Peter, 53, is best known as the self-confident dragon on the BBC show, Dragon’s Den. Peter started out in business at a young age, setting up his own tennis coaching school. He has been through some difficult times in his life despite his great success, both financially and health-wise. In 2007, the businessman developed an illness which could have become extremely serious. Speaking with Mail Online, Peter said: “Three years ago I had pneumonia. I had been working too hard and got a bit run-down. I got very, very wheezy and had trouble breathing – so much so that I thought I was going to die. I was put on a course of antibiotics.”
Pneumonia is a serious infection in one or both lungs. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi cause it.
The infection causes inflammation in the air sacs in the lungs. The NHS said: “If you have pneumonia, these tiny sacs become inflamed and fill up with fluid.
The symptoms of pneumonia can develop suddenly over 24 to 48 hours, or they may come on more slowly over several days.”
Common symptoms include:
- A cough – which may be dry, or produce thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained mucus
- Difficulty breathing which may be rapid and shallow and you may feel breathless, even when resting
- Rapid heartbeat
- High temperature
- Feeling generally unwell
- Sweating and shivering
- Loss of appetite
- Chest pain – which gets worse when breathing or coughing
The less common symptoms include:
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling sick or being sick
- Joint or muscle pain
- Feeling confused and disorientated, particularly in elderly people
For less serious illnesses, like the common cold, or for when he’s not “feeling brilliant”, Peter also revealed he’s a fan of supplements.
He said: “When I’m not feeling brilliant, I take a Berocca – a vitamin C tablet – and multivitamins, which I’m taking at the moment as I feel a bit coldy.”
Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening.
It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.
If you suspect you may have symptoms of pneumonia it’s important to speak with your GP.