Sick Celebrities


Oprah Winfrey battled weight and thyroid problems


Oprah Winfrey is one of the most-recognized names in the United States, and perhaps the world. She is a successful talk show host, actress, magazine producer and television producer. Her TV show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ is one of the most-watched programs in the United States. She has been labelled one of the most influential women in the world, and one of the richest, with her net worth estimated at a whopping three billion dollars. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the movie ‘The Color Purple’.

Throughout the course of her career, which took off inthe 1980s, she has forged a very public battle with her weight troubles. A yo-yo dieter, Winfrey continuously gained and lost weight, and spoke about her problems publicly.

The unstoppable woman began noticing different changes in 2007. “I was so exhausted I couldn’t figure out what was going on in my life … was still feeling really tired, really tired, going around from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong and finally figured out that I had literally sort of blew out my thyroid,” Winfrey said in an episode of her show. She says she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which essentially means the thyroid is not working properly. Hypothyroidism occurs when too little of the thyroid hormone circulates in the body, which slows down metabolism, hence causing patients to gain weight. She admits she gained 20 pounds before she was correctly diagnosed.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ in the throat. It’s main function is to release a hormone which regulates a person’s metabolism. There are two main issues with thyroids, namely hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism, as outlined above, is essentially when a thyroid is under active, not producing enough of the hormone. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite, producing too much, and having the opposite effect, namely sleeplessness, weight loss and lots of energy.

Taking medication for the condition now, Oprah admits she had earlier troubles with her thyroid. Before, she says, she used to have hyperthyroidism. “My body is turning on me,” she said on her show, explaining how it had now changed to the opposite. The 55-year-old seems to have her thyroid under control, as well as her weight.

Another celebrity who suffers from a thyroid disorder is Kelly Osbourne.

Oprah Winfrey is just one of many celebrities who have battled weight issues, including Sharon Osbourne.

Image:, photographed by Alan Light.

Back to top