Eighties pop sensation Debbie Gibson has opened up about her battle with Lyme disease after revealing she was diagnosed with the condition last year (13).
The Shake Your Love hitmaker announced the news on her website on Wednesday (16Apr14) after growing frustrated by "mean" comments posted about her weight loss.
She writes, "It is an elusive disease that disguises itself as many other things, and creates a lot of pain and discomfort. The first symptoms came in the form of food sensitivities. I found I could not touch sugar, starch, caffeine, certain oils, without having a severe reaction that felt like electricity running through my body."
Gibson began experiencing nerve pain and muscle fatigue and also battled flu-like symptoms, but doctors failed to diagnose her health woes.
In a bid to gain weight, she started a high-protein diet, but her body did not react well with the ingredients in her food choices, and she found herself backstage before concerts with "nearly debilitating stabbing pain," adding, "It was hard to breathe, let alone sing."
Things hit a real low when the singer started mixing up her words while texting, and then found she had forgotten common directions while driving, and the symptoms prompted her to seek out various specialists, who finally diagnosed her with Lyme disease.
She explains, "I went on an intense regime of antibiotics and other medications to wipe out the Lyme... Certain cognitive symptoms were getting better. The nerve tremors, which were like somebody running an electric current through my nerves, shaking me awake from the inside out, were a thing of the past."
Still undergoing treatment, Gibson is hoping her big reveal will make others think twice before judging someone on their appearance or behaviour.
She adds, "Amidst the posts online celebrating the wonderful concerts in Santiago, I would come across comments about my weight and appearance. Some were just plain mean and ignorant.
"I want to urge you all, never judge anyone! You never know what someone is going through."