Hot flashes cause an abrupt sensation of intense heat experienced in the upper portion of the body, particularly the face and neck. After this hot flushing, you break out in an uncomfortable, cold, clammy sweat. Everyone knows that women often experience hot flashes during menopause, but do men have hot flashes?
The short answer to this question is yes; men can and do have hot flashes. However, hot flashes in men have a different cause. The frequency of male hot flashes ranges from six to ten times a day. The hot flash can pass within a few minutes or last up to an hour. Hot flashes can cause irritability, increased heart rate, nausea, and anxiety.
What Causes Hot Flashes in Men?
Although hot flashes in women are quite common, hot flashes for men are not unusual. What causes hot flashes in men is simple. Male hot flashes occur when a male has a serious testosterone deficiency. The most common causes of low testosterone are male menopause (andropause) and the treatment used for prostate cancer (androgen deprivation therapy).
Another reason for male hot flashes is late-onset hypogonadism. This condition occurs when the testes do not produce an ample amount of hormones. Typically, hypogonadism occurs in men who are obese or those who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Hot flashes in men may not be caused by low testosterone levels. Instead, they can be caused by stress, anxiety, and depression. When a man becomes stressed, anxious, or depressed, systemic inflammation may occur. In addition to this, sleep interruptions are common. When you do not get enough sleep, the body cannot produce the hormones it needs for optimal health.
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Can Men Have Hot Flashes?
When a male has low levels of testosterone, the hypothalamus can become confused that the body has overheated. The hypothalamus sends signals to the circulatory system for the blood vessels to widen. When blood vessels widen, it forces excess heat from the body. During a male hot flash, your blood vessels become wider in an attempt to cool the body. After a hot flash, you may feel chilly or even cold.
Hot flashes are often coupled with a number of other symptoms. You may blush deeply, your heart rate may become rapid, and you may sweat profusely. As your heart rate increases and your temperature rises, you may become stressed and experience anxiety.
Symptoms of Male Menopause
Male menopause typically occurs in men in their mid to late 40s to early 50s. During this phase of a man’s life, he may experience erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of sex drive, anxiety, and depression. Male menopause and its symptoms can impact a man’s sense of self-esteem, his well-being, and his overall health.
How to Relieve Hot Flashes in Men
There are several things that can be done to reduce the frequency and severity of male hot flashes. If you are experiencing hot flashes, try the following tips to find relief.
- Avoid Spicy Foods – Spicy foods are known to heat things up, including your internal temperature.
- Choose Cotton – Opt for cotton clothing rather than synthetic fibers. Cotton is not only cooler but also allows sweat to evaporate fast.
- Decrease Alcohol Consumption – Consuming too much alcohol can trigger male hot flashes. If you are experiencing hot flashes, try cutting down on your alcohol intake.
- Exercise – Daily exercise can help reduce or eliminate hot flashes. Getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each day not only helps you control your weight, but it also helps to regulate your hormones.
- Healthy Diet – Eating a healthy diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to produce testosterone. You should particularly increase your consumption of healthy fats and proteins, including oysters, beef, beans, and tuna.
- Limit Caffeine – Caffeine from tea, coffee, soda, and chocolate can speed up your heart rate which can increase your internal temperature.
- Remain Calm – Hot flashes and anxiety often go hand in hand. Practicing stress relief techniques and breathing deeply when you feel stressed can help prevent and relieve men’s hot flashes.
- Shower – Take a lukewarm shower. Avoid taking a cold shower or a hot shower as this can cause a significant temperature swing.
- Turn Down the Thermostat – Keeping your home a few degrees cooler and using fans is a great way to help alleviate uncomfortable hot flashes.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to low testosterone levels. Taking a vitamin D supplement along with spending time in the sun can increase your vitamin D levels and improve your testosterone levels.
- Wear It Loosely – Tight-fitting clothing can hold body heat in and cause you to become overheated; therefore, we recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing.
Treatment for Male Hot Flashes
Before a treatment can be given, your doctor must determine what is causing your symptoms. Typically, hot flashes in men are caused by low testosterone levels. One of the most effective therapies for andropause is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is manmade hormones that are derived from plant sources. This type of hormone is chemically identical to our own hormones. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be given as injections, topical creams, patches, insertable pellets, pills, or gels.
BHRT provides men with small doses of testosterone that help relieve the symptoms of male menopause. Bioidentical hormones have been shown safe and effective at increasing and regulating hormones that have decreased due to aging, disease, medications, or chronic stress. When a man’s hormone levels are balanced, hot flashes, anxiety, and other symptoms will decrease, and a man will be able to regain his youthful vigor and lead a healthier lifestyle.
As you can see, the answer to the question – “can men have hot flashes?” is a resounding yes. Hot flashes occur when the body becomes confused when testosterone levels become so low that it causes the hypothalamus to believe the body has overheated. The hypothalamus opens up the blood vessels to help the body cool down quickly.
If you have been experiencing the symptoms of male menopause, including short-term temperature deregulation, night sweats, and hot flashes with anxiety, an integrative doctor specializing in men’s health can help. Integrative medicine understands that every system in the body must be in alignment for optimal health. Rather than just treating the symptom, integrative medicine finds the root cause and treats it to improve your health and relieve your symptoms.