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Oprah's Health Wake Up Call Came from Her Thyroid

Oprah's Health Wake Up Call Came from Her Thyroid

Did you know that millions of women suffer from thyroid conditions? In the most recent issue of O Magazine, Oprah shares the tale of her wild health ride with thyroid issues.

She was plagued first by hyperthyroidism, which sped up her metabolism and prevented sleep. Oprah eventually "blew out" her thyroid and experienced classic symptoms of hypothyroidism: Her metabolism slowed and she felt sluggish and tired.

After discovering the cause of her health problems, Oprah decided this was a wake up call. She was determined, not only to get back in balance, but to highlight this particular women's health issue. According to The Wisdom of Menopause author Dr. Christiane Northrup, 25 percent of perimenopausal and menopausal women experience some kind of issue with their thyroid at some time, and most women don't know the cause of their deteriorating health.

I, for one, hope that with Oprah highlighting this issue that it receives more attention, both in research and educational outreach. You know Oprah knows how to stir things up! You can read much of the article, which explores the "break down to break through" moments of personal health, online at – hopefully it will help you learn to listen to your body.


Join The Conversation
Aminah-Akalea Aminah-Akalea 9 years
Oh i meant to say i haven't done anything as yet to see...i don't want to have cancer :( and go through all of that...honestly i don't think i would do anything.....probably just let it all be..what shall be will be...
Aminah-Akalea Aminah-Akalea 9 years
I can't believe people that hate Oprah can be or have any good sense,'s amazing all the other celebs that people "worship/idolize/obsessed" with and honestly they offer you nothing but interesting gossip and/or a pretty face, here you have someone who's being her, she's down to earth and yes people with money on a whole tend to be a certain way (alot worse that Oprah could ever be), but Oprah has such a nice personality and most of the time don't "shove" her views/opinions on people who tend to live differently than others (like those on the View, so evil!), she believes in sharing her experiences with other women and people who may be going through the same thing but not sure what to make of it or take it seriously (she opens up their eyes and give them knowledge) she really has great shows that you either end up crying/laughing/gaining knowledge of whatever kind/dancing etc., so much good information she's had on her show that's i'm sure that alot of Americans are still unaware of exist in their country or around the world, She GREAT and i love her! I try not to miss a show! Okay so Thyroids are cancerous/life threatening?...all of them, i was told to check for a swollen thyroid in my throat, i've done anything as yet though ....
estrela estrela 9 years
I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June of 2006 and I just want to say that having your thyroid checked is extremely important because thyroid problems are very common in women. I went to my doctor for my yearly women's health appointment and she noticed that my thyroid felt swollen. She did some blood tests, but they came back normal. Then I had a ultrasound done on my thyroid and they found a nodule (or growth) and this led to more tests which eventually let to my diagnosis of cancer. I had surgery to remove my throid and was treated with radioactive iodine. I have been cancer free for a year and I am currently taking synthroid daily. Luckily for me the cancer was found early and had not spread beyond my thyroid. I am very grateful for my dr to have found the lump and ordered tests to be done even though my blood test came back normal.
malzie89 malzie89 9 years
i had 80% of my thyroid removed last march when my dr found a golfball size tumor on turned out beign (sp?) but im on synthoid now and have a problem with my weight...i was just tested for cushings mabess..not a fun but thankfully i dont have it. my bloodwork showed i have now im on medication for that..ugh
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
It was supposed to get better? Hm. I am on a maintenance therapy so if I stop taking it, the TSH goes back up.
Wikipedia Wikipedia 9 years
Two years ago blood test showed that I was suffering very severe hypothyroidism, and took the medication cytomol (prescribed by doctor) for two weeks or something, and then it was supposed to just be better but I feel like I still have it.
allisonblue allisonblue 9 years
Wow! Thanks for your comment, 7kimba7 ... that's incredibly encouraging! :) I'm in grad school right now without health insurance, but I will see if there is an endocrinologist on the University Health Services staff. I hope things will get better! :)
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
Allisonblue... I would switch. My GP would not give the time of day so I went to an endocrinologist. He looked at my last 3 years of blood tests (how long I had been trying to get a dx) and was like yeah you definitely have Hashimoto's. He actually LISTENED to my symptoms instead of brushing me off and I am on the proper medication now and feel a million times better. GPs are excellent for cold/blue/sinus infections and more general illnesses, but I highly recommend seeing your ENDO.
