Solange revealed she’s been diagnosed with an autonomic disorder, making her one of over 1 million Americans who suffer from the same health woes.
“It’s been a journey that hasn’t been easy on me…Sometimes I feel cool, and other times not so cool at all. It’s a complicated diagnoses (sic), and I’m still learning so much myself,” she wrote on Instagram Wednesday.
The singer, 31, did not reveal which specific type of disorder she’s suffering from, as the diagnosis is an umbrella term for a breakdown of the autonomic nervous system.
Though there are multiple types of disorders, they all come down to the same basics: the ANS regulates the body’s internal organs, so when important functions like the heart aren’t being properly regulated, it leads to problems with heart rate, blood pressure and digestion, according to NYU Langone’s Dysautonomia Center.
One type is orthostatic intolerance, which means the body is unable to handle gravity properly.
Because the nervous system doesn’t constrict blood vessels to push blood to the brain like it’s supposed to upon standing, those with the disorder feel light-headed and dizzy and can faint.
As the nervous system also controls the way the body digests food, gastrointestinal problems can also occur, like nausea, bloating, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Solange made no mention of any type of treatment plan, but doctors typically prescribe medicine to regulate blood pressure, or something to help increase the body’s water and salt retention, according to NYU Langone.
“Autonomic disorders are very common, especially in young women, but many patients take years to get diagnosed due to a lack of awareness within the medical profession and amongst the public,” Dr. Blair Grubb, director of the Autonomic Disorders Center at the University of Toldeo, said in a press release.
The singer appears to have been suffering from the disorder since at least the summer, when she told the crowd at a London festival that she had just been released from a three-day stint in the hospital and was told she shouldn’t perform.
She also pulled out of a concert in Florida in November, citing health concerns.