Missy Elliott has been quiet on the music front over the past few years due to her struggle with Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes overactivity in the thyroid gland. Speaking with People, the “Work It” rapstress revealed that she was diagnosed with the disease in 2008, and that the symptoms affected her so quickly that she lost control of her nervous system.
“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,” she said. “I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad – I couldn’t even use a pen.”
The Portsmouth, Virginia native suffered from several symptoms including hair loss and mood swings, inevitably turning to radiation to calm the disease. “I’m 30 pounds 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.”
Elliott will discuss her struggle with the disease as well as her sexual abuse as a child in an upcoming episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” airing on June 29th.
UPDATE: Missy has released a statement declaring yesterday’s reports as over-exaggerated and not entirely accurate.
“There have been some inaccuracies reported in regards to my diagnosis with Grave’s Disease, so I wanted to clear things up. I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease about three years ago but it really hasn’t slowed me down at all. I rocked my performance on VH1 Hip Hop Honors’ tribute to Timbaland last year. I’ve written and produced a bunch of Grammy-nominated, #1 hits for artists like Keyshia Cole, Monica and Jasmine Sullivan. I toured the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. And on top of all that, I’m working on my new album. I feel great. Under my doctor’s supervision, I’ve been off medication for about a year and I’m completely managing the condition through diet and exercise.”