Oprah Winfrey Talks of Thyroid Condition

Oprah Winfrey is going public about the thyroid condition that slowed down her metabolism and caused her to gain 20 pounds.

Winfrey, 53, was feeling incredibly sluggish by the time her talk show wrapped up its season in May. She eventually discovered the problem: an out-of-balance thyroid.

"My body was turning on me," she says in the October issue of O, the Oprah magazine. "First hyperthyroidism, which sped up my metabolism and left me unable to sleep for days. (Most people lose weight. I didn't.)"

"Then hypothyroidism, which slowed down my metabolism and made me want to sleep all the time. (Most people gain weight. I did! Twenty pounds!)"

Hyperthyroidism can also cause a fast heartbeat, among other symptoms; hypothyroidism, the opposite condition, can result in fatigue and weakness.

Winfrey, exhausted and stressed, took a month-long break in Hawaii to regain her health.

Winfrey also discussed her thyroid condition on Tuesday's "Oprah" show, saying she "wanted so many other women who are going through the same thing to check on yourself and recognize that ... it's an issue we all share in common."

She devoted the show to women's health issues and featured Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of "The Wisdom of Menopause."