Missy Elliott: “I Have a Thyroid Disease”

The hip-hop star is suffering from Graves’ Disease.

Posted: 07/03/2013 10:07 AM EDT

What is Graves’ disease?

Hip-hop star Missy Elliott disclosed a few years ago that she has Graves’ disease, an incurable autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid.

After keeping her condition private for years, the ‘Work It’ singer confessed to the world that she was originally diagnosed with the disease in 2008, undergoing treatment after a sudden loss of muscle control.

“I was driving and trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping. I couldn’t keep the brake down and almost crashed,” Missy says. “I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad — I couldn’t even use a pen.”

Elliott said she has endured several other debilitating hyperthyroid symptoms, including mood swings and hair loss, and has revealed that she turned to radiation treatment. The solution improved her condition, but cannot cure her of the disease.

“I’m 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) lighter because I’ve been exercising,” she continued. “My thyroid is functioning, so I haven’t had to take medication in about nine months. (But) you live with it for the rest of your life.”

While Graves’ disease is rarely life-threatening, it is five to 10 times more likely to affect women. Though almost 2 percent of the female population are known to have the disease, its causes are not known.

Read more about Missy Elliot’s battle with Grave’s disease at BlackDoctor.Org.

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(Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

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