TV presenter Davina McCall has said she did not understand what was happening to her when she was going through menopause, and that "it was just a nightmare".

McCall, who started going through perimenopause eight years ago at 44, said she thought she had flu or a virus and the symptoms reminded her of when she was a drug addict.

Speaking on ITV's Loose Women she said: "Nobody told me about it. I hadn't learned about it at school, from my mum or my big sister.

"It was the thing nobody talked about it. There was so much shame about it. It was a sign you'd dried up, you were past your sell-by date, you were at the end of your life, which in Victorian days, I suppose you were...

"But now we live until we're 80, we're right in the middle of our lives. This is where the good bit happens where we know we're not going to have kids any more and we can go off and be a bit selfish after being selfless for so long."

She added: "Obviously I'm a reformed addict and I was waking up soaked in sweat, having to put towels on the bed, thinking, 'There's something wrong with me, I've got the flu or a virus or something.'

"It really reminded me of when I was using and I really hated it... and mood swings, shouting at the kids.

"I'm not a shouty mother at all and then I'd end up crying in the car, apologising to the children, going, 'I'm really sorry, I don't know what's wrong with me.'

"My keys were in the fridge, my phone was in the bin, my libido was through the floor. It was just a nightmare.

"The symptoms were few and far between. My periods were regular, but sometimes they were a bit longer, sometimes a bit shorter. I didn't think I could have it so early... but actually, it's the perimenopause."