Monday, Williams explained how women have an “unfortunate” tendency of taking care of everybody around them before they take the time to look after themselves.
“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,” Williams told GMA’s Amy Robach.
“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 continued, adding that “I’m not doing that anymore.”
“Wendy first,” she remarked.
Opening up to PEOPLE in this week’s issue, Williams reveals that she was first diagnosed with Graves’ disease — an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid — and hyperthyroidism 19 years ago, but that she’s feeling much better since taking some time for herself.
“I feel a hundred percent better than I was a few months ago. I had a storm going in my body is the best way I can explain it,” says Williams.
“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,” she adds.
Williams had previously revealed that she canceled the doctor’s appointment, which was originally scheduled for December, in favor of attending a business meeting.
Williams also tells PEOPLE that Dr. Oz will be joining her on Monday’s episode in order to shed some additional light on her health.
Although Williams explains that her health situation “was pretty bad” before she took a hiatus from the show, she hadn’t necessarily thought her symptoms had anything to do with her thyroid, adding that she thought her mood swings were being caused by her menopause.
For more on Williams’ health scare and how she’s bouncing back, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.
“With the menopause I wasn’t pointing a finger to any particular thing. I was just feeling like ‘All right, well I’m 53 and this is I guess how it’s supposed to be,’ ” she adds.
“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 continues, adding that her blood pressure had never been high before.
Williams tells PEOPLE, “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.”
“I love doing the show, but I love me more. So I’m going to take care of me, so I can be there for them,” she adds.
The Wendy Williams Show airs weekdays (check local listings).
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