Angelina Jolie revealed she had Bell's palsy, and here's what you should know about it

Angelina Jolie opened up about recent health struggles in the new issue of Vanity Fair.

Along with a highly publicized decision in 2013 to have a preventative double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after learning she had a gene that could possibly cause cancer, the newly single star revealed another medical issue.

The mother of six suffered from Bell's palsy last year.

SEE ALSO: What is leaky gut syndrome (and is it as gross as it sounds)?

What is this disease that, according to the National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, afflicts about 40,000 Americans a year?

It's a form of temporary facial paralysis. The NINDS says symptoms can range in severity from mild weakness to total paralysis. It is caused when the nerve that controls the facial muscles is swollen, inflamed, or compressed; what causes that is unknown.

However, Jolie has some suggestion as to why she's had recent health issues, saying, "Sometimes women in families put themselves last ... until it manifests itself in their own health."

The NINDS says some drugs can help treat Bell's Palsy. Jolie says acupuncture helped her to fully recover.

PHOTOS: Angelina Jolie through the years

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Angelina Jolie through the years
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Angelina Jolie through the years
American actor Angelina Jolie attends an event wearijg a strapless black gown, New York City, circa 1998. (Photo by Victor Malafronte/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Actress Angelina Jolie kisses her Oscar at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles 26 March 2000. Jolie won for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'Girl Interupted'. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/SCOTT NELSON (Photo credit should read Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images)
Cast member Angelina Jolie and husband Billy Bob Thornton before the 'Original Sin' premiere held at DGA Theater in Los Angeles, CA., Tues., July 31, 2001. (photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie arrives for the premiere of the film 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' at Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles, CA., Monday, June 11, 2001. (photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, UNITED STATES: US actor Billy Bob Thornton (R) and his wife, actress Angelina Jolie, arrive at the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills 20 January 2002. Thornton is nominated for Best Actor-Motion Picture Drama for his role in 'Monster's Ball.' AFP PHOTO/Lucy Nicholson (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 20: Actress Angelina Jolie, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), participates in a World Refugee Day ceremony June 20, 2003 in Washington, DC. World Refugee Day celebrates the lives of the eight million refugee youths who live around the world. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 29: Actress Angelina Jolie attends the 76th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on February 29, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 16: Actress Angelina Jolie arrives for the world premiere of her film 'Taking Lives' March 16, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - MARCH 16: Actress Angelina Jolie appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on March 16, 2004 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 10: Actress Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox attend the World Premiere of 'Shark Tale' in San Marco Square, as part of the 61st Venice Film Festival on September 10, 2004 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 07: Actress Angelina Jolie arrives at the premiere of 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' at the Mann Village Theater on June 7, 2005 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
JABEL SHAROON, PAKISTAN - NOVEMBER 26: In this handout photo supplied by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie listens as a local woman in this village 6,000 feet above sea level in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, tells a UNHCR worker about her preparations for the coming winter, which includes salvaging materials from the remains of houses after the earthquake, November 26, 2005 in Jabel Sharoon, Pakistan. (Photo by J Redden/UNHCR via Getty Images)
Hollywood movie stars Brad Pitt (C) and his partner Angelina Jolie ride on a motorcycle on a busy street in downtown Ho Chi Minh city, 23 November 2006. Jolie, the partner of fellow screen idol Brad Pitt, was expected to adopt a three-year-old Vietnamese boy 15 March 2007, according to the head of the Tam Binh orphanage, from where the child is. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 05: Actress Angelina Jolie and actor Brad Pitt arrive to the Warner Bros. premiere of the film 'Ocean's 13' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 5, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Producer Brian Grazer, actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrives for the 'Changeling' Premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2008 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres is seated to the left of actress/activist Angelina Jolie as she speaks at a United Nations Security Council Meeting on the situation in the Middle East and Syria at the United Nations on April 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 28: Actress Angelina Jolie hugs Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt (L) and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt (R) after winning award for Favorite Villain in 'Maleficent' during Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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