What are the causes of severe hot flashes in men?
Men can experience hot flushes just like women can. In fact, it's not unusual. A hot flush is an intense sensation of heat that comes on suddenly. The neck, face and upper body are overcome with an uncomfortable cold and clammy feeling. Men can experience hot flushes as many as 10 times a day.
Each one can last from a few minutes to an hour. Other symptoms such as nausea, irritability, anxiety and a faster heart rate may accompany hot flushes.
Research shows that men may experience a multidimensional change of life, their own version of menopause. It's called andropause. It can last between 5 and 15 years. They experience a sudden drop in testosterone, the sex hormone. In addition to occurring during male menopause, this severe change can occur during prostate cancer treatment or after a doctor removes the testes. The low levels of testosterone cause the hypothalamus to think your body is overheated. So, blood vessels expand to force heat to leave the body. The body tries to keep cool and avoid overheating. Thus, men feel the hot flushes.
Men who experience hot flushes should see their doctor, who can perform a blood test to see whether the cause is a testosterone deficiency also known as male hypogonadism. Treatment can be directed at the cause of the hot flushes. If that isn't possible, the doctor will likely prescribe medication that addresses the symptoms.
Hot flushes that are a result of andropause can be treated with bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy. If men undergoing prostate cancer treatment are given small doses of oestrogen, which helps females with hot flushes, their episodes will also diminish. Men should see a hormone specialist to make sure the cause is correctly identified, and for treatment.
There are other conditions that can cause hot flushes in men. Hypoglycaemia and hypotension can lead to episodes. If you have a tumour of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, symptoms that mirror hot flushes can occur. In addition, infections such as HIV or tuberculosis can lead to hot flushes.
If you experience hot flushes, your doctor may recommend you avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages. There are also special diets believed to limit the frequency of hot flushes. Men may also develop a rash on their face or neck while experiencing a hot flush. Proponents of alternative medicine believe that there are dietary supplements that can curb hot flushes. Black cohosh, vitamin E, soy and red clover are said to reduce the episodes.