Shania Twain, the Canadian singing star, revealed that she has had to rethnk how she deals with her health following a 2003 bout with debilitating Lyme Disease. She says she’s much more disciplined about eating, self-care and getting the right amount of sleep.
“I take my health seriously,” she says in a new interview with Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper.
“There is a lot of discipline involved for me personally, eating properly, getting the right amount of rest, self-care, and self-maintenance.”
Now that she’s 52, her health is more important than ever because it directly impacts her ability to perform.
“You have to put the performance first, and I take that very seriously,” she explains.
Lyme disease, which is borne mainly by deer ticks, is a “multi-systemic illness” that affects a wide range of bodily functions, according to the Lyme Disease Association.
Symptoms may occur days or months after a tick bite and usually begin with flu-like symptoms. Then it can quickly progress to fever, headaches, extreme fatigue, rashes and neck, jaw and back pain.
The bacteria can also be passed through the placenta of a pregnant woman to the fetus—congenital transmission. The DNA of the bacteria has been found in breast milk, but no transmission has been proven to date in humans, according to the group.
Shania says her vocal chords were also affected by the disease, which is a potentially fatal.
“I was sure I would never be able to sing professionally again,” she said in another interview. “My voice was so unreliable. It was linked to Lyme disease.”
The country music star was just 22 when both her mother Sharon and stepfather Jerry Twain died in a car crash.
“I hope I’m there long enough for him that he doesn’t feel the loneliness that I did. I know what it is to go through life with nothing to stand on, no one to fall back on,” she said.