The 'Mona Lisa' Allure: Could It Be the Result of Thyroid Disease?

Credit: Leonardo da Vinci


Is Lisa Gherardini seen after the birth of her child hypothyroid? Her swollen hand in the painting may be due to myxedema.

The condition can lead to a yellowing of the skin, as well as goiters, or enlargements of the thyroid gland.

Hypothyroidism could be a “unifying diagnosis” that would explain many features in the painting, including the subject’s apparent yellowing skin; thinning hair and lack of eyebrows along with a receding hairline; a possible enlargement in the neck suggestive of a goiter.

Pregnancy can sometimes be a cause of hypothyroidism.

Muscle weakness and reduced movement “leading to a less than fully blossomed smile.