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Loose Women star Andrea McLean opens up about 'loneliness' following debilitating health struggle

The presenter has previously opened up about experiencing Long Covid

Andrea Mclean at The Ace Hotel on October 17, 2019
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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Andrea McLean is always so candid about what she's gone through, whether it's toxic relationships or intimate health issues

This week, the former Loose Women star opened up about loneliness during midlife, in a heartfelt conversation. The presenter turned life coach shared her insight on the Two Women Chatting podcast, saying that a lot of women worry about whether they're relevant as they age. 

She said: "Am I relevant anymore? A lot of the words that we use and the tone that we use with ourselves makes us feel very small. 

WATCH: Andrea McLean breaks down in tears as she announces momentous news

"And what that does is it makes our problems seem so big. This can happen to us at any moment in life. But I think that there is a particular insidious loneliness that creeps in at middle age." 

The mum-of-two recommends building strong connections and taking care of yourself as ways to feel more positive. Andrea has been through a lot in her life, not least her health struggle with Long Covid. 

Andrea McLean attends the "We Will Rock You" Gala Night at the London Coliseum on June 07, 2023 © Getty
Andrea has struggled with her health

Back in June, the star shared that she had recently survived a very challenging few months. Talking about her experiences, the entrepreneur revealed that the illness had been "debilitating"

The mum-of-two spoke to Bella magazine about her experience, saying: "I was doing everything that you're supposed to do, which was particularly unfair. But what I am really appreciative of is my leisure, because until you have something that is so debilitating you cannot walk the length of yourself." 

Andrea McLean in a white and black dress at the National Television Awards 2012© Getty
The former Loose Women star is now a life coach

Andrea went on: "People say 'Oh I'm exhausted', but what I've experienced defies the definition of tired. I'd no energy - it's really hard to feel energised. The simple things like going for a walk - I'd be getting further and further behind [my husband] Nick, to the point where I'd have to say, 'Can you stop for a minute,' it's things like that."

The 53-year-old said that she had been ill for around six months, which she described as a "rough" time after she caught Covid and then was "absolutely throttled" by flu in December, with doctors testing her for lupus before diagnosing her with long Covid. 

Andrea McLean attends the ITV Palooza 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on November 12, 2019 © Getty
The star back in 2019

The star shared, however, that she's asked friends who are health experts for advice and is starting to feel some improvement now. Andrea, who shocked fans when she left Loose Women in 2020 to pursue other opportunities, has long won praise for her candour about health and her body.

 She's been an advocate for better information about the menopause to help women who are struggling, following her own experience at 46.

Nick Feeney and Andrea McLean on July 29, 2018 in Marbella, Spain. © Getty
With her husband, Nick Feeney

Last year, for example, she appeared on Vogue Williams' podcast Taboo Talk, where she spoke openly about going through the menopause following a hysterectomy after suffering with endometriosis for her whole life. 

READ: What to do when menopause impacts your work, according to an HR expert

SEE: Loose Women's Andrea McLean surprises fans with unexpected home tribute

"I thought I'd lose at least a stone and have a flatter tummy, but it made no difference," she joked, before going on to explain that her sex drive dropped during menopause. Andrea also spoke openly about how menopause impacted her at work, sharing that hot flushes left her worried to be on live TV.

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