Mona Lisa suffered thyroid deficiency
The most famous model in the history of humanity was not exemplary in terms of health: Mona Lisa suffered hypothyroidism, or thyroid deficiency which reflected in symptoms of her yellowish skin, thinning hair and a hint of goitre on her neck, the US researchers suggest.
In an article published in the September 2018 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Brigham and Women’s Hospital researcher Mandeep Mehra and University of California, Santa Barbara’s Hilary Campbell thinks that clinical hypothyroidism is a more likely diagnosis than previous hypotheses including a lipid disorder and heart disease.
“The enigma of the Mona Lisa can be resolved by a simple medical diagnosis of a hypothyroidism-related illness,” Dr.Mehra said.
“In many ways, it is the allure of the imperfections of disease that give this masterpiece its mysterious reality and charm.” Had Lisa Gherardini suffered from heart disease and a lipid disorder, it’s unlikely she would have lived to such an advanced age given the limited treatments available in 16th century Italy, the scientists suggest.
Dr. Mehra cited the Mona Lisa‘s thinning hair, yellow skin, and possible goitre as visual symptoms of hypothyroidism.
“The diet of Italians during the Renaissance was lacking in iodine, and resulting goiters (swollen gland) were commonly depicted in paintings and sculptures of the era,” he said.
“Additionally, Lisa Gherardini gave birth shortly before sitting for the portrait, which indicates the possibility of peripartum thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid after pregnancy).”