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Wendy Williams says she will be taking time off from talk show for health reasons

Wendy Williams at the Soul Train Awards in

Wendy Williams at the Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas on Nov. 7, 2014. Credit: AP / Invision / Omar Vega

Wendy Williams announced on her daytime talk show Wednesday that her doctor has prescribed her a three-week break in order to combat a hyperthyroid condition and Graves’ disease.

“I go twice a year to my endocrinologist,” Williams, 53, told her audience in a live broadcast from her stage set. “And to all my doctors, as a matter of fact, because I’m paranoid,” she joked. “Anyway, my thyroid has been totally cattywampus and that is the eye thing that you all have been seeing. You caught it before I did,” she said, referring to fans’ concern over the reason she took three days off last week.

Williams went on to explain that the issue is hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease, which “squeezes the muscles behind your eyeballs.” In addition, she said, she has experienced weight loss, trouble sleeping, difficulty swallowing, rapid heartbeat and intolerance for heat. “I feel like there are birds swimming around my head,” she said. “Y’know, like a cartoon?”

Saying her doctor has ordered that she take “as of today, three weeks of vacation,” Williams bemoaned that reruns would be scheduled. “Encore performances? Really? Alright. Well, our encores are better than most,” she riffed, as the studio audience applauded. “By the way, as I speak to you, my ears are leaking because the push from the old medication needs to wear off before he prescribes new. … That’s why three weeks, even though I’ve been off for one week. I’m gonna fix that,” she vowed. “I’ll be back in two.”

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work,” her representative said in a statement. “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. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

In addition to taking three days off last week for what she called a “bug,” Williams had collapsed on live TV in late October due to dehydration and being overheated in a Halloween costume.

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