Graves Disease: Missy Elliott Opens Up About Absence, Illness

Missy Elliott is back in the news after a lengthy absence from music, discussing how a thyroid illness has impeded her ability to work like she used to.

Elliott has been off the music scene for a few years now, but the 39-year-old rapper says it's not due to a lack of inspiration. Elliott has been suffering the effects of Graves' Disease, and she says that the symptoms severely impeded her day to day tasks:

"I was (driving and) trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping. 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."
Elliott says that she also experienced mood swings and hair loss, and ultimately turned to radiation to treat her Graves' Disease:
"I'm 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) lighter because I've been exercising. 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."
Elliott has hinted she may release new work later this year.