When looking back on her diagnosis at 36, Lakshmi, 49, says she was “pissed” after realizing she could have been saved years of pain if a doctor had just recognized her symptoms sooner.
“At first, I was relieved. It wasn’t until a year after the surgery that I started getting really pissed,” Lakshmi divulged, admitting to an operation she had to remove invasive tissue caused by the disease.
“Like, ‘Wait a minute, I lost a week of my life every month of every year since I was 13 because of this shit, and I could have had this operation at 20 rather than 36?’ ” she added.
“I’m shocked that a health professional didn’t say, ‘This is weird. Your cramps are above and beyond what they should be.’ “
Lakshmi previously revealed her struggle with the disease, recalling how it would leave her “bedridden” every time she had her period.
“I got my period when I was 13 and didn’t get diagnosed until I was 36. That’s 23 years, 12 months a year, 12 weeks from, you know, that I was missing at volleyball practice, the school dance, midterm exams, helping my mom cook the family meal,” she told PEOPLE Now in 2018. “All these things that’s part and parcel of being a teenage kid.”
But since her diagnosis and as she has aged, Lakshmi said her symptoms have improved.
“I’m getting older, and so my hormones are calming down, so I don’t suffer as much as I used to,” she told PEOPLE last year. “So, my endometriosis doesn’t affect me nearly as much as it did before when I was in my 30s or in my 20s.”
The former model who is in her 40s revealed she has also added Pilates to her workout routine, telling Women’s Health how it has made her body stronger in ways she did not expect.
“I started going to Pilates a few years ago, because my chiropractor recommended it for my back,” she said. “Pilates changed my body. It made me strong in places I didn’t know I needed to be. I have a butt now that I didn’t have during my modeling career!”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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