Pride of Britain: Carol Vorderman talks about working with Ashley Banjo
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Carol entered the jungle in 2016, and when reflecting on her experience she said that she would “go back like a shot” because she loved it so much. However, during her time Carol had to call for the popular ITV reality show’s medic as she started to notice some severe and concerning symptoms. It was then when her jungle experience took a troubling turn.
Experiencing sharp chest pains and trouble breathing, Carol became worried. Speaking to The Sun at the time, the star said: “There’s a coughing virus going around, you will have heard it. Mine got worse and worse and worse then on Saturday I had sharp chest pains so I asked to see Bob (the show’s medic).
“It was like breathing through bubbles. Once I got the chest pains, I thought I need something. He immediately put me on really strong antibiotics, electrolytes and glucose tablets.”
Even with the help of strong medication, Carol was left “properly ill” for two days, whilst still being on the show.
She continued to say: “It took me two days to get over it. And by day three I felt much better. I was ill, properly ill.”
When leaving camp after being voted off the show, Carol admitted that she thought that was due to spending so much time around the live campfire that led to her breathing difficulties.
She said: “I was really unwell. It was a really bad proper chest infection. I’m still on the antibiotics now.
“You’ve got to remember you’re breathing in smoke the whole time.
“I was trying to do my jobs, but they all kept saying just go to bed. I needed to just rest, rather than being in a rainforest.”
The lung disease that Carol suffered with was most likely due to a form of bronchitis – an infection of the main airways of the lungs.
The NHS explains that this infection causes the lungs to become irritated and inflamed which in turn leads to an overactive production of mucus. In order to rid the body of this mucus, individuals experience excessive coughing.
Due to this, the main symptom of acute bronchitis is a hacking cough, which may bring up clear, yellow-grey or greenish mucus (phlegm). Other symptoms are similar to those of the common cold or sinusitis, and may include:
- A sore throat
- A headache
- A runny or blocked nose
- Aches and pains
Like Carol, some people may have shortness of breath or wheezing as a result of inflamed airways – a common sign of chronic bronchitis.
Typically, bronchitis is caused by a virus, the same virus that would cause a common cold or flu.
The NHS elaborates to say that this sort of virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes. These droplets typically spread about one meter and can survive on surfaces for up to 24 hours.
Anyone who touches these surfaces can spread the virus further by touching something else.
Bronchitis can also be triggered by breathing in irritant substances. As Carol so rightly pointed out, breathing in chemicals, smog or smoke is a common cause of bronchitis. This is why smokers are more at risk of developing the condition.
In most cases, acute bronchitis clears up by itself within a few weeks without the need for treatment.
However, in some cases, symptoms of bronchitis can last much longer – chronic bronchitis. Sadly, there’s no cure for chronic bronchitis, but the NHS instead recommends making some lifestyle changes to help ease symptoms. These include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Regular moderate exercise
- Avoiding smoking.
Strong antibiotics and steroids that “open up” the airways can also be prescribed to aid breathing, and other medication that thins mucus can also help.
This is not the only time Carol has suffered from a severe medical condition. The star was worryingly left only six hours from death after contracting sepsis.
Talking about her ordeal in a blog post, Carol said that she first noticed something was wrong when she suddenly experienced “excruciating” gallbladder pain. Carol said: “Sepsis strikes fast, VERY fast, but it is curable if it’s recognised. It took nearly a week before Dr Nott was able to operate on my gallbladder.”
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