Watch: Lisa Snowden opens up about her experiences of the menopause: 'You just feel so lost'
Lisa Snowden has opened up about her experience dealing with early menopause, detailing the anxiety, brain fog and depression she went through before being told she was perimenopausal.
Speaking in an interview on This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, the TV presenter and former model spoke out about her struggle to get a diagnosis, the positive impact hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has had on her life and her hopes to educate other women about the condition.
Snowden, who turns 50 at the end of this month, says she was about 42 when she first started going through the perimenopause and admits she didn't really know what it was.
She says the first symptoms she experienced were depression and anxiety, followed by her menstrual cycle changing and suffering uncontrollable rages.
"I had this feeling of being completely out of control, and things that I'd usually do everyday I couldn't do," she explains.
"It just felt very strange. I couldn't process things. And then your menstrual cycle starts changing and it becomes really erratic. So some months you just don't have a period, the next few months, you don't stop bleeding, and it's so heavy and so debilitating that you cannot leave the house.
"You can't go to work for fear of just leaking everywhere. I mean, just awful. And the pain that goes with it. And then you've got the anxiety, the depression."
Having gone to the doctor she was prescribed antidepressants, but while she took them for six months they didn't little to ease her symptoms.
"You just feel so lost, so low and you just don't know what's going on," she told the hosts.
The former model went on to say that she was initially "shocked" when she was told she was perimenopausal as she thought it would happen much later.
"I literally had the biggest lump in my throat and I was just confused - it was almost like a punch in the stomach because I didn't quite know what that meant," she explains.
"But I knew that it was a big change and that you know, fertility perhaps was off the cards — lots of things came into my mind at that moment.
"And it's just a real wake up call."
Snowden says she wished she'd known much more about the menopause and its symptoms, going on to describe the HRT she's now taking as a "game changer".
"I feel fantastic," she says. "For me, it took about a month to kick in.
"But I've lost weight. I've got my energy back. I don't ache anymore in the joints. The anxiety is gone. The brain fog - I can talk to you and have a conversation.
"I'm back to feeling brilliant."
Watch: What you need to know for World Menopause Day 2021
During the chat, with Snowden and menopause expert Dr Newson, This Morning host Willoughby also opened up about her own concerns surrounding the menopause.
After hearing that Snowden was 42 when she started having menopausal symptoms Willoughby, 40, told her co-star: "I'm sitting here like a sponge.
"This is my next phase of life, this is coming to me and I want to go into this without being fearful.
"And I think the best way of doing that is to listen to other women, hear their stories educate myself and learn."
Snowdon has previously opened up about her experiences of suffering symptoms of menopause including putting on 3st in weight and suffering from brain fog, anxiety and fits of rage.
But with the help of HRT and the support of her fiancé George Smart, says she is now “the happiest” she has ever been.
“During my crazy rages when I flew off the handle, George was patient and kind," she told The Sun. "He could see through it — ‘This is not Lisa talking’, that kind of thing. He saw it for what it was — some awful anger attack that would pass as quickly as it came, almost.
“Some days I couldn’t get out of bed because of debilitating bleeding during my monthly cycle but George would just hold me, and tell me everything would be OK."