Mina Rajan, nutritionist and IT analyst on Menopause

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#TabooSmasher Spotlight: Mina Rajan, nutritionist and IT analyst

Mina Rajan - Smashing taboos

Mina is a semi-retired nutritionist and IT analyst. She is currently volunteering for Answering TTP and iicanada.org. She is passionate about hiking and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Where are you in your hormonal health journey?

I have been menopausal for 9 years now. I’m one of those individuals who was pushed into menopause earlier because of chemotherapy. 

What’s one word or phrase that comes to mind when you think of menopause?

Hot flashes! 

Which menopause symptoms have you experienced?

I’ve experienced bloating, brain fog, fatigue, joint & muscle aches, night sweats, sleep disruptions, and irritability. 

During perimenopause, I experienced hot flashes at night. The two male gynecologists I saw had no idea how to help me! I then came across an amazing female gynecologist. Due to my autoimmune disease, I went through chemotherapy 9 years ago at the age of 49, which forced me into menopause. Life changed for me after that point. Now, the hot flashes are better but have not disappeared entirely.

“There are so many women in the world going through this, and you can just laugh about it together”

What helped you throughout your hormonal health journey (treatment, product, mantra, routine, friends, etc.)?

I’ve always been disciplined with working out and eating well, and I think that’s helped me in menopause.

I cannot take any hormonal or herbal treatments because my autoimmune disease may flare up. I was really tempted to try black cohosh because I’ve heard so much about it.

When I get hot flashes, it feels like a warm fire nearby. My fix is to use cool sheets, lower the temperature, and always have a cardigan nearby. When my kids come home, we always get into an argument about the house temperature because to them it is at a freezing temperature. So, I say to them, “You can wear a sweater, I can’t take anything else off.”

We know menopause can be challenging, but it can also be funny, enlightening, liberating, energizing, and more. Do you have an anecdote or reflection that shows another side of menopause, beyond what we’re conditioned to “fear” as women?

There are so many women in the world going through this, and you can just laugh about it together. Sitting at the dinner table with my friends, we’ll make jokes about having hot flashes when one of us starts to remove their clothing. You just have to laugh about it.

Do you have words of advice for women starting their journey?

I feel bad for the women who have severe symptoms and have not received the help they need. I’m one of those individuals that always takes control in a sense. If there’s something that’s not right with me, I seek help. It also helps to have a supportive partner. 

And we, as women, need to help other women.