Davina McCall says menopause was like kicking heroin.
The 53-year-old TV presenter went through the menopause at the age of 44 and initially feared early-onset dementia as she battled through symptoms which reminded her of going through withdrawal.
She said: "I thought I was going mad. I even thought I was possibly getting some sort of early-onset dementia.
"The menopause didn’t even cross my mind because I was young - 44 - so I battled on for a year. I didn’t know who to talk to, where to go.
"I was getting night sweats, and what was horrible is that I’m a recovering addict and it took me back to being sick and trying to recover from addiction. Then I couldn’t read the autocue. It began affecting my vision - because of lack of sleep I couldn’t see or read.
“A producer who is now quite high up at ITV came up to me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ because I was normally so on it but I just couldn’t get on it any more. I was just in a fog."
And Davina - who was initially worried about taking medication because of her previous addictions - has now made a Channel 4 documentary, 'Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause', to help others to cope.
She told The Sun newspaper: "I’m a recovering addict, I was a heroin addict, I haven’t had a drink in 30 years, I don’t even like taking over-the-counter pills for headaches and things. So I was just not going to go down the medical route.
“I thought I’d up the exercise, take some herbal remedies, but none of those cut it. I wanted to battle through, until it hit me in the eyeballs and then I educated myself.
“I lied to friends and told them I wasn’t on HRT. I was so ashamed of being on HRT because it somehow felt I was doing something wrong or dirty. It felt like I was chasing youth."
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