Most people are familiar with the concept of hot flashes. They’re a very common symptom of menopause, and so many women will experience them at least a few times in their later years. You may be wondering, however, if men can ever experience hot flashes. The answer is yes, they can, but the underlying causes of hot flashes are of course different from the causes of hot flashes in women. Let’s take a look at why a man might be suffering from hot flashes, and what can be done to relieve them.
What is a Hot Flash?
A hot flash is a sudden and unexpected warm feeling that doesn’t correspond to the temperature of the environment. The sensation of heat is often felt in the face, neck, chest, and upper body, and can often cause sweating and redenning of the skin. Loss of heat during a hot flash can lead to chills after it ends, and they can often occur during the night and are then referred to as night sweats.
Hot flashes are not a condition on their own and are a symptom of some other issue that might be happening. They can be bothersome and uncomfortable, and when they occur at night, can lead to lost sleep.
What Causes Hot Flashes in Men?
While hot flashes in women are usually a sign of changing hormone levels, like those seen in menopause, in men they have a few different causes.
Androgen Deprivation Therapy
A treatment for prostate cancer called androgen deprivation therapy works by restricting the production of testosterone in the body. This helps to stop the cancer cells from growing or spreading, because testosterone stimulates their growth. However, the lowered levels of testosterone cause hot flashes for the majority of the men who undergo this treatment.
Hot flashes can sometimes occur alongside other symptoms in a man such as erectile dysfunction, lowered libido, or mood changes. For these symptoms together, it’s common that some kind of stress, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issue is aggravating them.
Low testosterone can occur for many different reasons, and can cause hot flashes. Some of the underlying causes of low testosterone (also called hypogonadism or low T) include undescended testicles, physical testicular injury, Klinefelter’s syndrome, hemochromatosis, pituitary disorders, HIV or AIDS, and many other conditions. Other symptoms of low T include infertility, low energy levels, low muscle mass, decreased sex drive, hair loss, and more. If these symptoms occur along with hot flashes, speak to your doctor about your testosterone levels and what might be causing them to be low.
What Can You Do to Relieve Male Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes can be difficult to manage, and even more challenging to avoid, but there are some steps you can take to make them easier to deal with.
Spend a week or so being observant about what you’re doing right before and during a hot flash. You might be able to identify some things that trigger them, including warm rooms or tight, hot clothing, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, or spicy food. Avoiding these things can help you to avoid hot flashes.
Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Building in more exercise, nutritious foods, and plenty of sleep will help to improve many things about your physical health, including hot flashes. Prioritizing fitness and health and taking care of your body can help to make these episodes easier to deal with.
Treat the Cause
If you can identify the underlying cause of your hot flashes with your doctor’s help, such as environmental stress or low testosterone, you can begin treating the underlying cause of your hot flashes and stopping them altogether.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy can often be a great treatment for men looking to deal with their hot flashes, although with some exceptions. Men with a history of prostate cancer are advised not to undergo any testosterone replacement therapy since testosterone stimulates prostate cancer cells. However, if you and your healthcare provider think this might be a good option for you, contact Renewed Vitality today! We are the Reading area’s hormone replacement therapy resource and can help you start to feel like yourself again.