SHE is one of the best-selling music artists of all time who has sold more than 100 million records. Now Shania Twain has shone a spotlight on the condition that nearly claimed her career - Lyme disease.


Where has she been?

The Canadian singer songwriter - nicknamed the 'Queen of Country Pop’ - rose to worldwide stardom in the 1990s with hits such as That Don't Impress Me Much, Man! I Feel Like a Woman and From This Moment On. Now 56, her third album, Come On Over, in 1997, sold more than 40 million copies alone. But in 2004, she disappeared from the public eye and at the time, no-one really knew why.



The singer is back with a new documentary on Netflix, Not Just a Girl, which documents her life from humble beginnings and charts her journey through the loss of her parents in a car accident when she was 22, before exploring how she found her way toward fame and fortune.



Twain opens up in the film about the end of her relationship with her music producer husband, Mutt Lange, saying it felt “like a death” and admitting she was “petrified” to make records again without him. The documentary touches on the way the marriage ended, after it emerged Lange had been having a relationship with her friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud. In a twist of fate, Twain went on to marry Marie-Anne's ex-husband Frederic Thiebaud in 2011.


Lyme disease?

In the Netflix film, Twain also opens up about the reason why she retreated from the limelight, mainly a major battle with Lyme disease. She says on camera: “My symptoms were quite scary because before I was diagnosed, I was on stage very dizzy, I was losing my balance. I was afraid I was gonna fall off the stage and the stage is quite high. I was having these very, very millisecond blackouts, but regularly, like, every minute or every 30 seconds.”


It impacted her singing?

She said, “my voice was never the same again” and she went on to undergo surgery to stabilise her vocal cords to help her sing again.


How did she get it?

From a tick bite while horse riding. “The tick was infected with Lyme disease and I did get Lyme disease," she said.


In the UK?

Lyme Disease UK say the condition is endemic in many parts of the country, particularly in woodland or heathland areas and so, there are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands. Mountaineering Scotland say ticks “can be found all across Scotland and particularly in the wetter west, in woodlands, moorlands and long grass”. They are active all through the year, but particularly in summer, although it is thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.



Avoiding walking through long grass or thick foliage is a top tip, as is leaving no skin exposed while in at risk areas, spraying insect repellant on clothing and socks and checking for ticks. Early treatment with antibiotics is required in order to be effective in lessening the short-term symptoms and the long-term complications.


As for Shania?

She is back in the spotlight, with a new compilation album, also called Not Just a Girl, and a single of the same name and a residency at Las Vegas's Zappos Theatre next month.