Missy Elliot Battles Graves’ Disease

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Just yesterday we were listening to “Gossip Folks” and practically weeping, just thinking to ourselves that there are children alive today who don’t know how hard Missy Elliot is capable of killing it. Anyone alive and possessing ears between 1997 and 2007 knows exactly what we’re talking about. However, as the singer now reveals, Missy Elliot’s Graves’ disease diagnosis hit her hard in 2008, and the rapper has slowly been in recovery ever since. “I was [driving and] trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping,” Elliot recalls about her struggle with the autoimmune disease. “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.”

While Graves’ disease is incurable, symptoms like hyperthyroidism, hair loss and weight gain are treatable; Elliot cites radiation treatment as helping put her illness into remission. “I’m 30 pounds lighter because I’ve been exercising,” Elliot says. “My thyroid is functioning, so I haven’t had to take medication in about nine months. [But] you live with it for the rest of your life.” Because this is the same woman who had approximately 5,000 songs on the radio at the same time during the late nineties, Missy Elliot’s new album, yet another collabo with partner Timbaland, will drop sometime this year, Missy Elliot’s Behind The Music episode premieres next Wednesday, and the rap game will completely change once again about 90 minutes after her album goes for sale on iTunes.