"I Felt So Frustrated": Oprah Candidly Speaks About Her Thyroid Diagnosis And How She Got It Under Control

Date March 25, 2019 14:53

These days, it’s common for celebrities to speak openly about their health struggles. Oprah Winfrey, who has candidly shared her weight loss failures and triumphs, is also quite outspoken about the condition that makes it so much harder for her to maintain her goal weight.


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Oprah speaks about thyroid issues

Back in 2007, the media mogul started to feel totally out of sorts. She put on weight, felt tired and irritable, and her internal clock seemed to have gone haywire. She didn’t know what was going on.

After a string of appointments with different doctors, Oprah finally learned what was wrong: her thyroid was acting up.


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Her thyroid was overactive and then gradually became underactive. Oprah recalled in her piece for a 2009 issue of her magazine:

I had hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid that can speed up metabolism and cause weight loss—but of course didn't make me lose a single pound) and then gradually started moving into hypothyroidism (a sluggish metabolism that can cause fatigue and weight gain).


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What was the most upsetting thing for Oprah is her condition’s effect on her weight and her ability to exercise (due to heart rhythm issues caused by her dysfunctional thyroid, the host was wary of continuing her workouts).

She recalled how terrible she felt and how she used food for comfort:

It seemed as if the struggle I'd had with weight my entire adult life was now officially over. I felt completely defeated. I thought, "I give up. I give up. Fat wins." All these years I'd had only myself to blame for lack of willpower. Now I had an official, documented excuse.

The thyroid diagnosis felt like some kind of prison sentence. I was so frustrated that I started eating whatever I wanted—and that's never good. My drug of choice is food. I use food for the same reasons an addict uses drugs: to comfort, to soothe, to ease stress.


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On top of that, Oprah’s thyroid meds affected her mental state. She wrote in her piece:

Being medicated, though necessary, made me feel as if I were viewing life through a veil. I felt like an invalid. Everything was duller. I felt like the volume on life got turned down.

It took some time for the host to come to terms with her diagnosis, but she finally got in under control and feels much better now.


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How Oprah got her life back

The host didn’t let her thyroid condition take over her life. She's found a balance and now, follows a few simple rules that she gladly shares with others.

First, she indulges in her favorite foods occasionally, but always does so in moderation. Second, she no longer thinks that she has to be thin to look and feel pretty. Third, she doesn’t set an alarm and wakes up after getting enough much-needed rest.


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And the last but not least, she takes some me-time whenever needed and lives in the present.

Seems like a mindful approach to life!

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