Wendy Williams Has Been Open About Her Health Issues, Including Her Feet

“This is lymphedema. And I can only feel now 2 percent (of my feet). Do you see what this looks like?” Wendy Williams is often in a wheelchair.


Feb. 28 2024, Published 11:23 a.m. ET

Wendy Williams sitting by the ocean
Source: Lifetime

During a new two-night Lifetime documentary, Wendy Williams puts her health front and center. There has been much speculation about the former TV host's health since her show ended two years ago under relatively mysterious circumstances.

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Now, Wendy has returned to the spotlight to discuss everything that's going on in her life, including her recent diagnosis of dementia, and her feet, which have also transformed in recent years. Here's what we know about what happened to her feet.

Wendy Williams's feet in 'Where Is Wendy Williams?'
Source: Lifetime
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What happened to Wendy Williams's feet?

Where Is Wendy Williams? starts with Wendy discussing her life and career, but the topic quickly turns to her health, and the camera then pans down to her feet.

“This is lymphedema,” Wendy explains. “And I can only feel now 2 percent (of my feet). Do you see what this looks like?”

Wendy first revealed that she had been diagnosed with the condition on her show in 2019, and has shown off her feet occasionally in interviews in the years since.

Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when lymph fluid builds up in various parts of the body because of an issue with the lymphatic system, which is usually responsible for draining the fluids. Symptoms include swelling, a feeling of heaviness in the limbs, recurring infections, and a hardening of the skin called fibrosis. Some people are born with lymphedema, while others acquire it, often through surgery or cancer.

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Lymphedema can start as a relatively mild condition, but it usually gets more severe over time. Those who suffer from it are also considered to be at increased risk from skin infections, so while it may seem like a relatively benign condition, it comes with real risks.

Wendy explained in the documentary that she is usually in a wheelchair as a result of the condition, and there were points during the documentary where it caused her so much pain she couldn't continue with the interview.

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“Lymphedema, by the way, I’ve been diagnosed,” Wendy said in 2019 when she was first diagnosed. “It’s not going to kill me, but I do have a machine — and how dare you talk about the swelling of it all.”

“If (the swelling in) my feet and lower things never go all the way down, at least I have this machine,” she added. “I sit for 45 minutes a day. And believe me, it’s the best party entertainer ever. Everybody who comes over wants to do this.”

The new documentary about Wendy Williams is controversial.

Although it's a gripping look at Wendy's life, Where Is Wendy Williams? has been controversial in part because the filmmakers didn't know that she had been diagnosed with alcohol-induced dementia until after they had finished filming the series.

The filmmakers even claimed that if they had known, they likely wouldn't have made the documentary.

Ultimately, what aired on Lifetime was a revealing look at Wendy's ongoing struggles and her relationship with her court-appointed guardian. Her life is undoubtedly difficult, and lymphedema is just one of many things that the documentary made clear she is currently struggling with.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy and those around her as she navigates her health issues moving forward.

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