'There are 66 symptoms of menopause and I had nearly all of them'

Ray and Tina Cleveland, from Gorleson, who have only just started venturing outside after shielding

Tina Cleveland with her husband Ray who has been supporting her through menopause - Credit: Archant

A woman whose anxiety spiked during lockdown fuelled by the menopause is launching two new groups aimed at supporting each other.

Tina Cleveland, 54, of Buxton Avenue, Gorleston, said she was totally unprepared for the mental and physical changes and said she woke each morning "with a feeling of dread".

Health concerns surrounding her husband, who is extremely vulnerable to Covid, added to her anxiety which saw the couple only going out at night to avoid contact with other people.

Her research lead her to discover around 66 symptoms of menopause ranging from hot flushes and brain fog, to food cravings, a cold nose, palpitations, acid reflux, and tinnitus.

Tina Cleveland, chairman of the Central Healthcare Centre Patient Participation GroupPicture supplie

Tina Cleveland said she was unprepared for the impact of menopause and has set up a group where women can support each other. - Credit: Archant

She said she had been experiencing changes for around four years, and that more awareness was needed around symptoms.

She is on a low dose of HRT and says yoga helps, but the key to tackling anxiety was talking about it and sharing experiences and ideas about how woman might cope.

"The thing is to get people to talk about it and make friends, then they wont feel so anxious. They have got to be brave and make that first step because it's the anxiety that keeps people away."

"During Covid it was horrendous," she said.

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"Anxiety was probably the main problem but the sweats did not help.

"Coming out of lockdown was probably the hardest bit.

"I thought there must be lots of other people in my position that were really struggling so I wanted to create a group where woman can just talk to each other.

"There are 66 symptoms of menopause and I felt like I had nearly all of them. You look at your body and think 'this isn't me', I have never felt like this.

"I am not qualified to give any advice, I can just say what I have been through."

Gorleston Menopause Mayhem is meeting on Wednesday, April 6 at Morrisons cafe 3-6pm and on Thursday, April 7, 5-7pm at Gorleston Library.

To find out more visit the Facebook page or contact Mrs Cleveland on 07704 318231.