Missy Elliot's long absence from the music scene has finally been explained.
The rapper revealed that she is suffering Graves' disease -- an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactivity of the thyroid gland.
The signs she was suffering from the disease first showed up in 2008.
"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," Elliott told People. "I couldn't write because my nervous system was so bad -- I couldn't even use a pen."
Radiation treatments sapped the star of energy and caused her to lose hair.
Missy's last album 'The Cookbook' was released in 2005, but she is said to be recording new material as her health has gotten better.
"I'm 30 pounds lighter because I've been exercising." Elliott 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."
Missy will talk more about her battle with the disease and even opens up about childhood sexual abuse she suffered in an upcoming VH1 Behind The Music special.
"Missy was great and very candid. She talked for the first time about her [near fatal bout with] Graves disease, which she’s been battling for the last few years, and spoke in detail about the sexual abuse she experienced as a child," executive producer Brad Abramson told Vibe.
The VH1 special airs Wednesday June 29 at 10 P.M. eastern.
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