Singer Debbie Gibson has decided to open up about a health diagnosis after fans started criticizing her weight loss.
The 80s pop star announced on her website on Wednesday in a post title "When life hands you a lemon...or lyme!" that she's battling Lyme disease. She wrote, "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 had nerve pain, muscle fatigue and flu-like symptoms, but doctors had difficulty pinpointing a cause. She changed her diet to gain weight, but nothing seemed to work. Prior to performing, she felt "nearly debilitating stabbing pain," adding, "It was hard to breathe, let alone sing."
She hit a low point when she began mixing up her words while texting and had a difficult time driving. She finally found a specialist who diagnosed her with the disease.
The singer said, "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."
Gibson was hurt by the "mean" online comments about her appearance by people who didn't know about her private health battle.
She explained, "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."
The star added that she's still undergoing treatment and is starting to feel like herself again. "We all face challenges and I am learning much from the ones I am facing. No disease in the body can keep the spirit from soaring, the love from pouring, and, nothing can stop the music!" she said.