My health: Emma Forbes
The 47-year-old TV presenter and lifestyle blogger tells all I was diagnosed with endometriosis in my early 30s when my husband [banker Graham Clempson] and I wanted to start a family. A scan revealed a cyst on my right ovary. I had never heard of endometriosis, where the cells that line the womb migrate to other parts of the body and cause pain, inflammation, the formation of scar tissue and sometimes ovarian cysts [further information from www.endometriosis-uk.org].
Endometriosis affects more than 1.5 million women in the UK but it’s difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic IBS, pelvic inflammatory disorder and lower-stomach ache. I had a laparoscopy to remove the cyst but one specialist told me that I may never have children.
We were lucky to have Lily, now 17, and Sam, 14, after the adhesions were lasered away enabling me to get pregnant before they grew back.
Acupuncture, diet and supplements helped, as did staying on the pill as it limits the production of oestrogen, which encourages endometriosis to grow. And 12 years ago, I had my right ovary removed and haven’t suffered since.
When I was 37 weeks pregnant with Lily, she was the wrong way round. I was told I’d have to have a caesarean, so I had acupuncture with moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine therapy, and lay watching my stomach as she turned round. Ihave facial acupuncture now with the wonderful Annee de Mamiel [www.demamiel.com].
One of the side effects of endometriosis is depression and I had postnatal depression after both children. I was always so bright and bubbly and suddenly I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. Acupuncture was very beneficial and I also used homeopathy.
I am an ambassador for Wellbeing of Women, a charity that funds research into women’s health [www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk]. Now BHS has asked me to choose my four favourite dresses, sales of which will raise money for research into endometriosis.
A SOFTER TOUCH
Doctors have often rejected hand sanitisers (advising a scrub with soap and water), partly because they have been so drying that they caused cracks in the skin, posing a significant risk of infection. A new natural product, Renouve Anti-Ageing Hand Sanitizer, overcomes this problem. According to Jo Fairley, my co-author of the Beauty Bible books, who spends a lot of time on trains, planes and buses, ‘the serum texture of this gorgeously packaged product is so wonderfully softening and nourishing that I use it diligently. It claims to kill 99 per cent of bugs and I haven’t had so much as a sniffle since it landed in my handbag several months ago.’ Priced £22 at www.victoriahealth.com - buy here.
Several grandparents have e-mailed asking where they can find support for grandchildren with communication problems. Often theyare not doing well in school and don’t make friends easily. The charity I CAN runs a helpline ON 020-7843 2544/www.ican.org.uk.
HAVE A GIRLS' NIGHT IN FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Here’s a heartwarming idea: this coming Friday, invite your girlfriends round for A Really Good Night In and donate what you would have spent on going out to Macmillan Cancer Support. Give each other a manicure, eat something delicious, catch up on gossip and support this fantastic charity.More details on www.macmillan.org.uk.