What Disease Does Gigi Hadid Have and How Did She Get It?

Anyone who knew Gigi Hadid as Yolanda Hadid’s older daughter on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills wouldn’t recognize the supermodel now. Gigi has changed a lot. She’s thinned out, gotten much taller, and her face has changed a little as well. 

On her mother’s reality show, Gigi was a teenager who loved cake and gruyere cheese. Now that she’s grown up so much, fans wondered what she had to give up to lose weight. After persistent online attacks saying she did drugs, Gigi came clean about what happened.

Gigi Hadid wasn’t on drugs

Gigi hadid on the red carpet
Gigi Hadid | Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images

That’s not Gigi’s style. In fact, she wasn’t really trying to lose weight. Anyone who has seen her on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills could believe that. Gigi never seemed to be invested in her diet, despite her mother’s encouragement. 

Gigi is more concerned with being healthy. She’s been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. The condition affects thyroid function. The thyroid is an important gland, and when it’s not functioning correctly people experience a host of nasty symptoms. 

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder. That means Gigi’s own body essentially attacks her thyroid. The thyroid can become permanently damaged if the condition is left untreated. Bloating and fatigue are common symptoms of Hashimoto’s, and Gigi admits she’s struggled with them.

She’s got things under control

Now that Gigi has been properly diagnosed, she’s taking medications to regulate her body. That means she’s no longer bloated, which she says makes her look skinnier. 

Gigi’s disease is only treatable, not curable. She has things under control for now, but she’ll probably need to take medications for the rest of her life. That’s why she says her goal is health, not weight loss.

In fact, according to Gigi, she hasn’t changed her diet at all. She’s physically better, and the treatment of her autoimmune disease has caused her body to metabolize things differently. She doesn’t care if she’s skinny or chunky, or anywhere in between. She just wants to feel well.

Doctors don’t know why Gigi Hadid got sick

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Our first stops this morning were to two UNICEF supported schools, one “urban” pre-school in Kolda and one village elementary school outside the city. The most impactful support from UNICEF for these schools is the teacher training and provided educational materials like “School-in-a-Box” (pictured). For the elementary schools in the villages, there are less kids and not enough teachers, so training includes teachers learning to handle dual-grade classes while still maintaining quality education. Previously, pre-school was something that only high-income families had access to. Studies show that children here who start at this level are more likely to go further with their schooling, but only 17% of children here have access to and attend a pre-school. As well early development education, French is introduced to their local dialect in pre-school, so they are up to date linguistically and more developed mentally and educationally when they enter elementary school. Because this prevents early school-dropouts and significantly improves learning outcome, it is important that community leaders spread awareness of where pre-schools are accessible (regardless of the families’ economic status), and educating parents on the importance of putting their child in school early; UNICEF is supporting rural communities in setting up their own local pre-schools and encouraging district education government in setting up pre-schools within elementary schools that already exist. The Education Chief’s main goal is equity and quality of education for these children. In the village elementary school, three classrooms accommodate about 180 children; this is where we were explained the major need for UNICEF funded teacher dual-grade training. At this time, 110 teachers have been trained (leaders say they are planning on training 180 more) in the surrounding areas of Kolda so that it is possible for the 286 multi-grade classes to function and educate as many children as possible.

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Unfortunately, doctors still don’t know how or why people get Hashimoto’s. In addition to fatigue and bloating, symptoms include difficulty regulating body temperature, dry skin, hair loss, and muscle aches.

Gigi had to go through some trial and error to get the right treatment. She even participated in a medical trial.

She’s not the only one in her family with a chronic illness

Gigi’s mother and brother have their own medical struggles. Yolanda and Anwar have chronic Lyme disease. Bella, Gigi’s younger sister, has also been diagnosed with the disease in the past. 

Chronic Lyme disease is a controversial diagnosis. Most doctors believe that Lyme disease is cured by antibiotics, and that there are no lasting effects on the patient post treatment.

Some people have experienced symptoms of illness following Lyme disease diagnosis. These symptoms include extreme fatigue, muscle aches, and cognitive issues.

Even though the medical establishment does not believe Lyme disease has lasting effects on the body, some doctors will treat patients who have these symptoms following a Lyme diagnosis. Bella receives holistic medicine that helps control her symptoms and allows her to live a normal life.

Gigi also uses some holistic methods to treat her Hashimoto’s. She’s willing to try anything to be able to alleviate her symptoms. Because of her hidden medical struggles, Gigi tried to remind followers on Twitter that you never really know what someone is going through.

Bullying and online trolling hurts. We never know who is suffering in silence, and Gigi wishes people would try to build up others rather than tear them down.