‘I’ve been given a second chance’: Andrea McLean discusses terrifying health battle

Andrea McLean has revealed that she came close to death recently, after being diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease.

The Loose Women presenter has been open and honest about her 2016 hysterectomy, which left her with a multitude of painful side-effects. But now, she's revealed that a rare blood disease was discovered during the operation, leaving her fearing for her life.

The mum-of-two was diagnosed with medium vessel vasculitis, a disease which causes blood vessels to inflame and can, terrifyingly, stop blood going to your vital organs.

Andrea, who is now well, confessed that the scary news left her determined to finally live her life to the full, and to go after what she really wanted.

She told the Mirror, "When you think life is coming to an end, you’ve never wanted to live so much, I stopped being afraid of saying what I wanted. And I stopped caring what people thought of me."

Newly-married Andrea went on, "I’ve been given a second chance and I’m not going to waste it. There’s a lesson for everyone there. Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t give up.”

Loose Women star Andrea went on to admit that the disease actually spurred her on to do everything she'd wanted to, but had previously put off out of 'fear' or 'lack of confidence'.

She confessed, “It made me re-evaluate things. I suppose you could say it was a wake-up call. I wrote down a list of ambitions that I hadn’t pushed myself towards through fear or lack of confidence.

"I needed to face up to the reality I held myself back subconsciously because I was scared. And with the threat of serious illness hanging over me, I now knew that I couldn’t hold myself back any longer.

Andrea's experience left her with a poignant learning too. She said, “I didn’t want to look back on my life and wish I’d been brave enough to do something that was within my power to do, but a fear of failure held me back.”

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In the past Andrea has been candid in her discussion of her hysterectomy - which, for her, sparked her menopause at age 46.

Now 48, she admitted that she was often left sweating whilst live on air on Loose Women, and also experienced her hair thinning to an extreme amount.

She has confessed, “Then the sweats crept into the day. I’ve been known to wear sanitary towels on every part of my body.

“I even tried Botox under my arms. My hair was thinning and, in the wrong light, I could see my scalp.

Andrea is soon set to release a new book, Confessions of a Menopausal Woman, detailing her experiences with 'the change' and how to cope. The book is released on 28th June.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.