Justin Bieber says he has been battling Lyme disease.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, the Canadian popstar wrote: “it’s been a rough couple years but [I’m] getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever.”
Lyme disease is transmitted by Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as deer ticks. Lyme can cause flu-like conditions, neurological problems, joint pain and other symptoms.
Though Bieber called it incurable, Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics if caught early. Untreated, symptoms can linger for years.
He’s not alone among Canadian singers who have battled Lyme disease: both Shania Twain and Avril Lavigne also contracted it over the years, and have been open about their struggles with the symptoms and how it affected their careers.
“While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like [expletive], on meth etc. they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health,” Bieber wrote.
The singer, recently seen visiting his hometown of Stratford, Ont., and attending Maple Leaf games in Toronto during the holidays, is preparing to release his fifth studio album. Last week, he unveiled the track Yummy, his first new solo release since his 2015 album, Purpose. Bieber, who has homes in the Los Angeles area and in Southwestern Ontario, is also poised to embark on a 45-show North American tour in May.
The Grammy Award-winning singer said he will discuss battling the tick-borne infection, on his upcoming YouTube docuseries, Justin Bieber: Seasons, which debuts Jan. 27. The 10-episode show will follow Bieber while he creates his new album and will also highlight his private life.
“You can learn all that I’ve been battling and OVERCOMING!!,” he wrote.