Julianne Hough on her endometriosis: ‘It hurts so bad. It’s ongoing’


Former Dancing with the Stars performer/judge, dancer and actress Julianne Hough, 29, is the cover girl for the November issue of Health magazine, which goes on sale on Friday. Hough talks about married life, after wedding hockey player Brooks Laich in July. I still contend that was the most Pinterest-worthy wedding ever. Since this is a fitness magazine there’s also lots of talk about working out and dieting. Fun facts: Julianne loves hummus, hates working her inner and outer thighs and loves her juicer.

Julianne also opened up about her struggle with endometriosis, an often painful condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows into the Fallopian tubes and/or ovaries. She announced her diagnosis back in 2008 and, in March, announced her participation in AbbVie’s “Get in the Know About ME in EndoMEtriosis” campaign to help “start the conversation” about the illness. In the interview, she describes her symptoms as “an immediate sharp pain, like a stabbing sensation. It hurts so bad. It’s ongoing.” She goes on to add, “But the thing that’s great about it is a few things happened: Dancing knew about it, so then I didn’t feel as guilty or bad or like I was a weak little woman, or like, ‘Oh I need to be strong.’”

The DTWS star isn’t the only high profile celeb dealing with this painful condition. Jaime King, Lena Dunham and Daisy Ridley have all battled with endometriosis. Getting the word out about what she calls a “complicated and confusing” disorder has had positive results for Julianne. As she told Health, “I’ve had so many people who message me on social media saying, ‘Thank you so much. Because of you I had the courage to go to my doctor and ask about this.'” Here are some other highlights from the interview:

On having off days: “Sometimes I don’t want to work out, and so sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m just like, ‘I deserve a day off—I’m fine.’ But sometimes I’m like, ‘No, come on, I know I’m gonna feel better afterward.’ The end result is always the best. There’s never been a time I’ve finished a workout and been like, ‘I totally regret doing that.’”
On what she does to stay healthy: “Me time. If I don’t have my space for an hour, I feel overwhelmed and I need to just chill… I just need some time every day where I can think and put myself in a good place. I always try to wake up and think about three things that I’m grateful for: something that has happened already, something I’m currently grateful for, and something that I’m wanting that I can achieve that day.”
On her morning routine: “I always wake up and we make fresh juices. It’s mainly kale, cucumber, spinach, sometimes beets, celery, lemon, ginger. For sweetness we’ll do apple or carrots. I have half a protein shake before I work out because I need a little bit of energy, but I’m one of those people who can’t have a full breakfast. Brooks can have, like, a tub of oatmeal, and I’m like, ‘I would throw up.’ When I finish the workout, I finish the protein shake. Then I come home and have a bowl of oatmeal and berries or something like that. “
On her body image: “The other day, when we were at the beach and I was having my endo stuff, and we got paparazzi’d and I literally was like, ‘Oh my God.’ My stomach was like—people were asking me if I was pregnant. I definitely have my moments for sure. But it’s not so much what I look like; it’s how I feel.”
On being married: “I’ve always wanted to be married and be a mom and have kids, but to be honest, all of that scared the s— out of me. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, to actually be married and committed to somebody, that just seems so grown-up.’ But the first thing that I felt when we got married was, ‘This is the complete opposite of scary. This is like home.’”

[From Health]

With the exception of the juice thing (I have to chew my breakfast, not drink it) – oh, and the fact that I dream I’ll wake up with her physique every morning (and don’t), I can kind of relate with Julianne. I have struggled with my own female maladies and, before I got a blood clot in my leg as a result of a knee surgery, I took birth control pills to control the cramping – and the pill is a key medication for controlling the symptoms of endometriosis (among many other non-baby-making health benefits). Of course the government, specifically the GOP, is trying to take birth control away from women by gutting the ACA and making them prohibitively expensive. I’m glad Julianne and other celebs are doing their part to increase awareness of and hopefully keep the medications that can help ease the pain for its sufferers available.

Variety and Women in Film TV Nominees Celebration Presented by Halo Top

Julianne Hough has a workout

Julianne Hough has a workout

Photos: WENN.com

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24 Responses to “Julianne Hough on her endometriosis: ‘It hurts so bad. It’s ongoing’”

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  1. Crowdhood says:

    She is
    One of those women that look better without makeup. How rude.

  2. Shambles says:

    I don’t mean to police other women’s insecurities, because we all have our sh!t, but… she hates her inner and outer thighs? I’m sorry, what?!?! What inner and outer thighs?? Her thighs look like they’re all muscle, perfectly aligned with her bone structure. Sigh.
    I guess I should be asking why we make women with even the most perfectly fit physique hate themselves.

