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Wendy Williams taking 3-week break following Graves' disease diagnosis

The popular daytime talk-show host revealed the news to viewers during Wednesday's episode of "The Wendy Williams Show."
/ Source: TODAY

Wendy Williams is taking a break to tend to her health.

During Wednesday's episode of "The Wendy Williams Show," the popular daytime talk-show host revealed she's been diagnosed with Graves' disease, an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones, or hyperthyroidism.

"Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind the eyeballs," Williams explained, adding that it's caused her eyeballs to twitch, something viewers noticed before she did.

The disease can also cause heart palpitations, tremors, anxiety, irritability and shakiness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, heat sensitivity and menstrual cycle changes.

Williams said she initially believed her symptoms were caused by menopause but was properly diagnosed Tuesday during an appointment with her endocrinologist. The workaholic host was originally scheduled to see the doctor in December, but canceled to attend a business meeting.

"My doctor has prescribed —are you ready? — as of today, three weeks of vacation," she told viewers during the hilariously candid segment. "What? Who are you? I was pissed! Encore performances, really?"

A rep for Williams' show told TODAY in a statement, "Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else. Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves' Disease for many years in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy's doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition."

The announcement comes just a week after the host canceled several shows because she was sick with flu-like symptoms, which she discussed in a video, which found her at home sipping juice in her bathrobe.

Last October, Williams fainted during a live broadcast of her special Halloween show. Though she initially chalked up the collapse to feeling "overheated" in her heavy Statue of Liberty costume, she later learned from paramedics she'd been low on electrolytes.

During Wednesday's episode, Williams urged her female viewers to prioritize their health.

"What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good," she said.