Padma Lakshmi: ‘I Was Told I Would Never Have a Child Naturally’

As a young girl, Padma Lakshmi suffered from undiagnosed endometriosis so severe, she tells PEOPLE, “I had to stay home several days a month from school. I missed a week of my life for 23 years.”

The Top Chef host, 44, reveals her symptoms included bloating, cramping, excessive bleeding and severe abdominal pain — but it was something no one really spoke about.

“It’s embarrassing,” she admits. “It’s something that is deeply private and personal.”

It wasn’t until she was 36 that Dr. Tamer Seckin identified her symptoms as endometriosis — which occurs when the uterine lining cannot be expelled with a woman’s period and grows outside the uterus — and performed surgery to remove the excess tissue. From there, Lakshmi partnered with Dr. Seckin to found the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Padma Lakshmi Endometriosis diagnosis miracle baby
CHRISTINA PAIGE

“I wanted to raise awareness so that no young girl has to wonder what is wrong with her like I did for so many years,” she says. That’s why the EFA — thanks to the support of New York State Senator Jeff Klein — recently launched theThe ENPOWR Project, which focuses on education programs to help young girls learn to recognize the symptoms of endometriosis.

After she was diagnosed, there were other hurdles for Lakshmi. “I was told I would never have children naturally, that I only had a 10 to 15 percent of having them in vitro,” she recalls. “When you’re staring down the barrel of your 40th birthday and you hear that you can’t have kids because this disease went unchecked and undiagnosed for so many years, it’s devastating.”

That is why she calls the birth of her daughter, Krishna, in 2010, “a miracle.” She says, “I’m so lucky to have her. Her middle name is Thea, which means ‘gift from God.’ ”

At just 5-years-old, Lakshmi’s “miracle” is getting in on her mom’s efforts. While Lakshmi plans the upcoming April 13 Blossom Ball to benefit the EFA, Krishna is also trying to do her part.

Recently, the proud mom says, “she was separating the coins from her piggybank and she said, ‘Mommy, you can have my money for your charity.’ She knows that Mom has a charity for women with ‘tummy aches.’ She wants to help.”

Padma Lakshmi Endometriosis diagnosis miracle baby
CHRISTINA PAIGE

For more of our interview with Padma Lakshmi, pick up the latest issue ofPEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

 

Source: //celebritybabies.people.com/2015/03/12/padma-lakshmi-endometriosis-diagnosis-daughter-miracle-baby/?utm_content=buffer70f4e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Patient Reviews

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  • Rebecca Black

    Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…

  • Monique Roberts

    I'll never stop praising Dr. Seckin and his team. He literally gave me back my life.

  • Erin Brehm

    I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…

  • Anita Schillhorn

    I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…

  • Nicholette Sadé

    Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…

  • Jason Curry

    My wife had her laparoscopic excision surgery to remove endometriosis with Dr. Seckin on Jan 30, 2014. She doesn't write online reviews so I'm writing this on her behalf. I accompanied her with each office visit she had. The staff--Lucy and Kim, are very friendly, warm and professional. Dr. Seckin was excellent in every capacity. He spent a lot of…

  • Liz Filippelli

    He is an awesome doctor who saved my daughters life from debilitating endometriosis..she knew instantly upon awaking from surgery that she was better..that wad May and no complaints only praises for Dr. Wonderful Seckin!!

  • Karen N

    I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at 19. I saw several Endometriosis "Specialists" since then, had a few laproscopic surgeries to "remove" the endometriosis and continued to be in pain. I had a hysterectomy in 2012 and was told this would stop the pain once and for all. No such luck! Tired of spending days in bed with a heating pad,…

  • Lauren Rodriguez

    I researched and found Dr. Seckin after dealing with years of doctors who couldn't help me or refused to go the extra mile for their patients. I have to say I am truly blessed to have found such a compassionate and talented doctor. He is exquisite with everything he does, and both his team at the office and surgical team…

  • Kellya Vespa

    Dr. Seckin is a very skilled surgeon. There are not many doctors like him that truly understand the effects of endometriosis. I am lucky to have found him. The staff is wonderful too.

  • Meg Connolly

    Dr. Seckin truly LOVES what he does and cares about his patients from the bottom of his heart. My life has already changed in 3 weeks and I couldn’t be more grateful. Should I ever need another operation for endometriosis, Dr. Seckin will be the one to do it. I recommend him to anyone I come across with similar problems…

  • Elisandra O

    Dr. Seckin is an amazing Doctor he is very compassionate, caring and he will be honest with you. He's been my doctor for 19yrs and I am so grateful to have someone taking care of me that knows what he is doing and knows the best way to treat each and every situation. I would definitely recommend him and his…