While it is a symptom commonly associated with women, hot flashes may also occur in men and leave them feeling intense sensations of warmth that aren’t caused by immediate surroundings or climate. While women may experience hot flashes during menopause, hot flashes in men can occur for a variety of reasons. Continue reading to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment for hot flashes in men as well as how they may be prevented.
Hot flashes in women are usually due to a sudden fluctuation in hormones caused by age. However, men do not experience that same sudden drop—rather their testosterone declines at a rate of two percent per year after they turn 30. So, what causes hot flashes in men? Below are some potential reasons men may experience hot flashes.
Androgen deprivation therapy. Androgen deprivation therapy is a method used to treat prostate cancer in which testosterone production is restricted so that it is unable to stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
Lifestyle. Too much stress or mental health issues such as depression and anxiety may cause hot flashes in men, along with a loss of libido, mood swings, and erectile dysfunction.
Medical disorders. Some medical issues may cause men’s testosterone levels to drop and in turn, cause them to experience hot flashes.
Diet: While relatively rare, some of the food men eat can cause hot flashes. This occurs due to a reaction to food additives such as monosodium glutamate (GSM). Also, alcohol and spicy foods may lead to the perception of hot flashes as well.
Cancer: Cancerous abnormalities of the reproductive organs, such as the prostate or testis, may cause hormone levels to fluctuate and cause a hot flash. Similar occurrences may be attributed to tumor development located on the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain.
Hormones: As men age, their body generates less testosterone and androgens, often times dropping below normal. This may cause a decrease in sex drive and be a precursor to the development of hot flashes. Low testosterone and androgen levels typically occur in a man’s 50s but can occur as early and in their 30’s.
Medications: Certain medications can disrupt the normal physiology of the male body, including the production of male hormones. Particular medical treatments, such as hormone deprivation therapy, can also lead to the development of hot flashes.
The symptoms of a hot flash include a sudden feeling of warmth that is felt most throughout your head and torso. This heat may be accompanied by visible redness and sweating, and flashes most frequently occur at night and last for approximately four minutes. Both male and female patients may also experience anxiety, heart palpitations, and irritability.
Hot flashes can be very uncomfortable and disruptive, but there are treatment options available to help men get rid of them. Firstly, it is important to identify and eliminate what may be causing your hot flashes. Keep note of whether certain foods or medications increase the frequency of your hot flashes and work them out of your diet. There are also some herbal remedies that may offer relief. Black cohosh and ginseng have been found to help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes in some studies. Finally, some antidepressants have been found to limit the effect of hot flashes.
Diet: Changing your daily food choices to reflect more healthy lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on hot flash development. Your doctor may provide you with a customized plan to make your decision-making process a bit easier. A pillar of this health plan typically focuses on losing weight, as excess fat is known for creating increased amount of estrogen in the body.
Eat more fruits and vegetables: A rich source of antioxidants, polyphenols, minerals, and vitamins. These food items are essential to any healthy diet.
Choose healthy fats: Not all fat is bad for you, in fact, your body needs a certain amount every day. Choosing the best ones for your body is key. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for supporting a healthy heart and good blood circulation.
Select plant protein over animal protein: Getting enough protein in the diet is essential for maintaining muscle strength and lean body mass. Good sources of plant protein include beans, legumes, and selected grains.
Consume green tea: This beverage contains substances called catechins that have potent antioxidant properties. Replacing sugary drinks with green tea can assist in preventing illness and make you feel healthy.
Avoid foods and additives that are harmful to health: In this fast-paced world, it can be easy to fall into the trap of eating unhealthy foods. Many of them can be harmful to your health in the long run and should be avoided as much as possible. These typically include highly processes food and foods that have high sugar content.
Quantity and quality of your sleep: Getting your daily recommended amount of sleep is vital for overall health. A lack of sleep can interfere with hormone production as well. Your body will thank you if you make getting sleep a priority.
Gingko Biloba: Known for boosting blood to the brain, this herb can help increase dopamine production leading to increased activity in the pleasure centers of the brain.
Tribulus Terrestris: A herb used for centuries to help stimulate libido and promote normal testosterone levels. It contains an active compound called protodioscin that is considered a precursor to testosterone.
Suma: Originating from the suma ground vine, this herb is widely used as a tonic to help improve libido and sexual desire. Suma contains a bioactive compound called ecdysterone that helps promote normal testosterone levels in men, stimulating sexual performance.
Ashwagandha: Also known as “Indian ginseng,” this herb has been used for over 3,000 years for alleviating various sexual issues. Some research has been done on this herb, suggesting that it may promote fertility in men, especially when combined with Tribulus Terrestris.
Hot flashes may occur in men as well as in women, though their causes may vary. In men, hot flashes may be caused by medical or lifestyle factors or because of the use of androgen deprivation therapy in treating prostate cancer. They may be experienced as a sudden wave of heat over the head and torso and can be accompanied by redness and profuse sweating. There are many natural ways to prevent and treat hot flashes, including herbal remedies and regular exercises, though if you are experiencing them persistently it is important to seek the advice of a doctor.