Les Dennis health: Star, 68, had ‘a lot of warnings’ of declining health

Les Dennis reveals Family Fortunes 'paid me well'

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In a recent interview with Express.co.uk, Dennis explained that he counts himself “lucky” to have avoided Covid. The star spent time chatting all about his recent role as HMS Pinafore at the English National Opera, which as a result of being on stage, meant that the star chose not to get his Covid booster vaccination. Dennis said: “I’ve been very lucky, I haven’t had Covid. I’ve been in shows where people around me, even in the opera we had a couple of cast members that went down with it towards the end. I seem to have managed, touch wood, to miss it so far”. However, when starring in another musical a few years back, the star wasn’t so lucky to avoid bad health.

Talking on ITV’s Lorraine after the star had to leave The Addams Family UK tour, where he was playing Uncle Fester, he said: “During the Addams Family tour, I got bronchitis and laryngitis.

“As a result, I got a blood test done and found out I was pre-diabetic.”

American Family Care explains that bronchitis and laryngitis are both forms of inflammation that cause your voice to become raspy or hoarse.

Specifically, bronchitis is a condition in which there is an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, which includes both the windpipe and bronchial tubes.

The condition, which comes in two forms, chronic or acute, is distinguishable by a hacking cough which may also bring up clear, yellow-grey or greenish mucus.

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tight chest
  • Aches and pains
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat.

Differing slightly, laryngitis is a disorder in which the larynx becomes inflamed, causing a change to the voice.
Laryngitis usually comes on suddenly and gets worse during the first three days. The main symptoms are:

  • A hoarse (croaky) voice
  • Sometimes losing your voice
  • An irritating cough that does not go away
  • Always needing to clear your throat
  • A sore throat.

Both conditions should typically go away on their own within two to three weeks, but seeking advice from a GP may be necessary if symptoms continue to cause discomfort.

Perhaps even more shocking, was Dennis’ prediabetic diagnosis, which in turn sparked the star’s fitness journey.

“I was in a bit of denial,’ Les said.

“My wife was like, we need to get this sorted. I was pre-diabetic. I realised I had to do something but where to start and what do you do?

“I had got to the ‘now I’m 64’ age. My dad died at 65, so a lot of warnings were coming my way.

With intense exercise, the star also threw himself into a Sports Relief challenge to curb his unhealthy habits for good.

“I lost 20 pounds… I’m doing a lot of walking,” he added when talking to Lorraine.

“It helps you mentally. It’s amazing. For me, for my kids, I have two little kids as well as a grown up son. Instead of running after them, I want to run with them.”

Through his drastic lifestyle changes, Dennis was able to lose 19 Ibs and impressively reverse his pre-diabetic diagnosis.

How to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

Prediabetes is a warning sign that you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Crucially however is the “pre” before diabetes, as this indicates that you do not actually have diabetes yet.

Diabetes UK explains that you are unlikely to experience any symptoms at this stage, but your blood sugars are higher than normal.

The charity goes on to explain that there are around 13.6 million people with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK, and if you are worried about the condition you should call your GP to arrange a blood test.

Factors that can put you at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Being overweight
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Ethnicity
  • Age.

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