The leading lady in hip-hop, Missy Misdemeanor Elliot recently announced that she has been battling with Graves' Disease, an ailment that affects the autoimmune system and thyroid gland. She was diagnosed three years ago.
You live with it for the rest of your life, Elliot told People magazine.
She said when she was first diagnosed with the disease in 2008 the disease affected her motor skills, and then she began experiencing other symptoms such as dizziness, lumps in her throat, mood swings, hair loss and fast heart rate.
According to a report by the Washington Post, Graves' disease occurs when too much thyroid hormone is produced leading to hyperthyroidism. When thyroxine levels are increased so is the metabolic rate which could lead to imbalances in weight, mood and energy.
Symptoms to Graves' disease include rapid heart rate, double vision, insomnia, tremors, fatigue, muscle weakness and anxiety.
The 39 year old rapper said she was treated with radiation therapy and exercise. Other treatments include anti-thyroid medications and doses of radioactive iodine to shrink the gland.
I'm 30 lbs. lighters because I've been exercising, Elliot said. My thyroid is functioning, so I haven't had to take medication in about nine months.
If left untreated Graves' disease can get worse with time. Missy Elliot was diagnosed early and can continue to live a normal life. President H.W. Bush and Frist Lady Barbara Bush also suffered from Graves' disease.
According to the report by the Washington Post, Elliot is now producing more songs with Timbaland for her highly-anticipated seventh album titled Block Party.