Jessie J's Throat Condition Explained

Jessie J is passionate about her music. It's evident in her work and in her dedication to understanding the Ménière's disease diagnosis she received in December of 2020 (via Insider). It is this dedication that made it all the more heartbreaking when she took to Instagram in late June to share still more devastating news with her fans.

The British-born star shared a candid video in which she sings in a soft voice many fans would not recognize from her chart-topping radio hits. Jessie J is known for having strong vocals and hitting powerful notes, but her Instagram video revealed the singer can currently hardly raise her voice. The video was initially recorded for her speech therapist but Jessie J chose to share it publicly as she had not yet told fans about the changes to her voice.

In the caption, the star explains that she recorded her latest single while experiencing incredible pain. Although she tried to work through it, she eventually had to see a doctor. She was then diagnosed with acid reflux so severe it had caused nodules to form on her vocal cords (via iHeartRadio).

How acid reflux affects the body

On her Instagram profile, Jessie J relayed her doctors' explanations. She had begun taking steroids as a treatment measure for her Ménière's disease. Over time this caused acid reflux, which Jessie J was unaware of at the time. Every time she sang, it introduced acid into her throat and vocal cords. This eventually led to the nodules that caused her so much pain (via iHeartRadio).

Nodules generally go away if a singer doesn't speak or perform while healing. But as Jessie J puts it, music is "my lifeline and my happiness." Silence doesn't sit well with her and makes her feel less like herself, putting added strain on her current situation.

Healthline states that an acid reflux condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause similar issues even in those who do not use their voice professionally. In these cases, acid enters the throat because the lower esophageal sphincter is open when it should be closed. Over time this can cause vocal changes, though not always through the development of nodules.

The hardest part for Jessie J, she says, is finding a way to move forward. She is seeing multiple doctors and pursuing every treatment option available. She is also upfront with fans saying that she wasn't able to promote her new single due to her condition. Though the choice has left her miserable, as reported by iHeartRadio, fans have showered Jessie J with support and wait with her as the condition develops.