Update: Since we originally published this post on Menopause ChitChat in 2011, Heidi Houston has been hard at work shaping the message and spreading the word. She’s revised and updated Hot Flash Havoc for 2016 with narration by Goldie Hawn. It’s interesting to look back over the past five years to see if women are better informed and making better decisions. There’s been some progress, but we still have a long way to go.
Let’s face it, menopause can turn our lives upside-down. Our bodies are changing, our hormones are going crazy and sometimes it feels like the hot flashes and extra pounds are taking over. And when we’re just looking for answers, the messages we get from medical professionals, the media—and even our own friends and family—can be a little confusing.
Heidi Houston hopes to shed some light on the mystery with her film Hot Flash Havoc. After her own personal experiences with early menopause, Heidi was frustrated with the same mixed messages. So she decided to do something about it. She reached out to the menopause community, interviewed over 30 experts in the field, and gathered personal stories from real women. Heidi and her team hope to change the story about menopause and create a dialogue with women and medical experts around the country.
Hot Flash Havoc has been screened at special events across the United States in partnership with some very influential organizations and women’s groups. After watching the award-winning documentary, here are the ten things that I found most enlightening:
Estrogen rules. Our bodies are more profoundly impacted by estrogen levels than we could have imagined. Estrogen controls everything from reproduction to our moods and anxiety levels.
Women are still confused. As a society, many of us are unclear about how best to treat menopause symptoms and control our hot flashes.
Husbands are clueless. Menopause, hormones and mood swings frighten them.
HRT is misunderstood. There is still so much to learn regarding hormone replacement therapy. Know the risks, recognize the benefits and always be your own advocate when it comes to your health.
You do have options. Be proactive when it comes to finding alternatives to traditional medicine. Many women seek out natural remedies, herbs and supplements and take the holistic approach.
Breast cancer is scary. Heart disease is even scarier. It is the number one killer of women.
Your health is a team effort. You need to work together with your doctor, acupuncturist, holistic practitioner, therapist, nutritionist or whoever else you trust in giving you medical advice.
Women are not the same. Every woman is an individual and needs to be treated as such. What works for one doesn’t always work for someone else.
Prevention is the key. Take care of yourself. The last place you want to end up is in the health care system.
Exercise is important. The best thing we can do for ourselves is exercise. Walk, run or swim. It doesn’t matter, just keep it moving.
Hot Flash Havoc is entertaining and informative, but also helps set the record straight regarding the best choices for treatment. If you want to find out about upcoming screenings or launch an event in your city, visit the Hot Flash Havoc website.