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Missy Elliott has revealed that she’s been suffering with Graves’ disease — an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid — as of 2008.
Missy reportedly shared details of the diagnosis with People Magazine, saying that the symptoms — including mood swings and weight loss — affected her quickly and unexpectedly.
“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,” Elliott said. “I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad — I couldn’t even use a pen.”
Elliott has been going through radiation and exercising, which fortunately has improved her condition. “I’m 30 pounds lighter because I’ve been exercising.” Elliott continues. “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.”
As Missy continues to fighting her disease, which unfortunately has no cure as of yet, she’s working on new music with longtime friend and collaborator, Timbaland. Elliott will be featured on VH1’s Behind the Music on June 29 discussing, among other things, her battle with Graves’ disease, weight issues, and being sexually molested as a child.
UPDATE: Missy Elliott released a statement on Friday to clarify her condition. It is reprinted in its entirety below:
“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.”
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