Oprah is creating a lot of buzz after gaining forty pounds and simultaneously claiming she solved her thyroid problem. Her statements sent internet bloggers into a frenzy. How did she get off her thyroid medication? Did she really solve her thyroid problem? Isn’t this just a temporary break from a sinister and permanent thyroid illness? If her thyroid is in such great shape why did she pile on forty pounds?
Her website was quick to react with clarifications. In Oprah’s own words, “When I said I was cured, I meant I don’t have the thyroid problem anymore because my thyroid levels are all in the normal range and my doctors have taken me off of any medication.” That’s great Oprah, but it doesn’t answer any of the questions people are asking. And it certainly doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem with how thyroid hormone is functioning in your body.
She called on the Wizard of Oz for help in explaining her situation. He weighed in with a ridiculous description of thyroid function, “Well, just to be clear, your thyroid problems aren’t the usual thyroid problems. And by that I mean although the ailment itself is common, there’s two issues that can happen with your thyroid. It can underperform – that’s hypothyroidism – or it can overperform – hyperthyroidism. But your issue, Oprah, and you’re so unique, is that you were having a frat party in your thyroid. You were having a bunch of different things happen at once. And so you have these two ailments: One was stimulating the thyroid with antibodies; the other one was actually waging war on the thyroid. And so when these two level out, they actually bring you to a place of peace – which interestingly is where you are right now.”
And with one stroke of his magic wand Dr. Oz has now created his own brand of thyroid science, one where competing medical problems wage war to produce a state of peaceful balance. The truth is, Oprah isn’t unique at all. Her type of thyroid problem is faced by many. And even though she apparently does not need any medication, it is far from solved (and would not necessarily be solved by taking medication). And for the record – thyroid autoantibodies directly wage war on the thyroid gland and are never turned off by a competing hyper or hypo thyroid problem.