It seems that a supermodel’s life isn’t all glamor as Czech supermodel Karolina Kurkova revealed she suffered from premature menopause at only 24, a health issue triggered by a thyroid problem which led to weight gain and panic attacks.

The 27 year old blonde bombshell shared her little secret at the 2012 CFDA panel discussion targeting the issue of ‘A Well Balanced Life’, and according to New York Magazine, Ms. Kurkova was very emotional during the brief speech she gave. Apparently, the model who now looks divine, suffered from a thyroid problem that triggered premature menopause which manifested through weight gain and panic attacks among others. Although she admitted having undergone a procedure the previous day, Karolina Kurkova did not specify the type of procedure she has undergone or did not share details about it, but said:

“I had a little procedure yesterday, I didn’t know how big it was going to be. I was 24 and going through menopause —That was one of my side effects. I thought I was going crazy. I was having panic attacks every minute and I didn’t know what was happening, because I’ve been a healthy person. I’ve exercised all my life. I’ve always eaten well and taken care of myself.”

Other important names in the fashion industry were present at the event, such as Anna Wintour, Elettra Wiedermann, Arianna Huffington, Monique Pean, Diane von Furstenberg and although the majority of them have not dealt with these health issues they tried to underline the importance of a healthy lifestyle and that not everyone is cut out to be a model. Anna Wintour decided to push deep into the subject and asked Elettra Wiedermann if she could give designers some advice on how to spot and deal with models with eating disorders. Ms. Wintour asked:

“I just have a very practical question that I’d like to ask you, Elettra. Obviously, most models are thin, as you’ve all pointed out. And also, those who have eating disorders are usually the masters of disguise. There are a lot of designers here this morning, and I’d like to ask you what your advice would be to the designers and to their teams for warning signs of girls that do have eating problems, how they should handle it, how they should deal with it, and really what they should look for.”

Ms. Wiedermann replied that although she is not an expert, she managed to spot a friend in trouble when she observed that she is loosing her hair, growing peach fuzz on her arms and was making strange decisions. She said: “I could tell she was not feeding her brain.”

Among other designers that stepped in the discussion were Olivier Theyskens who said that he observed the weight difference between models presenting at Paris and New York fashion shows after various models apparently starved themselves between shows, and Diane von Furshtenberg who pointed out that not everyone who is skinny can be a model and that is why not so many girls should be signed by agents. She said: “Not everybody can be a model. It doesn’t matter how skinny you are. I think [agents] should be honest and say, ‘You are beautiful and everything, but you will never be a model.’ You know? And it’s okay. You can be something else rather than, ‘If you starve you’ll become a model.’”

Photos courtesy of Getty Images