Missy Elliott has reportedly revealed to People magazine that she has been suffering from the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease since 2008. The disease, which affects the thyroid and causes mood swings and weight loss, may be part of the reason why the rapper and producer has not released a new album in six years.
According to Billboard, Elliott told People that she knew something was wrong when she had trouble controlling her body while driving. “I was [driving and] trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping,” she said. “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.”
Elliott is presently in good shape following the intervention of her doctors, who gave her radiation treatments and encouraged her to work out. “I’m 30 pounds lighter because I’ve been exercising. My thyroid is functioning, so I haven’t had to take medication in about nine months,” she says.
The rapper will discuss her battle with Graves’ disease, as well as her lengthy absence from the spotlight, in an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music that will air at 10 p.m. on June 29th.