“Misdemeanor” singer Missy Elliott, 39, has been suffering from Grave’s disease for the past three years, according to People Magazine. The disease is an autoimmune illness that affects the thyroid.
Since her diagnosis in 2008, she has suffered from symptoms such as dizziness, mood swings, a rapid heartbeat, and hair loss.
The disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactivity of the thyroid gland, according to the National Institutes of Health. It’s most common in woman over age 20, however the disorder may occur at any age and may affect men as well.
“I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad. I couldn’t even use a pen. I was trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg
was jumping. I couldn’t keep the brake down and almost crashed,” Elliott told People.
If untreated the disease will lead to more serious complications, including bone loss and fractures, inanition, birth defects in pregnancy, increased risk of a miscarriage. It begins gradually, and is progressive unless treated.
Radiation therapy combined with medication helped Elliott decrease her symptoms. “My thyroid is functioning, so I haven’t had to take medication in about nine months. [But] you live with it for the rest if your life,” she said.