Skip to Content

As you probably know, 2015 was a difficult year for the Duggar family, so it’s not surprising that Jill Duggar-Dillard decided to close things out by paying loving tribute to her husband with a simple, scandal-free selfie.

Or so she thought. 

Dillard, Jill M. and Derick

Unfortunately for her, nothing has been going according to plan for the Duggars lately:

The mother of young Israel Dillard posted that picture last week with a caption that reading simply, "I [heart Emoji] my hubby."

The image garnered lots of attention, but not because of Jill’s typically sweet romantic sentiments.

Many fans pointed out that Dillard’s appearance has changed considerably since his and Jill’s wedding in April 2014.

In turn, the comment board on Jill’s Instagram page quickly became a place to diagnose Derick and debate the cause of his drastic weight loss.

“He looks anorexic,” one fan commented.

“His face is gaunt and his eyes are sunk in."

Derick, Jill & Israel Dillard Facebook Photo

"Compare wedding day photos with this photo," another member of Duggar Nation weighed in after seeing the image. "Definitely something wrong.”

“Did he have a stroke or something?” wrote another.

“Even on their 3 episode special he had some weird stuff going on with his face,” said yet another concerned follower of the famous family.

Was there, though? 

Theories put forth by fans – many based on pure speculation – ran the gamut from neurological impairments to religious fasting.

You name it, someone online has posited it. The real reason for Derick’s changing is likely much simpler, however …

Jill and Derick Dillard in El Salvador

If you go back and watch 19 Kids and Counting online, the precursor to Counting On, you may notice that the Duggar clan is strangely fixated on teeth.

Yes, seriously.

It may be for that reason that Derick underwent oral surgery to extend his palette and began wearing braces shortly after his marriage to Jill.

How would that change anything, you ask? Well …

Such procedures have been known to result in weight loss, as they often require patients to adhere to liquid diets for several weeks at a time.

We don’t know if that happened in Dillard’s case, but it stands to reason that the operation he went through had some discernible effect.

It’s a better theory than a stroke, for Pete’s sake.

Of course, it goes without saying that the compounded stress of the past year probably didn’t help Derick put the pounds back on.

In addition to the Josh Duggar sex scandals that made tabloid headlines, other members of the famous family have been put through the wringer.

Derick and Jill, for all their innocent sweetness, have sparked more than a few online controversies over the past year …

Fans may recall that Jill and Derick were accused of lying about their missionary work in Central America in order to scam fans out of donations.

It would be a lot for anyone to deal with, to be sure.

Unlike his wife, Derick is not a reality TV veteran whose life has been documented by TLC cameras year after year since birth.

That must only add to the stress.

Hopefully, the new dad will just keep a low profile, keep the controversies to a minimum and spend time with his family in 2016.

Whatever you think of the Duggars, Derick seems to genuinely enjoy that more than anything else in the world …