Missy Elliott Says She's Living With Graves' Disease

Hip-hop star and Grammy winner says she was diagnosed in 2008.

June 24, 2011— -- Grammy winner Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott revealed she has Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid, but the hip-hop star says it never kept her from rockin' on.

She said in a statement she was diagnosed in 2008, but despite what's been reported, she was still busy working over the past three years.

"I rocked my performance on VH1 Hip Hop Honors tribute to Timbaland last year. I've written and produced a bunch of Grammy-nominated, number-one 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," she said.

She no longer takes medication and said her thyroid is functioning normally.

"I was on medication for a short while but have been off it for quite some time now," she said. "I manage the condition through diet and exercise."

About 10 million people in the United States are living with the condition, according to the National Graves' Disease Foundation. Graves' disease causes the thyroid gland to become overactive, producing an excess of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help regulate mood, weight and overall energy levels.

Symptoms of Graves' disease include muscle weakness, bulging eyeballs, fatigue, tremor and difficulty sleeping.

The most common treatments are medications that control the thyroid gland, radiation and surgery to remove the gland.

The condition responds well to treatment, but most patients usually must take thyroid medications for life to regulate hormone levels.

Elliott is back in the studio working on a new album.

"I feel great," she said.