    • slowsnow says:

      She hates WORKING her inner and outer thighs 🙂 You failed to read one word that changed the whole thing.

      Your comment made me laugh so hard.

      • Shambles says:

        Hahahaha. Oh, sh!t, you’re right. This is what I get for trying to say words at 7 am. In that case, I’m right there with her. Lmao. I’m glad I could provide some chuckles this morning.

      • slowsnow says:

        LOL, much needed chuckles, thanks for that!

  3. Lolo86lf says:

    I just educated myself on endiometrosis by reading the info on the Mayo Clinic website. What a nasty medical condition. The treatment is equally nasty. My sympathy goes to Julianne and any other women with this disorder. The worst symptom of this condition is infertility.

    • Audi says:

      I’m glad more and more people are talking about endometriosis. I had terrible periods with cramping and blood clots for years – my mom and grandma talked about experiencing similar things so I just thought “that’s how it is for me”. After going to the doctor for extreme abdominal pain, taking x-rays and telling me “I’m constipated” and to use laxatives to help, it just continued. Then one day it was too much – ended up in the emergency room when finally they did an ultrasound and was moved directly to emergency surgery where they found I had stage IV endometriosis. I was 40yrs old and had never conceived. Really the only thing was to repress my periods until I went into menopause or have a full hysterectomy. I chose the later and, though I’m infertile and threw my 40yr old body into menopause, I’m happy and at peace with my decision. LADIES – PLEASE DO NOT EXCUSE EXTREME PREMENSTRUAL OR MENSTRUAL CRAMPING OR BLOOD CLOTS. Go see your gynecologist right away and demand an ultrasound and clear options. You have to be your own advocate. Do not let what happened to me happen to you. Peace out!

  4. L says:

    As one who suffers with endometriosis, I applaud anything or anyone that creates more of a dialogue around this disease.

  5. Beth says:

    Nothing is like endometriosis. The pain was so bad, it made me unable to stand straight or lay flat. I was shocked to see mine was spread everywhere, because I thought it would be only on the uterus. After years of pain and long periods, I finally had it removed, but I’ll never be able to get pregnant

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      I would be so exhausted I couldn’t get out of bed, and there were all those little stabbing pains, very specifically where it was worst. The cramps eased up as I got older but they could be awful in adolescence to the point of wanting to vomit.

      Mine was all over, too; it’s more than in the ovaries and fallopian tubes – it can cause adhesions everywhere and removal can leave scar tissue.

      I’m so sorry to hear of the outcome for you. If I hadn’t wanted to adopt, I might have discovered the same thing, but I never tried. And it wasn’t identified until my mid 40s. Surgery really helped, and then menopause came along, though there’s always a little ‘something’ and I can feel it.

  6. Junebug says:

    The idea that women with endo might not be able to get birth control pills is awful. My endo has been so bad since having kids that I’ve had to go back on the Pill. I really don’t think I could function for two days a month of I wasn’t able to be on it.

  7. Barrett says:

    I have this. The medical community misdiagnosed me from 15 to age 35. Kept throwing me on the pill. Later it was you have IBS or maybe it’s in your head. Ladies push for a diagnosis early. If it had been caught earlier I most likely would have had kids, instead I had miscarriages.

    Disease can manifest a bit differently in each women.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Aw, sorry. And thank you for pointing that out about IBS – I never connected that with the endo, but it probably was linked for me, and I went through the same thing with doctors and their lack of diagnosis. They, of course, think IBS *is* in the head, at least for women. But all along it was probably endometriosis as the root cause.

    • Jess says:

      I’ve been told over a dozen times that I just couldn’t handle pain from my cramps, or to suck it up, or that I was drug seeking, etc. I finally found the right doctor at 25, after 10 years of dealing with debilitating pain every month, he believed me and scheduled me for surgery right away, found endo all over my uterus, ovaries, colon, and muscles in my pelvis. Ridiculous that women have to suffer like that, if men dealt with pain every month they’d be sent out for testing immediately, not told they can’t handle pain!

    • Jess says:

      I’m so sorry they didn’t take you seriously, it’s not fair.

  8. adastraperaspera says:

    I’m so glad to see celebs talking about this. I was diagnosed thirty years ago, but there was no information about it then. I didn’t know anyone else who had even heard of it, so I didn’t take care of myself properly to handle it. Really great that women are sharing info now!

  9. MAC says:

    I suffered with this for 20 years. I wish I had taken care of myself and gotten a hysterectomy 20 years ago. I won’t even go into how I was treated at the OBGYN.

