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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Reviews

  • Kim Molinaro

    Kim Molinaro

    Prior to meeting Dr. Seckin and reading his book, “The Doctor Will See You Now”, I knew little to nothing about endometriosis. I was led to believe that endometriosis was not a serious condition. I was told that the pain could be managed by taking the “pill”. I was told that the cysts on my ovaries were harmless. I was…

  • Rebecca Black

    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

    Monique Roberts

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

  • Erin Brehm

    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

    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…