Tulisa opens up about facial condition Bell's palsy while appearing on Loose Women

Danny Thompson
Contributor

Pop star Tulisa has opened up about her struggles with Bell’s palsy - a condition which leaves sufferers unable to fully control their facial muscles.

The N-Dubz singer and former X Factor judge discussed the condition while appearing on ITV chat show Loose Women today (9 March).

Sitting on a panel alongside Andrea McLean, Linda Robson, Denise Welch and Jane Moore, the 31-year-old said: "I do suffer from Bell's palsy, one side of my face can drop down.

Read more: Former X Factor judge Tulisa ordered to pay £70k for allegedly trashing rented flat

"I think the first attack I had was after a serious horse riding accident and I fractured my skull and it caused a lot of nerve damage and the Bell's palsy can cause facial paralysis, it can cause swelling.

"There's actually been times when people have criticised me for the way I look and my face and I'm actually going through a Bell's palsy attack.

Tulisa Contostavlos attends the National Film Awards at Porchester Hall on March 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

"I remember it was an ITV appearance one time and I saw an online comment like: 'Her face looks like she's had a stroke', and that can be the effects of Bell's palsy.

"It can come on at any time, I have emergency steroids on me, but luckily I know now how to manage it so the attacks don't last for as long. If you have steroids within 72 hours it can last days instead of seven months which happened to me the first time when I was hiding in the house."

Tulisa also discussed her pride in Little Mix star Jesy Nelson, who she mentored and helped become The X Factor champions in 2011, after she too suffered abuse at the hands of online trolls.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 09: Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Tulisa Contostavios, Leigh Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson of Little Mix pose backstage at Heaven on November 9, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns via Getty Images)

Nelson’s experience lead to her making the much lauded documentary Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out about body image and hateful online abuse.

Read more: N-Dubz reunion is in the pipeline, according to Tulisa

Tulisa said: "I think there's just a detach going on with human society.

"Everything used to be so personal, you'd have to pick up the phone or write a letter if you wanted to speak someone and now we can just send a message to people we've never met on the other side of the world.

"Even though we're more connected than ever, it's like we're more disconnected."

Loose Women is on weekdays on ITV from 12:30pm.