There has been a lot of speculation surrounding singer Avril Lavigne in recent months, rumors going so far as to say she was in rehab, or that her marriage to Chad Kroeger was in trouble since they haven’t been seen together recently. But the truth is actually way worse.

During a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate her 30th birthday last year,  Avril was feeling horrible, telling People magazine she could barely eat and spent the whole vacation in bed.

Shortly after, following five months of feeling lethargic and lightheaded, unable to stand long enough to shower and being basically bedridden, the normally energetic singer got her diagnosis: she was battling a severe case of Lyme disease.

Avril said she had no idea a bug bite could do so much damage to her.

The Canadian-born singer has been recuperating at her home in Ontario, where her mom moved in to help take care of her. Husband Chad Kroeger has been checking in during breaks in his tour with Nickelback.

Here is what you should know about Lyme disease:
(from Dr. Erica Lehman/

1. Lyme disease is contracted when the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is spread to humans through a bite by an infected tick.

Lehman says, "When a tick bites you, it has an anesthetic in its saliva that actually numbs the surface of your skin so you don't feel the bite, and that's why people don't know that a tick is latched onto them and is biting them".

2. Early symptoms include headaches, nausea, numbness, muscle aches, extreme fatigue and Bell's palsy. Severe symptoms include dementia and arthritis.

"It can affect people physically, cognitively and psychologically," continues Lehman.

3. It is currently the fastest growing epidemic in the world.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25,000 Americans were diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2013, but that number is significantly underestimated due to imperfect testing and symptoms that mimic those of Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and lupus.

For more information on Lyme disease, visit the CDC's website.

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