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Dr. Oz and Wendy Williams talk weight loss, thyroid disease and ideal waist size

Wendy Williams talks about weighty issues with Dr. Oz.
Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images

Wendy Williams has become famed for her flippant chatter on her talk show. But when she joined Dr. Mehmet Oz on recently, their conversation became serious as they discussed women's health topics ranging from weight loss to thyroid disease. Plus: Discover how to determine your ideal waist size and why it's so important.

When dieters talk about their weight loss goals, they usually emphasize the number on the scale and their clothing sizes. But Dr. Oz says that another number can be even important when it comes to your health: Your waist size. If your waist is bigger than 35 inches, you have a higher risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

With a 30-inch waistline, Wendy Williams seems in perfect condition. But she told Dr. Oz that her collection of wigs hides her weight-related health condition, which is thyroid disease. Wendy didn't initially know that she had this condition, and visited a doctor only when she experienced other symptoms, including sweating and weight loss.

Various types of thyroid disease exist, and symptoms vary widely, including hair loss, cracked or peeling fingernails, weight gain or weight loss and fatigue. Some people with the condition also experience depression.

Wendy isn't the only celebrity to open up about her struggles with thyroid disease. "Baywatch" actress Gena Lee Nolin also experienced mysterious symptoms that no physician initially could diagnose.

Based on her own battle with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Gena says that many sufferers do not initially make the connection between their symptoms and the disease. And their physicians also sometimes fail them. She wrote in her book "Beautiful Inside and Out: Conquering Thyroid Disease with a Healthy, Happy, 'Thyroid Sexy' Life" about her weight gain, hair loss, lethargy and depression.

“It is a lonely invisible, disease,” reflected Gena in a recent interview with ABC about her life prior to a diagnosis and treatment. “The weight gain, the anxiety- I wasn't myself.”