manu2007 manu2007 9 years
I was diagnose with Hashimoto's Disease some years ago, most of my family has it, specially my mother. I am on medication but still sometimes I need to adjust it, so I take a little more or a little less depending on what the doctor tells me. I had an endocrinologist while I was in living in USA, but now I have my GP taking care of it and it is not the same. I can see that he does not have the same knowledge and when he touches my throught to check it is like a joke. I have to ask for an specialist so I can have proper care. I don't think that GPs are the best doctors unless it is for small things or for taking tests to see if there is something wrong, after that I would go to a specialist.
mabess mabess 9 years
I recently had my thyroid checked, but it turns out it's not my thyroid, but I could very likely have Cushings syndrome. It has to do with elevated cortisol levels, but has a lot of similar symptoms with thyroid problems. I have to get more tests done to be sure, but check it out on Wikipedia. It's really interesting.
allisonblue allisonblue 9 years
Hey, moon -- not to the best of my knowledge because my T4 levels are where they should be on the Synthroid. I've heard that other thyroid patients whose T4 levels have stabilized, but are still symptomatic, have success taking a T3 supplement as well -- however, my physician doesn't want to go that route (I hear this is not uncommon; why, I'm not sure). My physician is a GP, so I think I need to see a proper endocrinologist. Thank you for asking! :) :) :)
moonischasingme1 moonischasingme1 9 years
allisonblue, have they tried increasing your dose of synthroid??
allisonblue allisonblue 9 years
I'm hypothyroid also. It SUCKS. I take Synthroid, but I'm still symptomatic, and my physician refuses to consider prescribing another medication or adding a second medication. I've been on the same med for quite a while now, and I still struggle! (This is one of the reasons I practice yoga -- if I didn't, I would gain weight like crazy, and I think my circulation and energy levels would just grind to a permanent halt.) Hrmm. I guess it's time for a new physician -- one who will listen to me! Any other thyroid patients out there have any advice for dealing with this?
ShaenaLauren ShaenaLauren 9 years
I can't believe somebody hates Oprah (sorry uzbekgirlie)!! I think Oprah is amazing and a hero for women every where. Yes she does have tons of money, but she does alot of absolutely amazing things with it. I am hypo-thyroid as well. And personally it sucks!! I hate taking medicine and I have to take this pill everyday for the rest of my life or at least until modern technology finds a better option. I realized I had it when I was so tired and worn out all the time and countless hours of sleep wouldn't help, and my hair started to seem really thin, and regardless how much I worked out I wouldn't lose weight. It sucks. There are a lot of symptoms, so check them out. If you experience them it doesn't hurt to get checked out bc you feel much, much better once your thyroid level is regulated.
uzbekgirlie uzbekgirlie 9 years
I hate Oprah. I think she is full of it. And quite frankly she has a lot of money that will help her deal with this issue. So whatever.... Next.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
Oprah inspires in a lot of ways, and her ups and downs with her body and health is just another example of that.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
She had that doctor on yesterday discussing this, insomnia, anger and so much more-it was great!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
A person CAN have one, then the other through the course of a lifetime. I seem to recall pics of Oprah when younger and she was much thinner. Eating disorders can also effect your metabolism and thyroid conditions.
JLMac JLMac 9 years
diabetes as well as any auto immune disease increases your chances.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Having diabeties also greatly increases your chance of getting thyroid conditions as well...just so you all know...
moonischasingme1 moonischasingme1 9 years
I find it odd that she had hyperthyroidism at first because in general, these people can eat and eat and eat and never gain weight (like consuming 4,000 calories per day), but I know Oprah has suffered from weight issues. Weird.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
The best thing I ever did was had my thyroid checked. My doc actually suggested it. I've got Hashimoto's Disease and taking my Levoxyl every day helps with my sleep and energy level.
lrgoldman34 lrgoldman34 9 years
I have this - was diagnosed with hypothyroid in fourth grade and have taken medication (a synthetic form of what the body should naturally produce) every day since. My mom recognized the symptoms in me - weight gain (despite practically starving myself); always cold; brittle hair and nails; fatigue. Once I was Dx and started the medicine, I swear, I shot up about a foot and stayed practically the same weight. Women should really be on the lookout for these conditions - they can impact your health in many ways. PS it runs in families. Thanks for highlighting the info, fitsugar! Leslie
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