Toni Braxton had a "difficult" time telling her young sons about her lupus diagnosis.

The Long As I Live hitmaker was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, which causes the immune system to attack healthy cell tissue within the body, back in 2008.

In a chat with website, Toni recalled struggling to explain to sons Denim and Diezel, who were seven and five at the time, respectively, that her immune system was attacking her perfectly healthy cells to make her sick.

"I remember having to tell my kids that I have lupus. It was difficult," the singer said. "I remember that feeling. He cried and said, 'Mommy's OK'."

Before Braxton received her diagnosis, the singer's blood count was extremely low and "everything was wrong," and she recalled doctors initially said she needed a heart transplant to survive.

While she eventually sought alternative treatment, the Un-Break My Heart hitmaker confessed she "realised I had to change my life" to get through the ordeal.

"I may have lupus, but I decided I was not going to be a victim," she insisted. "Now, I listen to my body... I'm lucky today. I'm in a better state today than I was when I was first diagnosed.

"I know what to do when my body feels weird. I listen to my body now. I always try to find the silver lining in everything. Today is a good day!"

However, she confessed she's still not entirely honest with her kids, admitting: "Sometimes I hide it from my kids and say I'm going to the spa, when I'm actually going to hospital."