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.

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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