Lorraine Kelly has revealed how she believes she was suffering with menopausal symptoms for nearly a decade without treatment after blaming fatigue on her early morning job.
The Scottish television presenter, 61, who hosts her eponymous show on ITV at 9am, has partnered up with Always Discreet for World Menopause Day on October 18 to help redefine menopause and empower women during this time of their life.
She told FEMAIL of her relief after ITV’s Dr Hilary Jones revealed her ‘joylessness’, anxiety and tiredness were down to the menopause – with the broadcaster then taking ‘life changing’ hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Lorraine, who admitted she was annoyed she ‘had taken so long to get help’, said the controversial HRT ‘kicked in really quickly’, with her husband of 29 years Steve Smith declaring: ‘I’ve finally got you back’.
Lorraine Kelly (pictured this week) has revealed how she believes she was suffering with menopausal symptoms for nearly a decade without treatment
Pointing out a statistic from a menopause survey done by Always Discreet, Lorraine noted that two thirds of women feel the process takes them by ‘surprise, they kind of weren’t prepared, and it creeps up on them.’
‘That certainly was the case for me,’ admitted the presenter. ‘I’m sure that I was having symptoms years before I realised.
‘In fact, to be honest, I didn’t even really realise, it was my husband that said to me, “you have to go and get some help”, because I was extremely tired, this is probably about nine years ago, I was sort of late 40s, early 50s I think, and I was just ever so tired, didn’t have any energy.
‘Flat, I think the best way to describe it. Joyless, joyless is another good way to describe it. And I didn’t really understand it, it just kind of crept up on me, and I didn’t know what it was.’
One vivid memory from that period of her life for Lorraine is a trip to Spain, where she should’ve been ‘having the time of her life’.
‘The weather was great, we’re in south Spain, with just my husband, it was all lovely, and I just couldn’t get any enthusiasm or joy or anything,’ recalled the TV host.
The Scottish television presenter (pictured in 2014 with her husband Steve Smith), 61, who hosts her eponymous show on ITV at 9am, has partnered up with Always Discreet for World Menopause Day on October 18 to help redefine menopause and empower women during this time of their life
Upon her return home, Lorraine – who had originally put her fatigue down to the busy and early morning schedule she keeps – chatted with Dr Hilary, who revealed that she was likely suffering from the menopause.
‘He said: “It’s the menopause, of course it is, it’s the menopause, that’s exactly what it is”,’ recalled Lorraine.
‘And then he talked me through the different things that you can do, and for me, HRT was a life saver. A little patch on my bum twice a week, happy days and it kicked in really quickly.’
Because of the speed and ease with which her anxiety and tiredness were dealt with after discovering the problem, Lorraine admitted she was annoyed she hadn’t asked for help years before.
She confessed that she never had a conversation about menopause with her mother (until joining this campaign), due to it being ‘shameful and something nobody talked about in the 60s’ – but that she’s certainly chatted with her daughter Rosie, 27, to better prepare her.
Lorraine said: ‘Even five, six years ago, it wasn’t something that was out there. [People] would just not ever talk about it, because it was like you get the menopause “oh that’s you then, you’re over the hill”.
Lorraine (pictured) told FEMAIL of her relief after ITV’s Dr Hilary Jones revealed her ‘joylessness’, anxiety and tiredness were down to the menopause – with the broadcaster then taking ‘life changing’ hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
‘”That’s it, you know, you might as well just give up, you’re going to be invisible” and how ridiculous is that when women in their 40s 50s and 60s and 70s and beyond are in their prime.
‘I certainly feel like that, I’ll be 62 soon… but I feel now that I’ve got more energy, I’ve got more time for me, there’s lots of things that I can do.
‘And if you look upon it as almost a sense of freedom because you don’t have periods anymore to deal with,’ added Lorraine, who said she never became upset about her loss of fertility.
She explained: ‘I didn’t see it like that. I chose to see it as being a thing that’s quite freeing. To be honest, I was relieved. I was relieved that that’s what it was, because honestly I didn’t really know.
‘I was just getting a little bit worried and I was just relieved that, that was the diagnosis. As soon as Doctor Hilary said it’s the menopause, I went “oh, thank the lord, of course it is”.
‘And you look back at all these different symptoms and think why did I not think that, and I was cross with myself for not getting help earlier. I should’ve. But luckily I did, thanks to my husband.’
Lorraine’s husband Steve, who has largely stayed out of the spotlight despite his famous wife, told her: ‘I’ve got you back,’ following her use of HRT.
‘It’s true, I turned into this flat sort of defeated person which is just not me and actually you know it’s quite frightening to change like that,’ said Lorraine, as she explained her symptoms.
However, she soon felt more confident after getting her diagnosis and treatment, saying: ‘I got my zing back. Just to get yourself back definitely gives you more confidence.
‘Because it’s quite scary when you feel like, “hang on a minute, why am I like this? Why am I feeling like this? Why is this happening to me? This is really strange.”
‘And it’s totally natural to feel like that, but then as soon as you’re told what it is and that there’s lots of help, then hoorah!’
Commenting on the controversial HRT, Lorraine said: ‘They’re tiny risks, but I totally understand some women being concerned. For me, the risks are tiny and the benefits are so much more.
‘For me, I just thought, thank God, there’s something that is so incredibly effective. I thought, “this is so easy”.’
While it can transform the lives of many women, studies have shown that there may be an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease from HRT. As a result, many women no longer accept HRT treatment and some doctors will not prescribe it.
It was however noted by the Woman’s Health Concern (WHC) that one of the American studies used women in their mid-sixties who were often overweight as subjects, and these are unrepresentative of women in the UK.
Furthermore, a controlled trial from Denmark reported in 2012 has demonstrated that healthy women taking combined HRT for 10 years immediately after the menopause had a reduced risk of heart disease and of dying from heart disease, contradicting the reports of the earlier studies.
Lorraine also spoke about why menopause is still taboo, with the Always Discreet survey showing over one third of women agree that the process isn’t talked about openly enough between the generations.
‘I think there’s that misconception that somehow it’s the end of you as a desirable, vibrant, sexy women, which of course that’s not true at all,’ said the presenter.
‘It’s the next stage of your life, it’s so natural. This is why I get really baffled by this sense of shame.
‘It’s really, perfectly natural, and with women living longer, and they’re healthier and taking more care of themselves, you know, once you’ve gone through the menopause, you’ve almost got that amount of time again. Depending on when it happens to you.’