Brain fog made Louise Minchin think something was ‘terribly wrong’

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Louise, who left BBC Breakfast last year, suffered night sweats, brain fog and a lack of confidence, saying: “I didn’t feel happy in my own skin. I was very anxious. I didn’t feel like myself and I’m always hugely a ‘glass half-full’ kind of person. I wasn’t that person anymore.”

Louise, 54, told of the effects on her family – restaurateur husband David and daughters Scarlett, 21, and Mia, 18. Recalling one moment where she knew something was wrong, she said: “George Osborne, then chancellor was standing outside a JCB factory. And I couldn’t say the letters JCB in the right order. I thought I had something terribly wrong with me.”

She was soon to discover that it was the onset of the menopause and with it came a gamut of physical and psychological symptoms.

‘I didn’t feel happy in my own skin’

“It affects your whole confidence. I was crying because my hormones were up and down, and all over the place. The girls tell some hilarious stories about me crying, for what seemed to be no reason. It was good when I finally discovered what was going on.”

Louise was 45 when the menopause started. Ever the professional, at work she managed to battle on, despite the brain fog. “There’s something very powerful about when the red light in the studio is on. When that’s on, you need to focus. But when I came off, I couldn’t remember where the car was.”

Louise found a combination of things helped her – being on HRT, exercise and sleeping well, particularly after 20 years of 3.40am alarm calls for BBC Breakfast.

And then came the night sweats, she said, adding: “I would wake up three or four times a night completely drenched as if I had run a marathon in a jungle.”

Louise, who is an ambassador for TheWoolroom on its Menopause, Sleep and Wellness campaign, found that natural bedding helped. “It helps me regulate my body temperature so I’m not having disturbed sleep.”

Louise is passionate about helping other women. She said: “There is always help out there. The best thing is to go and talk to people, talk to your friends, and share.

“I was in a very, very anxious place and I’m not anymore. I feel really, really lucky.”

  • For details on the Woolroom and its Menopause, Sleep and Wellness campaign, visit

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