Shania Twain Reveals Her Health Issues Were More Serious Than Anyone Thought

Shania Twain is opening up about her bout with Lyme disease in the early 2000s and revealing just how serious her health issues really were. During her new Netflix documentary, "Shania Twain: Not Just A Girl," which premiered on July 26, the songstress — who was in the midst of her Up! Tour at the time of her diagnosis — shared the terrifying symptoms she suffered after being bitten by a tick while horseback riding back in 2003, including blackouts and lapses in memory.

Twain is just one of many celebrities who have come forward to say they've been affected by the invisible illness, including Yolanda Hadid, Avril Lavigne, and Kelly Osbourne. Unlike most people affected by the disease, Twain is one of the 10 to 20% of individuals who develop long-term health problems despite being treated for the illness, leaving the country icon to wonder if she would ever perform again.

Shania Twain suffered millisecond blackouts and dizzy spells

In "Not Just a Girl," Shania Twain explained the lengths to which she suffered before being diagnosed with the condition. "My symptoms were quite scary because before I was diagnosed, I was on stage very dizzy. I was losing my balance, I was afraid I was gonna fall off the stage," the Queen of Country Pop said (via Page Six). "I was having these very, very, very millisecond blackouts, but regularly, every minute or every 30 seconds."

To make matters worse, Twain was diagnosed with dysphonia, a kind of vocal cord muscle paralysis, suspected of being related to her Lyme infection. The "Man! I Feel Like A Woman" singer treated her dysphonia with multiple throat surgeries and therapy, according to the Daily Mail. "My voice was never the same again," she recalled. "I thought I'd lost my voice forever. I thought that was it, I would never, ever sing again."

The singer spoke to People about her experience having open-throat surgery in 2020, something she described as "very scary" and claimed had pretty drastic results. "My voice has changed. My speaking voice is definitely the biggest effort. Sometimes I get a bit raspy ... singing is actually easier," she explained. "I have more power when I'm singing now. I have more character, I find."