Rapper Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott Has Graves' Disease

Missy Elliot Complains of Typical Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

Rapper Missy Elliott performs on stage.
Rapper Missy Elliott performs on stage. Rob Ball/Getty Images

In the early aughts multi-Grammy-winning rapper-producer Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot was the female face of hip hop. With her addictive hooks and mesmerizing vocal skills, Elliot's music blasted on every dance floor from Sin City to Singapore; she was a bonafide international star. (Remember "Get Ur Freak On?")

However, it's been more than 10 years since Missy dropped The Cookout, her last studio album.

It's hard for anybody--including other music greats like Axl Rose and D'Angelo--to stay out of the game that long and expect to come back in any substantial way.

In November 2015, Missy Elliot release WTF (Where They From), which features Pharrell Williams and is the lead single on her upcoming album. We wait with baited breathe for the actual album. Wouldn't be great to hear Missy everywhere again?

Although she's still recording and produces for plenty of big names including Keyshia Cole, Missy Elliot claims the she took a break from the limelight for two main reasons. First, she wants her next album to be perfect. Second, her health worsened because of Graves' disease. Specifically, Missy complains of hair loss, bulging of the eyes and increased blood pressure from too much work.

History of Missy Elliot's Diagnosis with Graves' Disease

Elliott's diagnosis of Graves' disease first became public, due to her discussion of her thyroid condition in a VH1 "Behind the Music" episode featuring the rapper that was first aired on June 29, 2011, as well as an interview she did with the magazine People.

Elliott told People that since her diagnosis, she received radiation treatment -- radioactive iodine (RAI) -- which has helped resolve some of her symptoms, which included bulging eyes, hair loss, rapid heart rate, a lump in her throat, dizziness, and mood changes, among others.

She also said that since the radiation treatment, she gained weight, but was able to lose it with a combination of diet and exercise.

In her "Behind the Music" special, Elliott said: "I'm 30 pounds lighter because I've been exercising."

In an official statement from Missy Elliott released on June 24, 2011, she said:

There have been some inaccuracies reported in regards to my diagnosis with Grave's Disease, so I wanted to clear things up. I was diagnosed with Grave's (sic) Disease about three years ago but it really hasn't slowed me down at all. I rocked my performance on VH1 Hip Hop Honors' tribute to Timbaland last year. I've written and produced a bunch of Grammy-nominated, #1 hits for artists like Keyshia Cole, Monica and Jasmine Sullivan. I toured the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. And on top of all that, I'm working on my new album. I feel great. Under my doctor's supervision, I've been off medication for about a year and I'm completely managing the condition through diet and exercise.

Other Celebrities With Thyroid Disease

Missy Elliott joins a growing list of celebrities--including "Modern Family's Sofia Vergara, fitness expert Jillian Michaels, and daytime diva Oprah Winfrey--who have gone public with their diagnoses of thyroid disease.

(Find out about other Celebrity Thyroid Patients.)

What is Graves' Disease?

Graves' disease is a condition in which the immune system creates antibodies that can attack the thyroid gland, and make it overactive. (You can read more about it in this brief overview of Graves' Disease and hyperthyroidism).

Graves' disease, which is considered one of the family of autoimmune diseases, usually results in hyperthyroidism, and too much thyroid hormone is produced.

Typical symptoms of Graves' disease and hyperthyroidism include weight loss, high heart rate, anxiety, insomnia, muscle weakness, and goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).

More About Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism

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