After three weeks of “rest, rest and more rest,” Wendy Williams returned to The Wendy Williams Show following a doctor-mandated break.
Williams announced that her doctor ordered her to take a three-week break from her show because of symptoms related to her hyperthyroidism, and publicly revealing her Graves’ disease diagnosis.
Hyperthyroidism is characterized by an overactive thyroid, while Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition that triggers an overproduction of thyroid hormone, causing symptoms like eye bulging, weight loss, heart palpitations and anxiety. In February, Williams said her symptoms included sleeplessness, irritability, rapid heartbeat, trouble swallowing and heat intolerance.
Williams, 53, who lives in Livingston and grew up in Ocean Township, told the audience, “I had been having bats swimming in my head since maybe July, didn’t tell anybody — I figured well, it’s menopause. I had to miss this doctor’s appointment because there’s more important things to do. We put so many things ahead of ourselves and our health, it’s ridiculous.”
(In October, Williams fainted on live TV during a Halloween episode of her show, staggering and falling down in a Statue of Liberty costume. After the incident, she said she was overheated and dehydrated.)
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Williams’ network mate on Fox and a fellow New Jerseyan, visited the show to talk about the health conditions Williams is facing. Williams, who said she was diagnosed 19 years ago, tearfully recounted how her husband called Dr. Oz to assist the talk show host after her most recent bout of symptoms.
Her previous treatment involved undergoing a procedure during which she drank radioactive iodine to strip her thyroid of its overactivity. Williams then took a daily thyroid pill, she said. But after nearly two decades, that was no longer enough.
“There are probably 20 million women walking around in America right now who have thyroid issues andrelated problems,” Oz, 57, said, adding that Williams also had low folic acid and the lowest level of vitamin D he’d ever seen.
“It’s been a long three weeks, but necessary,” Williams told “Good Day New York” in an interview that aired Monday morning. In nine years, she said, she hadn’t taken a sick day.
Both Oz and Williams urged those watching to put their health before other concerns.
Williams said she used the break to revaluate her daily routine. “I pressed reset on my approach to everything in my life,” she said. “They have saved me from myself,” she said of her doctors. “I will never put anyone else before my own health. Health scares are real.”