Missy Elliott explains why she’s been MIA from the music scene for so long.
Elliott tells People that she was diagnosed with Graves disease in 2008 – an incurable autoimmune condition affecting her thyroid that causes symptoms like dizzy spells, lumps in the throat, mood swings, hair loss and bulging eyes.
The disease has been so debilitating that she’s had to make lots of changes to her everyday life. The singer confides, “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. I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad – I couldn’t even use a pen.”
She underwent radiation for hyperthyroidism, which helped battle the disease although it caused her mood swings and hair loss.
But that hasn’t stopped Elliott from being optimistic, “I’m 30 pounds lighter because I’ve been exercising,” she explains, “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.”
If you catch Graves disease early enough, it can be controlled enough so that Elliott can live as close to a normal life as possible.
Elliott isn’t giving up that easy, as she’s currently in the studio working on a comeback album with Timbaland.