Heather Rae El Moussa is getting personal. On Thursday, the HGTV personality revealed to Today that she has been diagnosed Hashimoto’s disease, a common autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland. While the disease has a host of symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, thinning hair, as well as joint and muscle pain, among others, El Moussa reveals that it wasn't that easy to diagnose. In fact, the Selling Sunset star felt the extreme fatigue, but chalked it up to a common case of "mom brain."
“I remember saying to my assistant, ‘I feel like I’m dead,” El Moussa told Today. “My brain was so tired. My body was so tired. I was exhausted all the time and no amount of sleep could make it better.”
However, it wasn't until El Moussa was experiencing problems with her milk supply while breastfeeding her son Tristan—she was pumping a lot, only to receive very little milk—that she consulted her lactation consultant. El Moussa did some bloodwork and learned her pregnancy had triggered the autoimmune disorder.
Although El Moussa was "in total shock" to learn she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, it is a fairly common condition. Christina Hall also revealed her own Hashimoto's diagnosis in a 2020 interview with People. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately five in 100 people get diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease—and women are 10 times more likely to have it. Additionally, the clinic shares the Hashimoto's is more common in areas with iodized salt and other iodine-enriched foods.
With age and genetics as risk factors, there's not much you can do to prevent Hashimoto's disease; however, the prognosis is good and many are expected to live full, healthy lives. While the disorder can cause additional medical conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, El Moussa shared she is “feeling much better” after taking medication for her condition.
Since her diagnosis, El Moussa has switched from exclusively breastfeeding her now nine-month-old to feeding him goat milk and purees; however, she remains proud of her journey. She told Today: ""I’ve heard so many women say, ‘I only breastfed 2 months,’ and that makes me feel sad. Why ‘only?’ You should feel so proud that you even did it at all!"
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