The 'wake-up call' Nia Vardalos needed to prevent a dangerous health condition


“I have thyroid disease,” Nia Vardalos revealed. “That, coupled with the stress of infertility treatments and years of what I call ‘write a page, eat a snack’ syndrome led to a high blood sugar problem.” The Canadian performer tried to conceive with her then husband, Ian Gomez, to no avail. “So my doctor said, ‘You have two choices: drugs or diabetes. Actually, you have a third choice – you can lose weight,'” she told Glamour magazine.

After numerous failed attempted of IVF and surrogates, she and Gomez adopted their daughter, Ilaria, in 2008.

The couple split, however, in that same year, but Vardalos had already put the work in to better her health.

Vardalos reportedly lost 40 pounds when her doctor told her to “buck up”.

“It was sort of the wake-up call that I needed to hear,” she told People magazine.

READ MORE: Ignoring blood clot symptoms in the leg could lead to amputation

“I was weighing myself once a week, just trying not to be obsessive about it. I just wanted to feel better; I wanted to feel healthy.”

Restricting her calorie intake and taking daily walks helped her to shed the pounds.

“The reward was how much energy I was gaining every single day,” Vardalos beamed.

“I could feel myself coming out of my period of grief. I felt refreshed.”


What is thyroid disease?

Thyroid disease is when the thyroid gland either produces too little or an excess amount of hormones, the NHS says.

When the small butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck is off balance it can lead to an array of symptoms.

An underactive thyroid, for example, which is when too little hormone is produced, can lead to weight gain.

“Before I was diagnosed with thyroid disease, I didn’t understand why I could hang out with my girlfriends, and just suck on a toothpick all night and gain weight,” said Vardalos.]

READ MORE: Ignoring blood clot symptoms in the leg could lead to amputation

READ MORE: Ignoring blood clot symptoms in the leg could lead to amputation

“My basic philosophy is that it’s not an excuse, it’s not a crutch… it’s a motivator.

“My feeling is, everybody’s got something. For me, it wasn’t an excuse, it was an explanation.”

Despite the additional challenge to losing weight, Vardalos was committed to her health goals.

Thanks to her weight loss, she was able to minimise her risk of type 2 diabetes.

Vardalos, 60, is now starring in a new Netflix release called The Curse of Bridge Hollow.

Starring as Madam Hawthorne, the family film is about a mischievous spirit who causes Halloween decorations to come to life and wreak havoc in a small town.

Nominated for an Oscar for her screenplay of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, fans will be pleased to hear that the third instalment is now on its way.

Nia Vardalos stars in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which airs on Sunday, October 16 at 3.25pm on Channel 5.


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