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Missy Elliott: I Have Graves' Disease

6/23/2011 7:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Missy Elliott just announced she has Graves' disease -- an incurable autoimmune condition affecting her thyroid.

Missy Elliott Graves Disease

Elliott tells People, she was diagnosed with the disease in 2008 -- and has been receiving radiation treatment to help alleviate symptoms like dizzy spells, lumps in her throat, mood swings, hair loss, and bulging eyes. Missy adds, "You live with it for the rest of your life."

According to Missy, the radiation was a help, but other medication made her pack on the pounds -- which she's been able to counter through exercise.

The disease isn't fatal -- and after treatment, Missy claims things couldn't be going better, "My thyroid is functioning, so I haven't had to take medication in about nine months."


68 COMMENTS

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16.

wow    

I suffer from Graves' disease and am living on the wrong dosage of synthyroid and my levels are all messed up.

This is not a nice way to live. I want her doctors! No meds after RI treatment? I want that! I am constantly going up and down on my meds and feel crappy the whole time!

1220 days ago
17.

DS    

Graves Disease CAN be life threatening when left untreated. It's called Thyroid Storm .

1220 days ago
18.

DrCGH    

Is this really news TMZ? I have had Graves disease since 2004 which resulted in my Thyroid being removed. A lot of people has this disease. It really isnt that big of a deal!!

1220 days ago
19.

texasknight1    

wow some of these comments are just downright hateful..

i wish missy the best, she's very talented i wish her safe recovery and hope she continues on with her life and continues creating music.

1220 days ago
20.

STFU    

Hang in there Missy you’ll be okay.While, I do not have Graves' disease, I had a Thyroidectomy , take a daily pill , and have to work out twice a day just to keep in shape. Folks with normally functioning thyroids don’t know how good they have it.

1220 days ago
21.

crazycatlady    

I too have Grave's disease. It is essentially hyperthyroidism, and there can be several causes. The thyroid is a very complex organ, and treating any thyroid disease is difficult.

She had a radioactive iodine treatment (it's not radiation like for cancer - it's a one-time deal) to kill part or all of her thyroid to stop it from being overactive. This is the most extreme choice of treatment.

Basically the disease wreaks havoc on everything - physically and mentally - and it sucks.

1220 days ago
22.

Kenneth    

Yeah, radiation may "alleviate symptoms like dizzy spells, lumps in her throat, mood swings, hair loss, and bulging eyes" but it is HELL ON THE LIPS.

1220 days ago
23.

crazycatlady    

Wow. Seeing how many commenters who also have thyroid disease is eye-opening.

Those of you saying it's not news or it's no big deal - wrong.

If you have Grave's and your symptoms aren't bad - then lucky you. But it can range from no-big-deal to bothersome to life-threatening (as one commenter said) if not treated properly.

Missy is inadvertantly bringing a spotlight to a disease that you don't hear much about, yet many people obviously suffer from. Good on her!

1220 days ago
24.

Scarlett    

Graves disease can be a killer if left untreated, so I am happy she got the diagnoses and treatment she needs. I had graves disease in my teens and nearly died from it due to lack of insurance and treatment. Yes, it is easily treatable, but sometimes bad things do happen.

1220 days ago
25.

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

The only thing I have an issue with is the way they make the treatment sound like the same treatment as cancer patients have, and those of us who have had it know it's nothing of the sort.

She most likely will be on Levothyroxine within the next 5 years and maybe she won't ever feel the same again, but as far as diseases to have, there are much worse.

1220 days ago
26.

crazy christmas pie    

hold it together ms. missy--you're one of the best of the best--luv u!

1220 days ago
27.

A    

I was diagnosed the same year as her. It is good to have a celebrity be the face of awareness for this disease & other thyroid related diseases adding credibility to the community. Not many celeb's come forward saying so. The Bushes had it as well. I always wondered why Missy hadn't done more. Just like Toni Braxton & Lupus...Thyroid Eye disease is not a walk in the park, nor is the cost or accessibility for it's treatment.

1220 days ago
28.

denny    

So sorry for ........the disease. She is a really tactless horrible being and I hope this makes her triple check herself when dealing with people. Be kinder to people.

1220 days ago
29.

Ace    

I know a lot about Graves disease and what she is saying or the way she is saying it....makes NO sense.
I think she is exaggerating.

1220 days ago
30.

A    

For all you people that say it's no big deal are wrong. It affects the control of the metabolism for your body. Am not comparing it to cancer, like someone suggested, but it did damn near kill me and keep me from walking for a year! For women it can affect our reproductive abilities due to it being hormone related. Those suggesting it is not to be taken seriously when it affects your heart, your blood pressure, memory, bone density due to mineral productivity, depression due to the t3 in the brain, sensitivity to sun, auto-immune means being cognizant of the food you eat and the role that soy has for thyroid people due to it being a goiterogen. for those of you that are going to say "it's no big deal"; should logically back it up! :)

1220 days ago
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