Male hot flashes by definition are the same as female hot flashes; the difference lies in the cause. A hot flash is an abrupt and intense sensation of heat affecting the face, neck, and upper body, resulting in a cold, clammy sweat and discomfort. In regards to frequency, male hot flashes often occur six to ten times throughout the day and last anywhere between a couple minutes to an hour. The feeling can cause anxiety, a quickened heart rate, irritability, and nausea.
The Cause: Andropause Hot Flashes
While it is true that hot flashes are more common in women, hot flashes in men are not unusual. Male hot flashes are caused by a severe testosterone deficiency that can occur in andropause (male menopause) and in androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.
Andropause hot flashes occur because the low levels of testosterone confuse the hypothalamus (the thermal control center of the brain) into believing that the body is overheated. As a result, the hypothalamus sends signals to widen blood vessels in the skin in order to force this fictional excess heat out of the body. Male menopause hot flashes represent your body’s attempt to keep cool and not overheat.
Since testosterone can stimulate prostate cancer growth, a key treatment to the disease is androgen deprivation therapy. While this is an effective method for inhibiting cancer growth, it can result in side effects. The therapy effectively places a man into andropause and nearly 80 percent of the time results in male menopause hot flashes.
Andropause hot flashes can be effectively treated and relieved with bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy. For men with prostate cancer, small doses of the female treatment for hot flashes, estrogen, often diminishes the problem. Comprehensive lab testing to assess hormone levels is essential before beginning any form of hormone therapy—you can’t fix a problem without knowing the cause. However, once tested, your bioidentical hormone therapy physician can prescribe the right treatment for your individual circumstances to not only relieve your hot flashes, but also to relieve the other symptoms of andropause. Your practitioner of the BodyLogicMD network will also prescribe nutritional changes, a targeted supplement regimen and other lifestyle changes to promote overall hormone health. Hot flashes in men are very treatable.
Contact a bioidentical hormone doctor of the BodyLogicMD network nearest you to schedule an appointment and learn more about male hot flash treatment options that include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.