Padma Lakshmi Kicks Off Endometriosis Awareness Month With Relatable Memes

"Top Chef" host, actress, and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi has been highly vocal about living with endometriosis. She told Women's Health in a 2020 interview that she was used to "excruciating cramps" as a teenager but assumed that she'd just have to live with them because her mother went through something similar.

Things changed when Lakshmi got an answer from doctors when she was 36 years old: Endometriosis was the source of her painful menstrual periods. The actress decided to undergo surgery to deal with the condition. Lakshmi said that while she was initially relieved because she finally had an answer, the actress later realized that endometriosis had been a cruel ordeal. She recalled, "It wasn't until a year after the surgery that I started getting really pissed. Like, 'Wait a minute, I lost a week of my life every month of every year since I was 13 because of this sh**, and I could have had this operation at 20 rather than 36?' "

Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, individuals living with endometriosis have endometrial tissue growing "outside of the uterus, usually on other reproductive organs inside the pelvis or in the abdominal cavity" which leads to heavy menstrual cycles and intense pain, among other symptoms. Given her past struggles with her now treated condition, Lakshmi is now advocating for women who have this painful condition to empower themselves and seek treatment.

She's motivating others to speak up

For Endometriosis Awareness Month, Padma Lakshmi is making sure that she's doing what she can to educate her fans about the condition. She posted a series of hilarious but hard-hitting memes on her Instagram account and wrote, "Endometriosis is more than just a debilitating disease. It impacts a person's life in so many ways from their career and romantic relationships to their loved ones and their communities. It is a family issue."

Chef Millie Peartree posted a comment on Lakshmi's post and implied that she could relate to her words, writing that fibroid pain is also difficult to live with. Meanwhile, a fan wrote a message for Lakshmi that read, "I needed this ... last weekend was super rough with this endo pain ... yet as a single mom of 2 it's like 'conceal don't feel' Elsa mode." Other commenters mentioned that they could definitely relate to Lakshmi's memes, and some even shared their own stories. A fan wrote about her mom and said that she was not taken seriously and told to "toughen up" in the 1960s and 1970s. They added, "She eventually found someone who recognized that it was more and believed her about her pain. But it took 20 years."