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Rare Diseases

How Brooke Burke Took Charge of Her Endocrine Health

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Orbanic

When Brooke Burke underwent a complete thyroidectomy in 2012, she’d already been dealing with an ongoing challenge. 

“I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease after the birth of my second daughter,” explained the former “Dancing With the Stars” co-host. “I took Synthroid regularly for about a decade.” 

Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, primarily affects middle-aged women. But Burke felt something more might be going on and was ultimately diagnosed with thyroid cancer as part of a routine physical. 

Didn’t feel right 

“I had no symptoms, which is very common,” Burke said. “I was always tuned into my own body, and aware of the different cycles a woman goes through as far as energy. I knew something was wrong. My thyroid was working too hard or not at all, but I couldn’t get the right diagnosis until the bloodwork showed that my thyroid just wasn’t functioning. It was an interesting period of time in my life, as far as having endless energy and then my thyroid dying and having none. 

“Low energy leads to a lot of other things, such as depression, fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss. I think most young women aren’t aware of how much hormones affect us.” 

Taking charge 

As a mother of four, Burke knows the importance of taking care of herself. 

“I always advocate for women’s health. There are simple things we can do to better understand our bodies, like having yearly checkups,” she said. The better we take care of our bodies, the more ability we have to combat issues. Being a responsible, committed patient is the most important thing.” 

Burke says in addition to managing her health through screenings and doctor visits, there are a lot of preventative measures she takes to ensure her body continues functioning normally.

“Now in my late 40s, I have more compassion for myself,” said Burke, who believes understanding the endocrine system and the role hormones play can help females manipulate the challenges they face each month. “We can get more rest, eat certain foods and work out differently, and have a more positive inner dialogue.”

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