Recently, the Columbian-American bombshell revealed that not everything came easy to her, especially after she suffered from thyroid cancer.
At 47 years old, Modern Family beauty, Sofia Vergara seems like she has everything sorted. From her marriage to actor Joe Manganiello to being one of the highest-paid actresses, the Colombian-American star certainly manages to awe us. But there's something that you may not have known about the Golden Globe award winner — that she had to battle thyroid cancer.
According to WebMD, after a failed two-year marriage, Vergara moved to Miami with her young son, Manolo (now 21) to pursue a job in TV hosting. When she was 28, a routine doctor's checkup highlighted something suspicious. "He felt a lump in my neck," she recalled. Over the course of the next few weeks, multiple tests confirmed what her doctor had suspected — the actress had thyroid cancer.
"It was very traumatic," the actress stated. "I was young. I had a young son. But I tried not to panic. I decided to take charge and inform myself. Of course, I couldn't Google thyroid cancer from the comfort of my house back then, so I went to bookstores and found out everything I could about it."
In order to control the cancer before it spread, she underwent surgery in order to remove the thyroid. "They removed my thyroid and since then I have to use medication," she revealed, according to Hello Magazine. However, while the mother-of-one managed to win that battle, there was another one she had to face — one that she would have to fight for the rest of her life. Due to the removal of her thyroid, she now had to live with a condition called hypothyroidism.
The thyroid gland is located below the Adam's apple wrapped around the windpipe, according to Medicine Net. The function of the gland is to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout the body, without which, body functions such as metabolism, growth and development of the human body, and our internal temperature would fail. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of those certain crucial hormones.
Those suffering from this condition require constant medication and rigid diets to keep it under control. And since Vergara had had the entire gland removed, she was stuck with those terms. "I got rid of the cancer and then for me it was, 'Oh shoot, now I have to live with this condition my whole life… I have to be on medication my whole life and I don't have a thyroid.' So, of course, I had to make myself realize what was going on with my body and I have to say in the past ten years, I never had a problem. I’m very very straight with the way I try to do what the doctor says and I go to my doctor religiously and get my blood tests," she said, according to Hello Magazine.
However, hypothyroidism isn't just caused by a lack of the gland. It can occur at any time in any person and it affects an estimated 20 million Americans with it affecting women five to eight times more than men, according to the American Thyroid Association.
According to Vergara, it really is. It's been 19 years, at the time of this publication, since she underwent the knife and as is visible to the media, she is doing quite well for herself. All she has to do is take a lavender pill each morning to control her condition.
"I have to take it without any food, and then I sit there counting the minutes for half an hour until I can have my coffee!" she laughs, reported WebMD. "I get my blood levels checked every 3 to 6 months to make sure my thyroid levels are good. And of course after cancer, every time I cough or feel something I'm a little paranoid. But I want people to know you can live a normal life with hypothyroidism."
Rising to insane fame and popularity with her role as Gloria Delgado Pritchett in the popular TV show, Modern Family, she's practically a household name. However, that's not all she's doing. She wants to raise awareness about the health issue. That is why she is part of the Follow the Script campaign which is designed to help people with hypothyroidism work with their doctor to manage their thyroid hormone levels, find the right dose of medication, keep track of symptoms, and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Talking to Parade about it, she said, “There are a lot of women out there who have this condition, and I don’t believe that it should be a dramatic thing. If you know what to do and find the right care, you can live a normal life.”
"You shouldn’t do too much of anything -- that could mean working out, that could mean dieting like crazy. I mean, I drink alcohol, but like a little bit. You have to live your life and be happy because I think being happy and not stressing all the time also helps you. You know, having your good times and being healthy," she explained, according to Huff Post. "But it’s important to go to the doctor, to have your checkups, to workout, eat healthy, everything. Do everything that you can," the Chef star added.
And even today, she is living her life to the fullest. In 2013, the LA Times reported that she planned to freeze her eggs so that she could have more kids. “I’m 40 years old (at the time), nothing happens that naturally anymore,” she said. “We just wanted to plan ahead. My boyfriend Nicky (at the time) is three years younger than me and he’s never had a son. I have my son Manolo, so it’s not like an emergency for me to have another kid. But for Nicky, yes, because he’s never had a baby. So I wanted to make sure I already froze some eggs, so you know, I wanted to take advantage of science. Why not?”
Well, the actress may not have had to use her frozen eggs yet, but between her husband, her son and her still-rising career, she has a lot of options open to her. After all, she's proved she's a survivor the moment she refused to let her thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism win.