Davina McCall opens up about menopause fear ‘I thought I had Alzheimer’s’
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The TV host, who started getting symptoms nine years ago aged 44, said she was paranoid about the brain disorder as her dad Andrew has it. She visited a doctor after memory loss affected her busy presenting schedule – to be told she had “cognitive overload”. The mother of three takes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help ease the effects of the menopause.
Davina, 53, said on Gabby Logan’s The Mid.Point podcast: “I’m on HRT so I have absolutely no excuse to be going doolally but I’m still going doolally on the HRT.
“I am less angry. I don’t get night sweats. I don’t get hot flushes.
“My joints, my bones feel lubricated and strong, but my memory… and like you Gabby, I work, I’ve got kids, I have a partner.
“Life is very busy and chaotic and you have to know a lot of stuff. And I do lots of different jobs. So I have a hundred different hats on.
“I could be going from [TV series] Long Lost Family one day, to The Masked Singer the next, to a Garnier job, to something else.” She added: “I’m learning different things for everything in my brain sometimes, because when I went to my doctor and I said, ‘Look, please help me, I think I’ve got Alzheimer’s because obviously my dad’s got Alzheimer’s’.
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“And I was like, ‘I’m always paranoid – I know I haven’t really got it but am I OK?’ She said, ‘It’s called cognitive overload’. And at our stage in life often our kids are all older. We thought it was going to get easier. It does not.”
Davina turned down an offer to replace Chris Tarrant on Capital Radio’s breakfast show so she could work just three days a week and have time with daughter Holly after she was born in 2001. She said: “I’d done a week’s cover and I’d enjoyed it. It was my dream job.
“I cried when I turned it down. But I just thought with Big Brother, three days a week, and going into London…I live in the country.”
She said it was different for men: “He would just say ‘Yes’ to a job and ‘Let’s find a way of making it work’.
“Whereas I would be like, ‘I don’t know if I can physically be away from my kids for that amount of time’.”
- The Mid.Point Podcast is on all major podcast platforms and at podfollow.com/midpoint/view
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