Liz Earle on the ‘Lorraine’ TV show discussing her struggles with menopause
It’s a milestone that some women approach with trepidation.
But women should set aside their fears and take hormone replacement therapy as early as possible, according to leading lifestyle guru Liz Earle.
She said a generation of women had wrongly been put off taking HRT through fear of risks such as breast cancer. She stressed it could help women as young as 45 even if they had not started the menopause.
‘From 45 onwards the studies show that the earlier you take it the better protected you are, particularly from heart disease,’ said Miss Earle, who has written a book on the menopause.
‘You might have to big up your symptoms a bit to get it – it depends how friendly your GP is.’
Miss Earle, a mother of five who has her own skincare and jewellery ranges, said HRT gave her ‘better sleep, smoother skin, improved mood and increased energy levels’.
It is taken by 2.3million women for menopause symptoms, with the NHS saying its benefits outweigh the risks.
‘The main reason that women don’t take it is that they think it’s going to give them breast cancer,’ Miss Earle said.
‘That’s understandable, because that’s what was reported ten or 12 years ago. That is not necessarily the case.’ At a talk for the Good Housekeeping Institute she said the increased risk of breast cancer was so low that some women might be happy to accept it.
She added: ‘A lot of women will take the contraceptive pill for decades and not think “I’m taking a high dose of a very synthetic hormone which is not the same as what’s in my body”. We take it for years because it’s convenient and we’re happy with that risk. When you look at HRT and the oestrogen that’s in that, it’s an identical hormone.
‘If you took it apart under a microscope it would be exactly the same as the hormone that we naturally produce, so the body can’t tell the difference.’