She might be famous and starring on the hit CW show, “Jane the Virgin,” but star Gina Rodriguez has long been fighting a secret battle with Hashimoto’s disease, the most common form of hyperthyroidism.
In a brand new intimate interview with Vogue, the star shared the transformation she’s undergone to finally fight back against and overcome the disease.
The 32-year-old star revealed that she was first diagnosed at the age of 19, in college, but noted that at the time, she simply fought it with medication — and with little additional thought.
“I rejected the fact that I had a disease,” she tells the magazine.
And years later, when she was training for a half-marathon and running up to 20 miles per week, her health failed to improve, no matter how “healthy” she seemed to be.
That training caused her to seek a second opinion and to revisit her doctor, confirming her earlier diagnosis of Hashimoto’s — a disease in which the immune system actually attacks the thyroid gland, and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the population.
Now, the star is on a healthier gut-friendly diet, in addition to consuming foods that will increase her energy (Hashimoto’s is known for causing extreme fatigue).
But more than that, she has embraced boxing and Muay Thai as a way to improve her health and transform her body.
“No pain, no Muay Thai. I came here to transform,” she shared on Instagram last year. “I came here to face my demons and bad habits. I went full force into training and it wasn’t comfortable or easy but discipline never is and life never is. Everyday I want to grow stronger, I may fail but I will try. Everyday I want to grow wiser, I may fail but I will try. Life knocks you down and it can hurt but that has never stopped me before and so I repeat no pain, no Muay Thai.”
And her approach is not uncommon for those who share her diagnosis.
While the Mayo Clinic notes that synthetic hormones, and a combination of hormones, along with an analysis of all medications taken, is one way to treat and prevent the symptoms of the disease from increasing, the “wait and see” approach is often the most prescribed.
Lifestyle changes, including diet changes, different workout routines and improved sleep are the most common approaches to treating the disease, and according to some experts, might be the most effective.
And for the star, they’re the most long-lasting.