Menopause left Lorraine Kelly feeling 'completely flat and joyless' - here's why

·5 min read
Lorraine Kelly attends ITV Palooza!, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London.
Lorraine revealed that at first, she didn't know what her symptoms meant. (Reuters)

TV Star Lorraine Kelly always looks on top of life - but speaking out about menopause recently, she admitted to feeling 'flat' and experiencing 'no joy in my life at all' as she went through the hormonal shift. 

She told The Express, 'It was basically my husband who said, ‘you need to get help, you need to go see the doctor because you're not yourself.’

"You're getting too anxious, in pain… you’re tired."

 "And I just thought all of that was just the demands of the job. I got up very early, but I was always able to cope."

She previously told of her horror when she first experienced the symptoms. 

"I was sitting with (her husband) Steve and we were away in Spain and it was lovely, beautiful weather and all gorgeous and I just felt completely flat, I had no joy in my life at all.

 "I thought I was going crazy, I couldn't understand it at all. I lost myself", she said.

Steve encouraged her to get help, so Lorraine went to see her GP who prescribed HRT (hormone replacement therapy). After a few weeks, she recalled, she 'felt like myself' again. 

Lorraine is far from the only star who has opened up recently about the effects of the menopause. 

TV presenter Davina McCall attends the UK premiere of
Davina McCall made a documentary on the menopause, and has spoken regularly about its impact. (Reuters)

TV presenter Davina McCall, who presented the Sex, Myths and the Menopause documentary on Channel 4 earlier this year said, "I definitely would not have been able to continue working had I not gone on HRT. 

"In many women’s cases it’s lifesaving, marriage-saving – it’s really, really hard, not just on the women going through it but on the people who love them and surround them."

Read more: 'We have to get louder': Sophie Wessex speaks out on menopause

Last year, former first lady Michelle Obama said, "I experienced the night sweats, even in my 30s.”

She recalled having hot flashes during the presidency. 

“I remember having one on Marine One. I’m dressed, I need to get out, walk into an event, and literally, it was like somebody put a furnace in my core and turned it on high, and then everything started melting. 

"And I thought, Well, this is crazy—I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do this,” she said.

UNSPECIFIED:  2021 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS -- Pictured: In this screengrab released on May 23, Michelle Obama speaks during the 2021 Billboard Music Awards broadcast on May 23, 2021. --  (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Even ever-elegant Michelle Obama has experienced severe menopausal symptoms when on duty. (Getty Images)

Kim Cattrall, best known for playing 'sexbomb' Samantha in Sex and the City also opened up on the issue. "Millions of women are going through it, it’s part of nature," she said, "But it can be very confusing and isolating.”. You wonder, will I be attractive, desirable, feminine? It’s too frightening even to talk to a doctor about it.”

Actress Kim Cattrall arrives for the premiere of the film
Kim Cattrall found menopause challenging. (Reuters)

Even Gwyneth Paltrow whose Goop website offers woo-based cures for every ailment has said, “I think when you get into perimenopause, you notice a lot of changes. 

"I can feel the hormonal shifts happening, the sweating, the moods—you’re all of a sudden furious for no reason,” while actor Gillian Anderson told People magazine, "How wonderful would it be if we could get to a place where we are able to have these conversations openly and without shame...so we don’t feel like we’re going insane."

Gillian Anderson arriving at the Charles Finch and Chanel pre-Bafta party at 5 Hertford Street in Mayfair, London.
GIllian Anderson has been forthright about feeling 'mad' during menopause. (Getty Images)

Read more: 11 Changes Women Go Through in Menopause

Meanwhile, presenter Mariella Frostrup has co-written a book, Cracking the Menopause, and has spoken regularly about the need to recognise and discuss symptoms.

The 'flatness' experienced by Lorraine and others is not unusual. Several studies have uncovered a link between menopause and the onset of feelings of depression, with one, published in Evidence-Based Mental Health, finding that high depression scores were over four times more likely to occur during a woman's menopausal transition, compared with when she was pre-menopausal.

Cate Boyd, founder of pretty pea supplements for women, says: 

"One of menopause’s 34 symptoms is depression. Indeed an early menopause and those who experience hot flushes are more likely to experience depression, too. 

"Many women do feel flat, as their body is changing, weight is appearing where it’s never appeared before, we have random mood swings and a whole host of other symptoms, many of which can debilitating and for many, life changing too. 

Mature Woman Experiencing Hot Flush From Menopause Using Fan
Hot flushes are just one of 34 potential symptoms. (Getty Images)

"One in ten women have symptoms so severe they leave the workplace.

"Anxiety affects many women too, as the progesterone declines, often rapidly and the body becomes out of synch."

The 'flatness' can also be a response to other midlife pressures too, says wellbeing strategist Louise Westra 

author of You FIRST: Your Body, Your Needs, Guilt Free.

 "Menopause can leave women feeling flat and depressed because by the time they reach this stage of their life they are already drained and depleted to varying degrees due to all the demands being placed upon them mentally, physically and emotionally. "

Watch: The Countess of Wessex speaks about 'tragic' impact of menopause in the workplace

Health and beauty therapist Claire Hattrick writes regularly on menopause and adds, "most women will spend a third of their life post-menopausal and with 80% of women having several symptoms, let's not suffer in silence - there is help out there. 

"Today less than 10% of women take HRT, and as one of the most effective treatments for most symptoms of the menopause, I am flabbergasted," she adds.

"HRT can help with, if not improve massively, symptoms like hot flushes, low libido, mood swings, night sweats and even bone density.

"The benefits and risks of HRT vary depending on age and any other health problems you have, so always speak to your GP," she adds. "But starting HRT early can benefit your health dramatically - so don't wait until it becomes unbearable."

Watch: Penny Lancaster breaks down in tears as she talks about menopause on 'Loose Women'

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