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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."


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I have had this same diagnosis since 1987. They made it sound like she is dying. It is incurable. Get over it. You drink radioactive iodine which is nothing really, stay away from kids and elderly for 2 weeks, then you move on with your life. Most likely she will have to take synthroid for the rest of her life. OH MY, how terrible. Grow up and deal with it and stop the publicity crap. I have more compassion for someone with Lupus or Fibromyalgia, (which I also have) than Graves disease.

1188 days ago


Thank you A, for being one of the few who understand how dangerous this can be to your health. Thyroid glands regulate your entire body and if it is malfunctioning, there can be some major repercussions and can be potentially fatal, especially if not treated.

As for me, I was misdiagnosed and prescribed pills to raise my level, which almost killed me. All of you saying that it is no big deal, don't know how bad it can really get.

1188 days ago


I will give it to Shelley that Lupus & Fibrom are severe & painful; At least she backed up her rationale. TMZ worded it correctly listing her symptoms, for those of us who have felt them, it was not an exaggeration, it only scratches the surface of related illness'. Tmz also said, it was "not-life-threatening" (at this point because she has been stabilized); for those that said it sounded like she was dying. But yes, as many pointed out- thyroid storms are deadly, they attack your whole body. So for those people that don't take medical treatments, diagnosis or medications seriously- it sends the wrong message to downplay necessary treatment that could cause unnecessary deterioration. For those of you suffering from thyroid related illness; there are many great online support groups :)

1188 days ago


I was actually really confused when I read this article. I was diagnosed with Graves 2 and 1/2 years ago. I received one radiation treatment and had to stay away from everyone for a couple days. I was told I would be on meds for the rest of my life. not quite understanding how she cant be on meds. Radiation in effect kills the thyriod and the synthriod is hormone. Dont understand what she's talking about. someone help me out here.

1188 days ago

If sense were common everyone would have it.    

Damn that sucks. Time will tell if whatever doesn't kill her will make her stronger.

1188 days ago



The radioactive iodine will not burn all of your thyroid glands away, but it will burn off the excess glands, so you are at more normal levels. For most of us, they burn off too much and we have to take synthroid to raise our levels. It does not burn all of your thyroid glands. On rare occasions it does completely regulate your levels. I hope I have helped a little to answer your question

1188 days ago


Maybe she is not completely hypo yet. I was allergic to the hyper meds so I had to do radiation. Number one she is a celebrity & can afford the best of treatment, so who knows what she is doing, but I was confused as well. Secondly you never know if her PR has released that she is on synthroid, sometimes we dont get the whole truth because it is not looked up on well if someone has to be on medication. In time it's up to Missy as to whether she will give her story & be an advocate. But some Graves people describe as being in "remission". Everyone requires different treatment & along the way ppl have to be aware of Dr.'s misdiagnosis as well, because there is disagreement in the medical community & lack of awareness. But by the same token there are great doc's out there. Not everyone can access them or find them unfortunately. So maybe she is still being treated somewhere between hyper & hypo? Remeber in between are a bunch of other little diagnosis like Hashimotos, cancer, nodules, diabetes and so much more

1188 days ago


Thanks for your help.

1188 days ago


I have Graves' Disease and it almost killed me! My endocrinologist said that I was on the verge of having a thyroid storm, which would've meant I was going to fall into a coma and die. I was diagnosed at the very last minute and it saved my life.

My Graves' caused me to be on heart medication (for a dangerously fast heartbeat), it crippled me with insanely painful muscle spasms in my legs, and I would stay awake for days on end and had to go on medical leave for three months from my job and eventually resign. It is no laughing matter. The bulging eyes not only ruined my looks but they also destroyed my confidence.

Three years later I still feel horrible, my hair falls out, I am tired all of the time, I have gained 80 pounds and I have become a recluse because when I do go out people snicker and make shallow, crappy comments, teamed up with the depression that is also caused by my condition, I would definitely say it's nothing to laugh at.

I'm glad so many people seem to have bounced back from their Graves', but mine has ruined the quality of my life.

1188 days ago


I was diagnosed with Graves disease in 2001. The way you are describing the radio active iodine treatments, sounds wrong. There is now 1 pill you can take and the thyroid is no longer active. Plus, synthroid, is a hormone treatment that replaces what your thyroid was producing. You will have to take those types of medication for the rest of your life. If her doctor didn't tell her that A side affect of irraticating the thyroid would be possible weigh gain, then she wasn't listening. All the sypmtoms that you listed are typical for those whose TSH and/T3 are not in the "normal" levels while taking a synthetic hormone of some sort.
BUT Graves is not a BIG deal. and now since she had her thyroid irraticated she actually is hypothyroid.

1188 days ago


Missy is an unique talent and I wish her the best with her health struggles - god bless her!

1188 days ago


Maybe I didn't correctly state treatment however, for some ppl they are not "cured" with one pill the way you are describing it. Anyone can look up what synthroid does. And some ppl's TSH levels can read in the normal range & still not be well. My levels were in the normal range for a long time & i was sick for a long time. Auto-immune does not happen overnight, but progressively takes time to surface. If you dont think it's a big deal, you are entitled to your opinion, but you did not back it up as to why. if we as patients disagree, I an only imagine to what extent dr.'s do & it show's with sometimes thier lack of interest, acknowledgement, or sensitivity to our symptoms. Maybe Graves isn't a big deal, but it opens the door to affect many other issues with your body.

1188 days ago


Um, no. Graves Disease is very treatable. Barbara and George Bush both had it when he was still President. She just needs to take a radioactive pill to destroy the thyroid, then take thyroid meds for life. It's no big deal.

1188 days ago


No one said it wasn't treatable. We know the Bushes had it. I'm pretty sure you dont have it KTD, probably a Dr.

1188 days ago


not ok to belittle a disease. Ok you have it and your life is better than ever .. good for you.. but for the rest of it's a life of hell.. of constant change of meds, of ridicule for not "looking" sick and yet unable to drink a glass of water or practically move were every bone in your bone hurts like your 109, where your hormones are so out of balance you don't know if you're going to kill yourself or be ok.

So again this can and usually is a very bad disease.. thyroid is VERY important.

1188 days ago
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