Hot flashes or sweats are most common menopause symptoms, and so are mostly associated with women. However, there are many men who suffer from hot flashes and don't consider any treatment for this condition. But, men experiencing these flashes should seek medical help, as they could be sign pointing a serious health disorder.
- Andropause: Andropause is male menopause which occurs during the aging process in men, and hot flashes are the common symptoms of this condition. Other symptoms accompanied by the flashes in this process include weight gain, trouble at sleeping and slow hair growth.
- Infections: Certain infections like HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis can also cause night sweats.
- Tumor/Cancer: If you are experiencing hot flashes along with testicular pain, immediately contact a doctor as this could be a sign of cancer. Males can also experience these flashes due to a tumor present in pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
- Hormone Level: Sudden hot flashes may also occur as a hormone imbalance symptom, like when there is a sudden and substantial lowering in the level of the testosterone, which is the sex hormone or the androgen hormone.
- Reaction to Food/Medicine: Reaction to MSG, that is, mono sodium glutamate can also cause them. This is a food additive, and one needs to check their diet for MSG. A person can also experience hot flashes as an allergy to certain medications, like nifedipine, niacin, calcitonin, etc.
- The symptoms can be mild to severe. The mild signs are less discomforting than the severe ones.
- The signs typically start with the face and spread to the neck and chest area, lasting for seconds to minutes
- The hot flash can start with a feeling of warmth spreading in the upper body, with skin redness and mild perspiration to excessive sweating
- Finally the person will get a cold, clammy and uncomfortable feeling, if the hot flashes are occurring during night they can interfere with sleeping
- Other uncomfortable sensations like dizziness, weakness, heart palpitations and pressure feeling can also be experienced along with the hot flashes
It is important to get yourself diagnosed, to know the exact cause behind the occurrence of the flashes. The doctor will suggest a blood test to check the deficiency of testosterone, which most probably will be giving you the hot flashes. After the underlying cause has been identified, a person can get rid of them with the appropriate treatment. The treatment involves mostly changing the medications or testosterone therapy.
HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy for treatment involves introducing the female hormone in the male body. HRT is many times used to treat effects of andropause. It has been shown in a study, that men who were given estrogen, found relief from this condition. However, there were some side effects related to this treatment. HRT helps and the newer treatments the side effects are becoming less. In case you are getting hot flashes due to some food product, then keep a close check on your diet and avoid such foodstuffs. Similarly, keep in check if certain medications are causing them. Get these medications replaced with safer ones.
However, you can follow these prevention tips, which will reduce the severity and discomfort caused by hot flashes -
- Dress up in light and loose-fitting clothes
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- If you suffer from hot flashes during night, drink a glass of water to prevent dehydration
- Use a fan and keep the windows open at all times if possible
- If you get sweats at night, you can turn your pillow upside down, or change your bedding in severe cases
- Try to avoid stress, and go for yoga or meditation