Simon Pegg health: ‘I must really look pathetic’ Star recalls height of addiction- dangers

Simon Pegg shows off fitness workout with personal trainer

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The 52-year-old actor, who is a close friend to Cruise revealed that the best thing the Top Gun actor taught him is to never accept responsibility for a mistake. The actor went on to say: “If someone corrects him, instead of saying sorry, he’ll just say: ‘Yeah,’ and wink at me… He maintains his authority by never being to blame for anything.” For Pegg, who doesn’t count himself on the same level of “Hollywood idol” as Cruise, fame has been a more troublesome journey, especially as he struggled with alcoholism.

In a recent interview Pegg gave an insight into how his dependence on alcohol first started and how writing his autobiography acted as a catalyst for his “extreme alcohol bender”.

Having first turned to drink as a way to cope with his depression, Pegg revealed that he had become “addicted to the sensation of being numb” rather than becoming addicted to the chemical itself.

At his worst, the Hot Fuzz actor would start drinking at breakfast, a thought that now makes him feel “sick” but the final straw was an incident where the star attended Comic Con in San Diego back in 2010.

When asked if he can recall any of the four days he spent there, Pegg recalled eating pizza on a pavement after having lost his phone and bizarrely being on a private jet to LA with Alien actress Sigourney Weaver, who was pretending to be cabin crew.

Recalling few details of this period in his life, Pegg did admit that if he had not stopped drinking and sought help at this point he would “100 percent” be dead today.

“I must really look pathetic,” Pegg recalled himself thinking at his lowest point before going on to say: “Because, and I don’t think it’s too dramatic to say, that is the ultimate end of that line of flight.”

Although sounding obvious, the NHS explains that alcohol is a powerful chemical that can have a wide range of adverse effects on almost “every part of the body” including the brain, bones and heart.

In the short-term, drinking too much can cause nausea, vomiting and the various side effects of a hangover. Although serious, the long-term effects of regularly drinking alcohol can affect the body in far more different ways.

Alcohol is the second biggest risk for cancer after smoking. If you or someone you know regularly drinks above the weekly alcohol limits, they are at greater risk of developing:

  • Mouth cancer
  • Throat cancer (upper throat)
  • Oesophageal cancer (food pipe)
  • Laryngeal cancer (voice box)
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Liver cancer.

In addition to cancer alcohol can cause high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of individuals having a stroke or heart attack. Binge drinking, which is defined as drinking too much alcohol in a short time can also cause an irregular heartbeat, also known as a heart arrhythmia, which can prove to be fatal.

One of the main organs that alcohol damages is the liver. Chronic alcohol abuse causes destruction of liver cells, which results in scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), alcoholic hepatitis, and cellular mutation that may lead to liver cancer.

These conditions usually progress from alcoholic hepatitis, also known as alcohol-related liver disease, which can cause the following symptoms:

  • Belly (abdomen) tenderness or pain over the liver
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Poor appetite
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Fever.

As well as the liver, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to stomach ulcers and internal bleeding, damaging the stomach. It can also cause a specific condition known as gastritis, meaning stomach inflammation.

This in turn can prevent individuals absorbing vitamins from food and increase their risk of cancer.

Other ways in which alcohol can affect the body physically include the following:

  • Dehydrates the skin
  • Weight gain
  • Weakens bones
  • Infertility
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Pneumonia.

After heavily drinking for so long, Pegg was able to seek the help of a rehabilitation centre and now exercises six days a week: Monday, strength; Tuesday, core; Wednesday, active recovery; Thursday, strength; Friday, strength; Sunday, boxing.

Having “perfected the kimchi pancake” over lockdown it is clear that the actor also prioritises his diet, his new obsession now being tattoos, which he compares to Twiglets. Referring to being unable to stop having them once you start.

The NHS explains that cutting out alcohol completely if you find yourself becoming dependent or diagnosed as an alcoholic is the greatest health benefit. However, moderation is often a more realistic goal, or at least a first step on the way to abstinence.

For those classified as alcoholics, when giving up alcohol they may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which will be at their worst for the first 48 hours. For this reason individuals are advised to drink plenty of water and eat regular meals during a detox.

As well as the NHS, there are a number of charities and support groups across the UK that provide support and advice for people with an alcohol misuse problem. You can contact the following for free:

  • Drinkline national alcohol helpline on 0300 123 1110
  • Alcoholics Anonymous helpline on 0800 9177 650.

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