All The Details About Heather Rae El Moussa's Health Issues

Heather Rae El Moussa, a real estate agent and former model and actor, is best known for her role on the Netflix reality series, "Selling Sunset." Since her career began in film and modeling, Heather's life has seemingly been an open book, and the streaming series brought further details about her life out in the open. This was also true when she married fellow reality television star and real estate agent Tarek El Moussa in November 2021. 

However, fans of "Selling Sunset" surely noticed that Season 7 didn't feature Heather prominently, although she did star in Season 6 while heavily pregnant. As she told E! News in March 2023, "I've been off maternity leave and I've been excited to get back to work. And so far, I've not been called back." In November, Heather took to Instagram to confirm her absence. "It's bittersweet to not be a part of [Selling Sunset] anymore. But I do know that good or bad I wouldn't change the experiences I had," she wrote. However, Heather explained that fans could catch her in "a few scenes" of Season 7.

While her health status may have had nothing to do with Heather's exclusion from the seventh season, she has been dealing with some major health problems over the years. 

She was put on bed rest during her pregnancy

In 2022, Heather Rae El Moussa and her husband, Tarek El Moussa, announced they were having their first child together after first trying to conceive via IVF treatments. The couple were understandably ecstatic for this new chapter of their relationship as well as for the opportunity to grow their family (Tarek has two children from his previous marriage with Christina Hall). "I did not think I was going to be successful at having a baby," Heather revealed on "The Jennifer Hudson Show." "And I have two beautiful stepkids, and they're incredible, and they made me want to have a baby. ... I have such an appreciation for women and what we go through, and it's such a beautiful thing."

However, towards the end of Heather's pregnancy, she started experiencing excruciating pain. In December 2022, Heather explained in an Instagram Story that her doctor put her on bed rest due to "sciatica pain [that] is just unbearable" (via E! News). According to the American Pregnancy Association, sciatica is a common problem during pregnancy, and it's caused by pressure placed on the sciatic nerve by developing fetuses.

The nerve itself runs between the lower part of your back and down towards your legs. While there are ways to help alleviate sciatic nerve pain, some women can have such severe pain during pregnancy that they cannot complete everyday activities, as was Heather's case.

Heather Rae El Moussa had a difficult birthing experience

On January 31, 2023, Heather Rae El Moussa welcomed her first child, a baby boy. Named Tristan Jay, he is Heather's first biological child. She shares two step-children, Taylor Reese and Brayden Games, with her husband, Tarek El Moussa. "I am happy," Heather revealed on the "Jennifer Hudson Show" in May 2023. "It's like a dream come true." 

While Heather and Tarek were overjoyed with their new family addition, Heather's birth was far from easy. In an Instagram post, Heather explained that Tristan was four days past his due date and his movement significantly decreased. This prompted a rush to the hospital, where Heather nearly needed an emergency C-section. "It all happened really fast," Heather wrote. "Tristan's heart rate was dropping very low every time I'd push and was staying low. Which was terrifying." After the harrowing experience, she reported, "Our baby boy came out healthy and beautiful." 

Heather explained that part of the reason the labor process was delayed was due to scar tissue on her cervix, which was a result of having a biopsy years prior. Thankfully, both Heather and Tristan Jay made it through the experience safely!

She started experiencing extreme fatigue after her son's birth

Aside from experiencing health concerns during her pregnancy and labor, Heather Rae El Moussa didn't feel well after her son was born either. She experienced extreme fatigue, something that she first attributed to being a new mother. She'd had difficulty with breastfeeding her infant, which contributed to a lack of sleep during the first weeks. "I had many tearful nights in the beginning because I'd be up at 3 am trying to feed him and felt so defeated," Heather revealed in an Instagram post. After seeing a lactation specialist, she learned that Tristan had tongue, cheek, and lip tie.

Babies who have these conditions may have problems with breastfeeding because of physical challenges with being able to latch on during feedings. Aside from visible feeding difficulties, mothers can experience pain and affected babies may gain weight slower than normal, according to La Leche League International. After Tristan's diagnosis and subsequent treatment, Heather said she and Tristan were having more success.

However, Heather was still dealing with fatigue. "My brain was so tired," she told Today. "My body was so tired. I was exhausted all the time and no amount of sleep could make it better ... I was like, I'm probably just foggy because of mom brain." 

This all made both her new job as a mother and her on-camera career difficult, but she still tried to push through. It wasn't until Heather noticed that her breastmilk supply started to dwindle after four months that something more than "mom brain" was going on. At the advice of the lactation specialist who helped the new mom with breastfeeding, Heather called her doctor. 

She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease

After seeing her doctor and having blood tests performed, Heather Rae El Moussa was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, which was set off by her pregnancy. "When she told me what I had, I was in total shock," Heather described to Today

Also called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease and a type of hypothyroidism. Unlike an underactive thyroid seen in traditional hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's causes the immune system to create antibodies that attack thyroid gland tissues, thereby causing issues with natural thyroid hormone regulation. According to the American Thyroid Association, Hashimoto's disease is the most common form of hypothyroidism during pregnancy and make up the majority of all hypothyroidism cases in the United States.

Common symptoms of the thyroid disease are among those Heather experienced — namely brain fog and fatigue — along with weight gain, intolerance to cold, and more. The good news is the thyroid condition is treatable with thyroid hormone-replacing medications, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. In fact, Heather told Today that she began "feeling much better" after starting treatment.

Despite her health issues, Heather Rae El Moussa has announced a television comeback

Despite an unexpected diagnosis and traumatic birthing experience, Heather Rae El Moussa seems to be on the mend and adjusting to life as a new mother. And she seems ready to get back to work. Much of her future projects are centered around the skills that launched her career. In July 2023, she announced a return to "The Flipping El Moussas," a reality show in which she stars alongside her husband, Tarek El Moussa. 

"The homes we're flipping are crazier, we're taking more risks, we're being even more hands on with the design of each flip, we're balancing our businesses with the kids and our newborn baby, and we're bringing you along for the journey for ALL of the good, bad, or ugly," Heather wrote on Instagram as part of the Season 2 announcement. Fans can expect new episodes to premiere in early 2024, according to HGTV.