Singer Debbie Gibson said her recent dramatic weight loss was due to Lyme disease. Gibson was diagnosed with Lyme disease last year, and has experienced a lot of pain and discomfort during her long, difficult recovery.
After contracting the illness, Gibson said she suddenly developed an intolerance for sugar, grains, starch and fat, which caused her to become skeletal.
"If there is any doubt that starch and sugar and grains is what keeps weight on, I had confirmation," Debbie wrote on her blog.
"At times, my boyfriend would insist I eat some pasta and butter, even though I did not feel great doing it. 'You need to gain weight,' he would say. He was right. My spine was frail and unprotected."
In an effort to gain weight, Debbie tried to load up on pasta, starches and fats, but only wound up feeling worse. Gibson also experienced anxiety, a gall bladder infection, dehydration, brain fog and chronic nerve pain as a result of her Lyme disease.
'Botox Is Poison'
Gibson has stopped getting Botox injections since contracting the bacterial infection, which is caused by a tick bite. Debbie said she realizes that the Botox injections she had been getting had exacerbated her condition.
"[Botox] is a poison," she said. "I will never put this or any other toxin into my body for vanity reasons ever again. I hope anyone out there considering this approach takes this as a precaution. Some never have any reaction, but on the other end of the spectrum is my experience."
Earlier this year, Gibson revealed that she's in the best shape of her life at 43, thanks to a low-carb diet and regular yoga and Pilates workouts.
"I mainly watch what I eat and maybe once or twice a week I do yoga or a dance class," said Debbie. "If I am preparing for a tour it is about stamina, so it is more cardio and Pilates and yoga.
'I Got Off Prozac and Follow a Low-Glycemic Diet'
Gibson said eating lean proteins and vegetables and eliminating sugar, alcohol, and processed foods helped her lose 10 pounds recently. The super-skinny 5-foot-6 Debbie follows a low-glycemic diet to curb surges in blood sugar (which lead to weight gain and inflammation).
In addition to overhauling her diet, Debbie stopped taking prescription drugs, including Prozac and Xanax, after realizing that poor eating and sleeping habits were responsible for her midlife weight gain and depression.
"I'm off medications now, all by becoming aware of how my food choices were affecting my well-being," said the Ms. Vocalist songstress.
Lyme disease affects about 300,000 people each year. When caught in the early stages, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. When it's diagnosed at a later stage, symptom can often persist for months, or even years.
Symptoms include fever, headache, exhaustion and a rash. If left untreated, the infection can cause arthritis and severe neurological problems.