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Davina McCall opens up about menopause symptoms: ‘I thought I had Alzheimer’s’

The Independent logo The Independent 28/01/2021 Emily Cope
Davina McCall wearing glasses and smiling at the camera © Provided by The Independent

Davina McCall has revealed she believed she was developing early onset Alzheimer’s when she started going through the menopause.

The TV host admitted she has been paranoid about the brain disorder ever since her father, Andrew, 76, was diagnosed three years ago.

McCall, 53, said she visited a doctor after memory loss affected her busy presenting schedule, only to be told she had “cognitive overload”. 

According to the NHS, one of the symptoms of menopause is problems with memory and concentration, as well as night sweats, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, low mood and anxiety.

Speaking on Gabby Logan’s The Mid.Point podcast, McCall recalled: “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’.

“And I was like, ‘I’m always paranoid – I know I haven’t really got it but am I OK?’ [The doctor] said, ‘It’s called cognitive overload’.”


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McCall went on to say she takes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help ease her menopausal symptoms.

“I’m on HRT so I have absolutely no excuse to be going doolally but I’m still going doolally on the HRT," she added.

“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… And at our stage in life often our kids are all older. We thought it was going to get easier. It does not."

According to the NHS, menopause occurs when “a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally" and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

In November, McCall took to Instagram to wish her father a happy 76th birthday, while also calling Alzheimer’s a “very cruel” illness.

In the post she wrote: “Happy birthday Daddy!!!! Sorry I can’t be with you... but thank you for giving the Best Hugs! And always picking up the pieces when my world fell apart."

“You have taught me so much... Alzheimers is a very cruel illness, but your soul is still shining through ... love you so . And thank you mumma for taking such beautiful care of him and auntie Becca too ❤️ love you both x.”

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