Managing Menopause Naturally – What Every woman Needs to Know – A Review

Have a pen and paper with you when you watch this movie.

There’s so much detail in Managing Menopause Naturally – the movie, that you’ll have to take notes so you remember all the information you’ll want to follow-up on after it ends.

It’s interesting that this movie about women’s menopause transition was written and directed by a man in honor of his three sisters, but you won’t know it unless you read the credits. I think it’s sweet that a male filmmaker would devote his time, money and attention to learning all he could about menopause. There’s lots to take in – lots to think about.

menopause, natural menopause, managing menopause naturallyThe scope of Managing Menopause Naturally is wide – perhaps a little too wide since it’s impossible to do more than introduce menopause body, mind & soul, plus symptom treatment options in 80 minutes – you certainly can’t thoroughly cover every aspect related to menopause and go deep in that time frame.

Many information sources are cited for this movie, but there’s no mention of who funded the production. I always wonder about who funds documentaries. How objective are they? While I was watching Managing Menopause Naturally, I wondered if there might be a hidden agenda to promote hormone therapy since so much time was spent on it. There’s lots of time spent on natural methods too. Tucked in the inside movie case cover I noticed a printed advertisement for ‘Meno-Clear’, a dietary supplement to support menopause that contains 125 mg of soy protein. That raised a few questions too.

There are two schools of thought about soy-based foods and their effect on women going through menopause and other health risks.

Managing Menopause Naturally reinforces the belief that soy foods provide many benefits including reducing the risk of osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, breast cancer and menopause symptoms.

Research summarized on outlines the detrimental effects of soy-based foods that include:

  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
  • Soy phytoestrogens are potent anti-thyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer.
  • High levels of oxalate in soy foods contribute to kidney stones
  • High levels of phytic acid in soy lowers assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders
  • Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for Vitamin D. NOTE: Women who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia may find that high levels of Vitamin D reduce or eliminate their symptoms. Will soy’s effect on Vitamin D cause fibromyalgia symptoms to worsen?
  • Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium
  • Fragile proteins are over-denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods to mask soy’s unpleasant taste.
  • Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
  • A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other forms of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.
  • Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.
  • Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause.
  • A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.
  • Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals.

Dr. Joseph Mercola believes that the health risks associated with unfermented soy products FAR outweigh any possible benefits. Fermented soy products tempeh, miso, natto & soy sauce are beneficial to your body and do not cause problems like unfermented soy products such as tofu.

 The movie presents many interesting facts:

  • Smoking causes the onset of menopause two years earlier than non-smokers
  • 80% of all women will experience at least minor menopause symptoms for at least a year
  •  10% of women find their hot flashes debilitating
  • The more dramatic the decline in estrogen levels, the more intense your hot flashes will be
  • A post-menopausal women is no more deficient in estrogen than a girl approaching puberty
  • Women who anticipate problems during menopause suffer more intense symptoms & menopause related stress.
  • Menopause causes many women to fear loss of desirability, status & advancement in the workplace
  • There’s no evidence that taking herbs increases women’s risk of breast cancer

Managing Menopause Naturally offers natural solutions for dealing with hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It presents lists of foods and herbs that contain phytoestrogens and foods and herbs that are rich in calcium.

Managing Menopause Naturally takes time to explore the emotional and spiritual benefits of menopause. Shifting how we think about menopause and what it means for us as individual women is an important step towards improving how society sees menopause too. Menopause can be a time of empowerment and personal growth. It can be a gift, a passage to a new and improved you who has a greater sense of purpose, direction, and ability to live your dreams.

Purchase this movie to share with your menopause support group or if you prefer to receive your information about menopause in easy to watch video segments. This is not the definitive source for information about menopause, but it’s a good summary of the body, mind and spirit issues involved and a good place to start your menopause journey.

Managing Menopause Naturally – Starring Andrew Weil, Tierona Low Dog, Isis M. Medina, et al. (2011). Available on for $9.99.

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