Natalie J Robb, 45, has been playing the chaotic character Moira Barton on Emmerdale for over 10 years. Playing the character of Moira has put Natalie in some interesting dilemmas from illicit affairs to death and even drugs. For Natalie, living a less chaotic life and putting her health first brought her to make a brave decision at the beginning of the year to improve all aspects of her life.
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Natalie decided to give up alcohol and has been living a sober life for over a year.
The actress said banning booze has had a huge impact on her lifestyle.
Speaking to The Sunday Post last year, Natalie said: “I challenged myself to Dry January last year as a health kick and it felt so good I just kept going with it.
“There’s a pressure in society to drink.
“I’m not saying that I won’t ever have a drink again but I won’t have the same relationship with it.”
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Natalie continued: “The first few months were the hardest, socially, but after that, I was surprised by how easy it was.
“I used to drink every weekend but when you think about how long it takes your liver and kidneys to process alcohol, all you’re doing is topping up.
“That scared me.”
What happens to the body when there is an excess of alcohol?
Alcohol.org said: “Although a person may not be abusing alcohol regularly, they can still experience its short-term effects on the mind and body.
“The liver can metabolise about one standard drink of alcohol per hour.
“However, this can vary depending on a number of factors, including the individual’s age, weight, liver function and gender.
“The short-term effects of alcohol include trouble concentrating, loss of coordination, loss of critical judgement, mood swings, reduced core body temperature and raised blood pressure.
“The long-term effects are memory loss, diminished grey matter, liver fibrosis, certain cancers, stroke and an irregular heartbeat.”
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Chronic heavy drinking is associated with many serious health problems.
One of the possible severe medical consequences of chronic alcohol abuse is liver disease as over time, the liver may become inflamed and/or scarred.
The digestive system is affected as alcohol can wear down the lining of the stomach and increase the production of stomach acid, which can contribute to ulcers.
Drinking alcohol also has complications on cardiovascular and reproductive health.
Despite the character Moira’s ups and downs, Natalie relishes the opportunity to play such a feisty and complex character and since giving up alcohol is able to play her even better.
“I’ve got so much more energy and I’m more productive.
‘And I don’t miss the two-day hangovers,” she added.
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