TV presenter Davina McCall has revealed going though the menopause took her back to the days she was a drug addict.
The former Big Brother host has been clean for many years, but admits going through perimenopause eight years ago aged 44 gave her similar symptoms to when she was using Class A drugs.
The 52-year-old spoke of the experience as part Loose Women Menopause Week when she appeared on the ITV show on Monday (12 October).
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McCall admitted she had no idea what was happening when she started having symptoms such as night sweats and being moody.
She said: “Nobody told me about it. I hadn’t learned about it at school, from my mum or my big sister. It was the thing nobody talked about it.
Watch: Davina McCall talks about the menopause on Loose Women
“There was so much shame about it. It was a sign you’d dried up, you were past your sell by date, you were at the end of your life, which in Victorian days, I suppose you were….But now we live until we’re 80, we’re right in the middle of our lives.
“This is where the good bit happens where we know we’re not going to have kids anymore and we can go off and be a bit selfish after being selfless for so long.”
Comparing the symptoms to those similar to being an addict, she added: “Obviously I’m a reformed addict and I was waking up soaked in sweat, having to put towels on the bed, thinking, ‘There’s something wrong with me, I’ve got the flu or a virus or something’.
“It really reminded me of when I was using and I really hated it… and mood swings, shouting at the kids. I’m not a shouty mother at all and then I’d end up crying in the car, apologising to the children, going, ‘I’m really sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.’
“My keys were in the fridge, my phone was in the bin, my libido was through the floor. It was just a nightmare.
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“The symptoms were few and far between. My periods were regular, but sometimes they were a bit longer, sometimes a bit shorter. I didn’t think I could have it so early… but actually it’s the perimenopause.”
McCall also how Hormone Replacement Therapy has helped her get through it. “The health benefits for me way outweighed the negatives. I’ve got dementia running in my family, it massively reduces that, reduces diabetes and it reduces the risk of heart disease by 50 per cent.”
Loose Women is on weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV.