Shania Twain Reveals New Details About Her Lyme Disease Battle

Shania Twain recently opened up about her struggle with Lyme disease in her new Netflix documentary, "Shania Twain: Not Just A Girl," revealing that she used to have blackouts and dizzy spells while performing on stage. According to Insider, Twain contracted Lyme disease in the early 2000s after she was bitten by a tick while horseback riding, which caused a number of "scary" and debilitating symptoms.

In the documentary, the singer explained that she started losing her balance and would often experience short blackouts on stage before she was diagnosed. By the time she finally recovered from the disease, however, she had lost her voice. "My voice was never the same again," Twain said in the documentary, per Page Six. "I thought I'd lost my voice forever." As a result, she had to undergo two open throat surgeries and physical therapy to be able to talk and sing properly again.

What is lyme disease?

Twain is not alone in her struggles, however. As it turns out, Lyme disease is the most frequent tick-borne illness in the U.S., according to Healthline. Caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is a bacterial disease that is transmitted from infected ticks to humans. In order for someone to contract Lyme disease, an infected tick needs to be present on their skin for at least 36 to 48 hours. However, most people with Lyme disease never notice they've been bitten.

Some common symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, joint pain and swelling, headache, rash, swollen lymph nodes, and fever, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Lyme disease can usually be treated and cleared up with antibiotics, around 10% to 20% of people will develop what is known as post-Lyme disease syndrome, which can affect one's mobility and cognitive skills for months or even years, Healthline reports. This can cause speech problems, trouble sleeping, and other symptoms of early Lyme disease. The treatment for post-Lyme disease syndrome, however, mostly focuses on pain management.