Houston’s ‘Hot Flash Havoc’ to play on PBS | AspenTimes.com

Houston’s ‘Hot Flash Havoc’ to play on PBS

Staff report

Aspenite Heidi Houston's documentary "Hot Flash Havoc" will start playing on PBS stations nationwide beginning this weekend.

Houston, an Aspen real estate broker, executive produced the film with the mission of informing women — as well as men, health care professionals and the general public — about menopause. The film was released theatrically in 2012.

The updated PBS version is narrated by actress and part-time local Goldie Hawn. It originally screened at Aspen Filmfest in 2010 before going to theaters and DVD two years later in a re-edited version.

Houston spent three years battling a range of health woes that, as it turned out, were all related to menopause or its precursor, perimenopause, she told The Aspen Times in 2012.

"I didn't have any hot flashes," she said. "I had things like joint pain, heart palpitations, mood swings, headaches … things like that."

Physicians recommended a range of treatments for the symptoms, but it wasn't until Houston heard Tucson physician Dr. Elizabeth Vliet speak in Aspen that she found someone who knew how to address the underlying cause of her problems.

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"She started rattling off symptoms that no one ever relates to menopause, and I'm saying, 'Oh, my god, that's me,'" Houston recalled.

At a reception after the talk, Vliet spoke of the challenges in getting the word out about menopause and a woman's options, suggesting someone should make a decent documentary on the topic.

"I said, 'If you see me next week, I'll make a documentary,'" Houston said.

Vliet, author of "It's My Ovaries, Stupid!" and other books, participated in the making of the film along with 39 other experts and a host of women who relate their own stories. It is directed by Marc Bennett.

"We wanted to do a documentary that was entertaining, wasn't boring … and made you laugh a little bit," Houston said.

The film will air on Colorado Public Television today at 9 a.m. and again Wednesday at midnight. Beginning today, it will be broadcast on PBS stations around the U.S. carried in a total of 118 million households.