Missy Elliott Is Battling Graves Disease

The Grammy award winning hip-hop artist says she's battled the disease since 2008.

By Julianne Hing Jun 24, 2011

Folks who’ve been wondering why we haven’t heard much from Missy Elliott in recent years now have an answer. The Grammy award winning hip-hop artist has been battling Graves Disease, she told People magazine. The disease, an autoimmune disorder which affects a person’s thyroid, led to muscle tremors that nearly put Elliott’s life in jeopardy. "I was [driving and] trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping," she told People. "I couldn’t keep the brake down and almost crashed." She was diagnosed with the disease in 2008 after that incident, and has since been treating it with medication and a strict diet and exercise regimen. Graves disease also leads to weight loss, hair loss, dizziness and mood swings, and at one point so affected Elliott’s nervous system that she couldn’t hold a pen. "You live with it for the rest of your life," Elliott, who’s 39, said. On Twitter she’s thanked her fans for the outpouring of support she’s gotten since announcing her health issues, and promised fans [a new forthcoming single](https://twitter.com/#!/MissyElliott/status/83821782116741120). The rapper will be discussing her fight with Graves and her tumultuous childhood in a VH1 "Behind the Music" special that’s going to air next Wednesday, June 29.