Gabby Logan health: Presenter calls out menopause ‘scandal’ – ‘I didn’t realise’

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At the age of 47 Gabby was diagnosed with perimenopause – also known as the menopausal transition – which refers to the time where a woman’s body makes the natural transition to menopause and marks the end of the reproductive years. A year on from entering this phase in her life Gabby has become passionate about looking into the mysteries of the menopause and why doctors do not know more about it when women go to see them. In a bid to find out more Gabby started her podcast The Midpoint, and has also chatted openly about her experience.

Speaking on 5 Live with Naga Munchetty Gabby revealed how she feels that the menopause is “somewhat of a scandal” in the medical world, with many doctors not even trained on the issue.

She said: “It’s a scandal really that 50 percent of the population are enduring these symptoms and going through a really tough physical and emotional period of their life and are scared to talk up.

“So I think it is really important that more people get talking.”

Although a natural process that usually affects women when they reach the age of 45 to 55, many are unaware of the multitude of symptoms that it can cause, which is what happened to Gabby.

Explaining more to Naga about her own experience, the presenter said: “I didn’t realise what I felt was related to [menopause] at all.”

It was not until Gabby found herself interviewing someone on her own podcast and realising the similarities they both had that she soon realised that she might be going through menopause.

She continued to say: “I was feeling very enthusiastic about things, which is not like me.

“I couldn’t see much joy, I wasn’t getting the same kind of satisfaction out of work.

“And when I thought about it my anxiety and perhaps being a bit short tempered were all increasing. When I realised that this was part of what perimenopause is, it made me go and seek out medical advice.“

Although going to seek medical advice, Gabby also revealed that it was a private doctor that she sought help from as she felt as though she couldn’t go and talk to her regular GP.

It was there where Gabby found out some unknown facts about menopause, including that those who have been through IVF can potentially go into menopause earlier compared to someone who hasn’t.

Following this Gabby found that symptoms and understanding her condition started to click. She said: “It all started to make sense. My husband was also interested, he would say ‘I want to know what’s going on with you, I want to understand.’”

Liz Earle Wellbeing explains that common symptoms of the menopause include the following:

  • Light, heavy or irregular periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness and pain during sex
  • Brain fog (problems with memory and concentration)
  • Tiredness and poor sleep
  • Aching joints
  • Hair loss
  • Skin changes
  • Worsening PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Heart palpitations
  • Urinary symptoms (urgency to get to a toilet or recurring cystitis)
  • Tinnitus and hearing loss
  • Weight gain (particularly around the abdomen).

It also states that among these symptoms, some women suffer so badly that they can become life-limiting and extremely severe, with 80 percent of women reporting that menopausal symptoms interfere with their quality of life.

In addition, as well as the immediate symptoms, women are much more susceptible to weakened bones (osteoporosis) during the menopause and perimenopause.

Talking about why she thinks the conversation surrounding menopause is important Gabby said: “Women can suddenly disappear from boards or from being the CEO because they don’t quite get there because of this period in their life that can cause confusion, physically and emotionally and mentally.

“So, for me, it’s really important that women keep pushing through and get those top jobs and it’s not because of what happens in their menopause that they disappear.”

Gabby has also encouraged men and well as women to understand the menopause. She added: “Men work alongside women, men are married to women, and I think men also need to know what’s going on because we need to have that empathy and understanding of what’s happening to our partners, our friends.”

For those who are finding it difficult to cope with menopause symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is by far the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. Used in a variety of forms it works by “topping up” oestrogen levels that have declined and in turn reduces the effect of symptoms.

For those who cannot take HRT due to other medical reasons, non-medical therapies and healthy lifestyle changes have also made a positive effect on symptoms. This includes maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and regularly exercising.

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