  10. CharlieBouquet says:

    People can be cruel. I cannot say how many women have told me everyone has periods, suck it up. They don’t know the reality of having a whole drawer dedicated to period underwear, heating pad burns and stabbing pains up the ass from adhesions.

  11. Liztopia says:

    I had horrible endometriosis and chose to have a hysterectomy in March of this year. I’m im menopause at 34, but it is honestly worth it. The pain was awful. Bu the time of my surgery, it was all over my abdominal cavity like cobwebs. One of my ovaries was stuck under my colon. This disease is serious and there is no cure. I am glad celebrities are talking about it.

    • minxx says:

      I had the same thing.. when they finally diagnosed me, I had stage IV endo.. my surgeon said it was as if my unterine cavity was “cemented” by scar tissue. I suffered for decades before they finally figured it out (during a surgery to remove an ovarian cyst) but then couldn’t take the Pill because of blood disorder. After 3 surgeries to remove cysts/scar tissue (the cysts kept coming back almost immediately), I agreed to have everything removed, which put me immediately in menopause (surgical menopause is no joke, esp. if you can’t take hormones). Still, I prefer it to constant pain and threat of scar tissue attaching itself to my bowels and/or bladder. Endo is a horrible disease – they don’t know what causes the tissue to migrate back into your cavity instead of shedding during the period – I was lucky I had my kids before I got it but I met several young women who had their ovaries removed due to endo.. very sad. My heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with it. Be brave, don’t let anyone tell you “you’re woman, you have to suffer, that’s just how it is”. Pill definitely helps, take it if you can.

  12. HeatherAnn says:

    I had the condition too- late, after I had Kids. It is incredibly painful. I agree. Completely debilitating pain. Mine was relieved with surgery thank goodness. I was lucky.

  13. Weezy says:

    My endometriosis led to three laparoscopic procedures in my 20s and finally a hysterectomy in my late 30s. Unfortunately because I kept one ovary to avoid early menopause, I still have adhesions that flare up and cause stabbing pain with hormone fluctuations. But not having a heavy, painful period is awesome. If you think you have endo, find a good female OB/Gyn who has a stated interest in the condition (read their bio on the practice group’s website). The pill never helped me—surgery to zap it was the only relief I felt (and I was surprised to find myself pregnant after one of the surgeries). We have to keep fighting for coverage to secure the best treatments for this miserable disease.

  14. IB says:

    I had endometriosis so badly I was missing at least a week of work every month from the pain and other symptoms caused by pain. (thank GOD I was doing a fellowship year in Asia where my job was super flexible/a joke and the country had generous sick leave.) Endometriosis starts as uterine cells that get into your fallopian tubes and ovaries, meaning that places not normally bleeding get the message the “BLEED!” every month. But it just spreads and spreads. After it has spread to your ovaries and fallopian tubes it spreads everywhere. You menstruate in all different organs (that obviously don’t have anywhere to expel it, like the uterus does.)

    I was in horrific 10/10 pain up to 9 days a month. Nearly a third of the year. And it took forever to get diagnosed — doctors just wanted to give me codeine and opiods for extreme ‘period pain’ (!!!!!!!!!) My parents were terrified and thought I must have cancer. Nonstop extreme, extreme pain that also caused dry heaves and continuous diarrhea. Finally, a midwife at an ObGyn clinic suggested endometriosis and got it confirmed via ultrasound. The solution was Mirena – ‘point source’ hormonal birth control. It has changed my life, and I will never forget that every day I wake up and am healthy and can live my own life, undictated by pain, I have so much to be grateful for.

    My IUD was accidentally ripped out during a colposcopy this year (miserable), and the endometriosis and bleeding started within seconds -it was bizarre. A geyser of period blood spurting in doctor’s face. The flipside is they put in a new IUD in Feb so I am covered through this garbage administration. My very, very, very conservative catholic brother actually told me that witnessing my pain and my life post-pain changed his mind about birth control: that god forgives me (haha) and that he supports access to birth control for all women. If we can just raise more awareness about diseases like endo, and what the suffering is like, maybe we can actually change the conversation about birth control among conservatives. Unfortunately it will also probably take the guys being “as a brother to a sister”…barf

  15. Sillybee82 says:

    I have endo as well and I have yet to find a Dr. I trust who believes me. It really sucks. My mom had endo, too and had a full hysterectomy. I have not been able tl have kids, either, but do not want to get a hysterectomy because it scares me. BC used to work, but no more. For me, it has gotten worse with age. Blah, sorry. Did not mean to vent, I just had a particularly hard mc and blah.