CELINE Dion has revealed she’s been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome – a condition which means her muscles tense uncontrollably.
In a tearful Instagram video, Celine, 54, told her followers why she had to cancel her upcoming European tour as she comes to terms with the extremely rare neurological disorder.
There is currently no cure for the condition, which can leave sufferers as "human statues", sometimes unable to walk or talk.
Canadian superstar Celine told her fans she is trying to do what she can to minimise the symptoms.
She explained: “Hello everyone, I’m sorry it's taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person.
“As you know I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but I’m ready now.
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“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and it's been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.
“Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects one in a million people.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having.”
She continued: “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal chords to sing the way I'm used to.
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“It hurts me to tell you today that this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.”
The star went on to say that she is working with a “great team of doctors” to get better.
“All I know is singing, it’s what I’ve done all my life, and it's what I love to do the most,” she said.
“I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you being on the stage performing for you.
“I always give 100 percent when I do my show but my condition is now allowing me to give you that right now.”
She concluded saying her main goal now was to concentrate on her health.
Fans first started being concerned for Celine's health at the start of the year when she cancelled the North American dates of her Courage world tour from March 9 to April 22.
Prior to that she had to cancel the start of her Las Vegas comeback residency after experiencing muscle spasms.
What is stiff person syndrome?
Stiff person syndrome or SPS is a condition caused by persistent spasms.
This usually involves multiple muscles, primarily the lower limbs, experts at University College London say.
Most people who develop the illness will receive a diagnosis from the ages of 40-60-years-old.
It’s a neurological disease with features of autoimmune conditions.
The first signs would be intermittent spasms which then become continuous.
Other symptoms include:
Minor sensory stimuli (being more sensitive to noise, light and touch)
Impaired breathing (in advanced cases).
The experts said that spasms don’t usually occur during your sleep.
How is it treated?
In most cases people with SPS respond to high doses of diazepam, which is often used as anti anxiety medication.
Pain relievers will also improve the symptoms but these will not cure the disorder.
Many people with SPS will experience falls because they lack defensive reflexes, experts at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke added.
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