How Padma Lakshmi supported her friend Lena Dunham as she battled endometriosis

By People Staff
March 22, 2018 05:22 PM

Padma Lakshmi revealed she was a confidant to her friend Lena Dunham as the actress battled endometriosis and ultimately underwent a hysterectomy.

“I knew about it a lot before that [Vogue] article came out,” Lakshmi, 47, who co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America after struggling from the disease herself, told PEOPLE Now. “I was on the phone with her, you know, when it happened I recommended the doctor that she did that with.”

When the Top Chef host saw Dunham, 31, struggle, she had to help.

“[I was] somewhat part of the process from the beginning because I felt that Lena wasn’t getting the care that she really should have when I heard her talking about some of the doctors that she was seeing before she got to my co-founder,” she says. “It’s a very personal thing. You don’t want to push your advice on someone, but I kept saying, ‘I wonder if she should have a second opinion?’ I know you love your doctor and they sound great, but for just comparison.”

She continued: “And [Lena] went through a lot of trouble before she got to that point. She would tell you this herself, it was such an odyssey, you know, everything happened that could have happened. She had a lot of complications so, her case, just like my case is a great example.”

Lakshmi, who has been an outspoken advocate for women’s health as well as for endometriosis, is hoping to bring more awareness to the causes close to her heart.

“You know, Lena and I both have access to really good medical care, and for many, many millions of Americans, especially American women, that care is not available to them, and we’re cutting funding to free care, like Planned Parenthood and other types of insurance and we need that as women.”