The 10 Most Famous Women With Thyroid Disease

by Mary Shomon Patient Advocate

As the saying goes: “Stars are just like us!” As far as thyroid conditions are concerned, this is true. Estimates suggest that at least 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, and the majority are women. Thyroid disease affects women of all ages, from teenagers to seniors. It also doesn’t discriminate based on celebrity, as you will see in this profile of the 10 most famous women with thyroid disease.

Oprah Winfrey attends as O, The Oprah Magazine hosts special NYC screening of 'A Wrinkle In Time' at Walter Reade Theater at Walter Reade Theater on March 7, 2018 in New York City.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey

Talk-show queen, magazine mogul, and actress Oprah Winfrey was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in 2007.

According to Oprah:

“My body was turning on me. First hyperthyroidism, which sped up my metabolism and left me unable to sleep for days. (Most people lose weight. I didn’t.) Then hypothyroidism, which slowed down my metabolism and made me want to sleep all the time. (Most people gain weight. I did! Twenty pounds!)”

Actress Sofia Vergara attends The 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Turner

Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara, the star of ABC’s hit comedy “Modern Family,” was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000. Since that time, she’s been treated for the resulting hypothyroidism.

Vergara said:

“They removed my thyroid and since then I have to use medication. I got rid of the cancer and then for me it was, ‘Oh shoot, now I have to live with this condition my whole life ... I have to be on medication my whole life …’”

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks onstage during The Child Mind Institute Summit: The State of Child & Adolescent Mental Health at The Paley Center for Media on November 13, 2017 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Child Mind Institute

Hillary Clinton

It was first reported that former first lady, secretary of state, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had hypothyroidism in a September 2016 letter from her doctor.

Clinton hasn’t spoken publicly about her thyroid, but in that letter, her doctor wrote:

“Mrs. Clinton’s current medications include Armor (sic) Thyroid... Her thyroid blood tests are within normal limits. Of note, she has remained stable for many years on Armor [sic] thyroid to treat her hypothyroidism ..."

Singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson performs during the opening night ceremony at Arthur Ashe Stadium during Day One of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 27, 2018.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA

Kelly Clarkson

American Idol winner and award-winning singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson announced that she had Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism on the “Today Show” in June of 2018.

On the show, Clarkson said:

“I know the industry loves the weight gone, but I mean, for me, it wasn't really the weight. For me it was like, I'm not on my medicine anymore. My bloodwork came back, and I haven't been on my medicine since like February.”

Singer Linda Ronstadt accepts the Trailblazer award onstage during the 2008 ALMA Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on August 17, 2008 in Pasadena, California.
Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Linda Ronstadt

Multi-platinum recording artist Linda Ronstadt was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in 1997. She continued to release albums until 2006, and perform until 2009. At that time, she announced that she also had Parkinson’s disease and could no longer sing or perform.

Ronstadt has written about her long career, her music, and health battles in her 2013 book, “Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir.”

Singer Sia performs onstage at the Humane Society of The United States 60th Anniversary Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 29, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Humane Society

Sia Furler

Billboard Top 10 singer/songwriter Sia Kate Isobelle Furler (“Sia”) may be known for her hit music — and penchant for interesting wigs — but the Australian star was also diagnosed with Graves' disease in 2010.

Said Sia:

“It was making me very very crazy and I thought I had a panic disorder but I didn’t — I had Graves’ disease. I checked myself into the nut-house and everything and then I realised that I’m not crazy — I’m sick, with a real disease.”

Model Gigi Hadid prepares backstage for the Anna Sui show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery I at Spring Studios on September 10, 2018 in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Gigi Hadid

Jelena Noura "Gigi" Hadid is an American-born supermodel. Hadid was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in 2014. She announced it on social media, speaking out against body shaming.

According to Hadid:

“For those of you so determined to come up with why my body has changed over the years, you may not know that when I started at 17, I was not yet diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease; those of you who called me ‘too big for the industry’ were seeing inflammation and water retention due to that.”

Celebrity fitness trainer Jillian Michaels attends Shape Magazine celebrates Jillian Michaels' cover and 35th anniversary of Shape at The Whisper Lounge on July 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Jillian Michaels

Fitness guru and trainer on “The Biggest Loser,” Jillian Michaels is known for her ripped physique and drill sergeant tactics, but many people don’t know that she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. Currently in her mid-40s, it’s not clear when she received the diagnosis, but she has spoken about her condition for several years.

Said Michaels:

“Since I started my thyroid medication, I'm back down to my fighting weight, which I maintain with moderate effort.”

Missy Elliott performs onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival presented By Coca-Cola - Day 2 at Louisiana Superdome on July 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence

Missy Elliot

Superstar rapper, singer, dancer, and record producer Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot was diagnosed with Graves' disease in 2008.

Elliott said:

"I was sick, and I couldn't even lift a pen. My nervous system had broken all the way down ... I was on medication for a short while but have been off it for quite some time now. I manage the condition through diet and exercise."

Leona Lewis attends the 28th Annual EMA Awards Ceremony at Montage Beverly Hills on May 22, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Leona Lewis

British multi-platinum singer/songwriter Leona Lewis was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in 2015.

According to Lewis:

“I was feeling very sick and had chronic fatigue and these really bad pains in my neck and throat. I didn’t know what was going on. It was a pretty hard time, and after a bunch of tests, I found out I had an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease.”

Mary Shomon
Meet Our Writer
Mary Shomon

Mary Shomon is a patient advocate and New York Times bestselling author who empowers readers with information on thyroid and autoimmune disease, diabetes, weight loss and hormonal health from an integrative perspective. Mary has been a leading force advocating for more effective, patient-centered hormonal healthcare. Mary also co-stars in PBS’ Healthy Hormones TV series. Mary also serves on HealthCentral’s Health Advocates Advisory Board.