Celine Dion has announced that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff-person syndrome. She shared the news with her followers in an emotional video post on her Instagram account, explaining that the condition is causing her to experience muscle spasms that make it difficult for her to sing the way she’s used to.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having,” Dion said. “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
Stiff-person syndrome, which affects approximately one in a million people, is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of the condition can include extreme muscle stiffness, rigidity, and painful spasms in the trunk and limbs, which can severely impair mobility. In some cases, the spasms can be strong enough to fracture bones.
Dion said that she has been struggling with her health for a while and has a great team of medical professionals supporting her, “I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again,” she said. “But I have to admit it’s been a struggle.”
"Singing is all I know and all I love," Dion said in her video. "I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100% when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now."
Dion said she has hopes she’s on the road to recovery and that this is her focus, “this means a lot to me,” Dion concluded her message tearfully. “Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much, and I really hope I can see you again real soon.”
As a result of her diagnosis, Dion has had to postpone several Europe tour dates and will reschedule her spring 2023 shows to 2024. Eight summer 2023 shows have been canceled.
Previously, Dion has been open about her struggles with a neurological disorder called angioedema.
Angioedema is a rare condition that causes swelling in the deeper layers of the skin and the mucous membranes. Allergies or certain medications often trigger it, but in Dion's case, the cause is unknown.
Symptoms of angioedema can include swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat, which can lead to difficulty breathing and swallowing. In severe cases, the swelling can cause the airways to become blocked, leading to a potentially life-threatening situation.
Dion first experienced symptoms of angioedema in 2012 and had to cancel several shows as a result. In an interview with People magazine, she revealed that the condition has caused her to cancel or reschedule over 100 shows.
Despite her health conditions, Dion has continued to perform and record music. She has even released a new album, "Courage," which includes several songs inspired by her struggles with angioedema. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she said that the album is "about overcoming challenges and rising above" and wants to use her platform to raise awareness about the condition.
Dion is not alone in her struggle with angioedema. The condition is estimated to affect about one in 10,000 people and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
There is currently no cure for angioedema, but symptoms can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes.
Dion has continued to inspire millions worldwide with her talent and resilience. Her openness about her struggles with angioedema (and now stiff-person syndrome) has helped raise awareness about the condition and provided hope and support to others who are living with the disorder.