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Grayson Perry health: Star, 61, on his 'terrible' health problems – 'that was a killer'

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As well as being known as an artist, Perry has curated exhibitions, published two autobiographies and an illustrated graphic novel. Back in 2008, the star was ranked in the Daily Telegraph’s list of the “100 most powerful people in British culture”. Due to his influence in British culture, Perry and his wife set themselves a mission to unite the nation through art while the Covid pandemic ran rife. The show ran for two seasons, the second which was broadcast during England’s third national lockdown, a time which Perry also found extremely tough.

Speaking to the Radio Times back in May 2021, Perry said: “This lockdown is awful.

“When an interview with Radio Times is the highlight of your social day, you know?

“It’s not even bin day. Bin day is great! If you time it right, you can have some social interaction.”

In addition to the struggles of lockdown and isolation, Perry also opened up about several health issues he had suffered in the past year.

READ MORE: High blood pressure warning: Drug recalled as it may cause ‘adverse health consequences’

The star continued to say: “I had a lot of health problems. I spent a lot of the year being very uncomfortable.

“It wasn’t anything to do with Covid; it was to do with my waterworks, then terrible back problems.”

The 61-year-old’s health problems became so severe that the first episode of Art Club was postponed.

In a tweet back in April 2020, Perry wrote: “I’ve been ill, not with Covid 19, so the first ep of Grayson’s Art Club has been postponed till 8pm Monday 27th April. Keep sending in your brilliant artworks.”

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Luckily, after suffering with multiple ailments, Perry was able to have surgery which reignited one of his beloved lockdown hobbies.

“I had to have an operation and that was a real bind, because my one salvation during most of the first part of lockdown was exercise,” he added.

“I’ve never been so bl***y fit! I went out on my mountain bike every other day and I was really cracking on.

“Then suddenly not being able to walk to the shop, that was a killer. I’ve just started biking again.

“It’s the longest I’ve been off a bike for years. It’s made me grateful not, at this present moment, to be in pain.”

Although not going into any further detail about his health problems, the star admitted that he has taken on less work in order to give himself time to rest.

Although relatively common, the NHS explains that back pain can last for a long time and can keep recurring. While there are many causes of back pain, the most common types of back injuries include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Herniated or bulging disc
  • Fractured vertebra.

Sprains and straining can happen both suddenly and gradually over time often from twisting or pulling a muscle. St Elizabeth Healthcare explains that symptoms of sprains or strains are generally similar and include:

  • A pop at the time of the injury
  • Muscle spasms or cramps
  • Difficulty bending, walking or standing up straight
  • Pain that increases with certain movements.

Herniated or bulging discs occur when there is a problem with the rubber-like discs between the vertebrae. A disc has a softer center inside a tougher exterior and when herniated, a disc’s softer inside pushes through a tear in the disc’s exterior, causing nearby nerves to become irritated. This can create painful symptoms, such as:

  • Arm or leg pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness.

A fractured vertebra – also called a compression fracture – refers to a crack or gap in the vertebra. It is often a result of the spine ageing and weakening, but can also be caused by trauma to the spine or from a fall. Symptoms of a fractured vertebra include:

  • Acute or chronic back pain
  • Lost height
  • Hunched posture.

The NHS recommends that individuals with back pain stay as active as possible, even trying exercises such as swimming or taking painkillers if the pain becomes too unbearable. Hot or cold compresses can also be used to relieve back pain in the short-term.

For more severe back injuries, medical professionals will be able to provide medication or physical therapy. Treatment for a fractured vertebra can also involve surgery or wearing a back brace to help speed-up the recovery process.



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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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High cholesterol: Blood pressure drug linked to significant reduction in good cholesterol

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“Though they’re commonly used to treat different forms of heart disease, beta-blockers can significantly reduce HDL levels.”

Among the beta-blockers that cause this are Corgard (nadolol), Inderal (propranolol), Tenormin (atenolol), Zebeta (bisoprolol).

These drugs are widely used in the treatment of angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack and high blood pressure.

But despite concerns about their effect on cholesterol, scientists stress that the benefits of beta-blockers far outweigh the risks.

VeryWell Health adds: “If your beta-blocker affects your cholesterol significantly, your doctor may lower your dose or switch you to a different medication.”



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Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez not on same page over Saudi Arabia GP after missile attack

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However, after a four-hour meeting between race officials and the teams, it was confirmed the race would go ahead despite the attack. It had been reported that a number of the competing drivers were concerned for their safety following the nearby explosion.

Despite this, an agreement was finally reached to race at 2:30am local time, after team chiefs left the lengthy meeting to confirm: “We will be racing.” A statement from Formula 1 confirmed Sunday’s race would go ahead as planned. It read: “Formula 1 has been in close contact with the relevant authorities following the situation that took place today. The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation.”

Unsurprisingly, there were a number of mixed views on whether the race should go ahead, and this is clearly apparent in the Red Bull setup. This comes after advisor Helmut Marko revealed that drivers Verstappen and Perez are not on the same page when it comes to racing.

JUST IN: F1 drivers ‘had concerns’ about Saudi Arabia GP as new details emerge after missile attack

On the issue, Marko told Sky Germany: “Max is a bit more relaxed about it. Perez is a little bit scared, but when you live in Mexico City there’s not much more security. We have the pandemic, we have the war in Europe and now we have a missile attack 20 kilometres away. This is no longer normal or pleasant.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s race though, the Austrian advisor is firmly on the side of Verstappen and the race officials, supporting the idea of the race taking place. He commented: “I really think it’s the right thing to do. As I said, these drone attacks are common, I think. They have a very good defence system. Why this one didn’t work remains to be seen. It’s not the first drone, after all. But it’s the first one to strike on such a scale.”

The attack took place during Friday’s first practice session, and it was Red Bull’s star man Verstappen who was one of the first to realise something was wrong after reporting on his team radio that he could ‘smell burning’. Initially, the Dutchman thought the smell was coming from either his or one of his rival’s cars, however it then became clear that an explosion had taken place just a few miles from the track.

Giving an insight into Verstappen’s initial worries, Marko said: “Max radioed us, he thought his car had caught fire because there was an intense burning smell. We were informed a drone had been sent from Yemen. The Saudis have a defence system and for some reason the drone was not intercepted.”



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