Wendy Williams Goes on 3-Week Hiatus Over Graves' Disease Diagnosis
“What I want to say to women, more than men, is: Stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good," the talk-show host told viewers while discussing her autoimmune disease on Wednesday.
Wendy Williams has announced that she is taking a hiatus from The Wendy Williams Show over her diagnoses with Graves’ disease.
“As women, when we have families, we always put everything before us, including business,” the talk-show host said during Wednesday's episode (below), explaining that she had canceled an appointment with her endocrinologist in December to carry on with a business meeting. Though Williams attributed her bodily changes to the stress of focusing on her son’s senior year of high school, she said she was finally able to see her doctor Tuesday, who prescribed her hiatus. The autoimmune disease affects the thyroid; she also suffers from hyperthyroidism.
Williams also addressed speculation that something was wrong after she appeared to have twitchy eyes on-air in a previous broadcast. “Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind the eyeballs,” Williams explained. Williams emphasized that the disease is joined by other symptoms, such as irritability, weight loss, anxiety, difficulty swallowing, moist hands and feeling like “birds are swimming” in your head. “Like constantly high, but not high. But constantly on one, you know?” she joked.
Williams then announced that, for the first time, she will be taking an extended vacation as prescribed by her doctor. “My doctor has prescribed — are you ready? — as of today, three weeks of vacation,” Williams announced. “What? Who are you? I was pissed.” Though advised to take three weeks off, the TV personality quipped, “I’ll be back in two. I’m not an heiress. Who is going to pay my bills? Are you serious? I’m just saying, I come from working class.”
Williams took a heartfelt moment to advise her viewers of the importance of having consistent checkup routines. “What I want to say to women, more than men, is: 'Stop putting everyone first, because if we’re not good, they’re not good.'"
A rep for the show told The Hollywood Reporter of the "unplanned" hiatus: "Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else. Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves' disease for many years in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy's doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition."
The talk-show host’s announcement comes after Williams canceled shows last week due to experiencing “flu-ish” symptoms. In an Instagram post, she expressed how “awful” she felt for missing her show. In October, she also surprised audience viewers after fainting on-air while dressed as the Statue of Liberty for her Halloween episode, which she attributed to overheating.
Encore tapings of The Wendy Williams Show will be shown during Williams’ hiatus. It was later announced that she would return on March 19.