What is Hashimoto's disease, the weight-related condition Gigi Hadid suffers from?

Gigi Hadid has hit back at body shamers [Photo: Getty]
Gigi Hadid has hit back at body shamers [Photo: Getty]

Gigi Hadid has hit back at body shamers who have commented on her changing body shape in recent years.

In a series of passionate tweets the 22-year-old model responded to trolls who have commented on her fluctuating weight, explaining that the changes are due in part to being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.

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

“Over the last few years I’ve been properly medicated to help symptoms including those, as well as extreme fatigue, metabolism issues, body’s ability to retain heat, etc…” the model, who is dating former One Direction star Zayn Malik continued. “I was also part of a holistic medical trial that helped my thyroid levels balance out.”

Gigi went on to say that while stress and excessive travel, which are big parts of a career in modelling, can affect the body, she’s always eaten the same.

“I may be “too skinny” for you, honestly this skinny isn’t what I want to be…” she continued.

“I will not further explain the way my body looks…stop putting me in that box just because u dont understand the way my body has matured,” she wrote.

Gigi concluded her statement with a call to others to stop the body shaming.

“Please, as social media users & human beings in general, learn to have more empathy for others and know that you never really know the whole story. Use your energy to lift those that you admire rather than be cruel to those u don’t.

Unsurprisingly Gigi’s followers were quick to step in and offer support including some of the model’s celebrity friends.

Replying to Gigi’s tweet Ruby Rose wrote: “Sorry you too have to explain something so ridiculous to people. Love to you. Love to the people who try to tear down others also because they are just people who haven’t had the spiritual growth that needs to occur to love and accept one another.”

While Chrissy Teigen who has faced criticism about her body simply wrote: “Alternate tweet: “f**k off”

According to the NHS Hashimoto’s disease is an auto immune disorder caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, making it swell and become damaged.

The site goes on to explain that people who suffer with it will have symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland, which can include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin and depression.

In some cases the swollen thyroid may also cause a goitre (lump) to form in your throat.

But Thyroid UK says that Hashimoto’s disease can present in many ways, causing different symptoms. “The thing to understand about Hashimoto’s disease is that it is basically a variant of hypothyroidism, caused specifically by autoimmunity; the thyroid gets infiltrated by white cells and slowly loses its function; it usually enlarges but may not, and may start with an over-active phase before becoming under-active,” the site reads.

Though it is not known what causes Hashimoto’s disease, it is believed it does sometimes run in families.

Gigi Hadid has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an auto immune disease [Photo: Getty]
Gigi Hadid has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an auto immune disease [Photo: Getty]

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can’t be cured, but the symptoms are often easily treated with a thyroid hormone replacement medication, which is usually taken for life.

Surgery is only really needed in rare cases, if for example your goitre is particularly painful or uncomfortable.

Gigi first revealed she was suffering from the condition back in 2016.

“My metabolism actually changed like crazy this year. She told Elle Magazine. “I have Hashimoto’s disease.”

“It’s a thyroid disease, and it’s now been two years since taking the medication for it, so for the Victoria Secret show I didn’t want to lose any more weight, I just want to have muscles in the right place, and if my butt can get a little perkier, then that’s good.”

She went on to reveal that her mum taught her a trick to help her cope when people are cruel about her body.

“Literally, screaming into a pillow helps,” she said.

“One time I was on set for a beach shoot, and my mum said, ‘Go scream into the ocean. It relieves the tension.'”

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