Rap star Missy Elliott says she has Graves disease, a thyroid problem that caused her hair to fall out and shut down her nervous system. But the condition is rarely life-threatening, and the 39-year-old Grammy winner is exercising regularly under medical supervision.
“My nervous system shut down, you know,” Elliott said in an episode of the show “Behind the Music”, which will air on June 29 on VH1. “Your skin is dry, your hair falls out, you wake up, and your eyes feel like they’ve got rocks in them.”
Elliott, who is known for the hit songs “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It”, was diagnosed with Graves disease in 2008 but kept her condition private, her publicist Anne Kristoff revealed. “Elliot pretty much exercises every day, so she’s committed to her health,” she added.
Graves disease cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be mitigated with treatment, according to the medical organisation, Mayo Clinic. Patients with Graves disease have a thyroid gland that overproduces the hormone thyroxine, which increases the body’s metabolic rate and can affect a person’s appearance and energy levels.
Elliott gained fame in the mid-90’s and has won four Grammys since then. However, she has not released a new album since The Cookbook, which came out in 2005. Currently she is working on an album tentatively titled Block Party, with producer and rapper Timbaland.