Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Presents Screening of 'Hot Flash Havoc'
09/20/2011

DALLAS — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas will present a screening of Hot Flash Havoc on Sept. 27 at the Angelika Film Center and Café in Dallas. The renowned film uses personal stories from everyday women and interviews with female health experts to humorously address various female health topics, highlighting menopause and the controversy about hormone replacement therapy.

A panel discussion following the movie will feature some of the region’s top female health experts answering viewers’ questions about various health topics, including menopause, perimenopause, treatments for mood swings and hot flashes, breast cancer risks and screenings, and female heart disease.

“It’s a really entertaining movie that raises a lot of great questions that women have because of all the mixed messages we hear every time a new study comes out,” said Dr. Archana Ganaraj, a breast surgeon on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. “We want women to be armed with the information they need to make educated choices about their health.”

Hot Flash Havoc takes particular aim at the conclusions drawn from the Women’s Health Initiative, an NIH-funded project to investigate major health problems affecting middle-age and older women.

Many doctors and scientists believe erroneous conclusions were drawn from WHI’s research, which included major focus on the long-term effects of postmenopausal hormone therapy (or hormone replacement therapy) on heart disease, osteoporosis, and colorectal and breast cancer. Sharp criticism has been aimed at the project’s findings, which indicated hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, puts women at increased risk for breast cancer and heart disease.

“The movie is really a good summary of what women need to know about menopause,” said Dr. Jane Nokleberg, an OB-GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas. “It really does a good job clarifying the findings of the Women's Health Initiative, which falsely concluded that hormonal replacement therapy, which was being used by millions of women at the time to treat the symptoms of menopause, increased heart-attack and cancer risk. That caused a lot of confusion.”

The misinformation caused fear among women as well as healthcare providers, doctors say.

“Many women immediately flushed their hormone pills down the toilet,” said Dr. Frances Crites, an OB-GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas. “And considering what the finding initially indicated and how it was reported by the media, I can’t blame them. Everyone was scared when the report first came out. Then we started to look a little more closely at the data.”

The Texas Health Dallas panelists include Drs. Angela Angel and Jay Staub, OB-GYNs on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas, in addition to Ganaraj, Nokleberg and Crites.

The executive producer and creator of Hot Flash Havoc, Heidi Houston, will be present at the screening along with Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, who is featured in the film.

“The reason for the excitement,” Houston said, "is because for so long women have been told conflicting things about how to deal with menopause. There has been this controversy created by the National Institute of Health, a governmental agency, which continues to create alarmist headlines about menopause and the use of hormone replacement therapy. What women who have seen the movie really appreciate are both the humor and the depth of the information that is presented.”

Hot Flash Havoc was inspired by Houston’s own experience. She began to have health symptoms that were the precursor to menopause but thought they were health disorders and sought medical advice; her journey took her to six different doctors and other healthcare providers.

After three years filled with misdiagnoses and misinformation, Houston says she finally learned she wasn’t having a health problem but was experiencing menopause. So she decided to pursue the goal of creating a film in order to help all women know the most up-to-date and factual information about menopause. Experts in the film include clinicians, researchers, journalists, and thought leaders in the fields of women’s sexual health, heart health, bone health and mental health.

Hot Flash Havoc has been nominated as an “Official Selection for Documentary Category” and nominated for “Best Documentary Contemporary Issue” in the Miami International Film Festival. It has been honored also as an Official Selection of the Colorado Film Festival and an Official Selection in the Aspen Film Festival.

Additional topics addressed in the movie and to be addressed by the expert panel:

  • Understanding hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone);
  • Sex drive vs. loss of libido;
  • Having a strong sex drive into your 80s;
  • Alert mind and memory vs. dementia;
  • Memory and brain function;
  • Positive outlook and moods vs. depression and mood swings;
  • Restful sleep vs. sleeplessness and fatigue;
  • Skin rejuvenation vs. dry skin;
  • Healthy bladder function and incontinence;
  • Muscle strength and loss of muscle tone

Doors to the event open at 6:30 p.m. The private screening starts at 7 p.m., with the expert panel discussion starting at 8:30. Refreshments and snacks will be served immediately after, with more information about women’s health services at Texas Health Dallas.

Tickets must be purchased at hotflashhavoc.com. Click on “buy event tickets” and the Dallas event.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 898-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. US News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Dallas.