If you have thought that only women experience hot flashes, you are mistaken! Hot flashes are not gender-biased! They can even occur in men, who feel the same symptoms as women. If it is plummeting estrogen levels in women, it is the low testosterone levels in men that are responsible for hot flushes. Hot flashes are experienced by men who have walked this earth for forty years or more. Persons on Androgen Deprivation Therapy to combat prostrate cancer are commonly seen to experience hot flushes.
Relief from hot flashes is possible with treatment such as Hormone Replacement Therapy or Estrogen supplementation but both these treatments come with side effects such as cardiovascular complications, and breast swelling and tenderness. New age therapies include usage of antidepressants such as Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors cause fewer side effects.
Hot flashes can occur in younger persons due to pituitary abnormalities. The mechanism of hot flashes involves abnormal behavior by the hypothalamus which ‘believes’ that your skin is ‘hot’ when it is actually not, resulting in the release of excess body heat , by dilating the blood vessels in the process.
Symptoms Of Hot Flashes In Men
Warmth Or Hotness
Hot flushes will make you feel suddenly intensely warm or hot, even though the temperature of your environment may not be very hot. The hot sensation will be prominent in the head and upper body region. Your face and neck feel hot, and the feeling may spread throughout the entire body. Though mostly the hotness remains an internal sensation, externally our body may feel hot to touch.
The feeling may remain for 2-30 minutes. Along with the hot sensation, one may also feel reddening of the skin, especially of the face. This redness is often called flushing, thus earning the name “hot flush” to the experience. The flushes may last from a few times a week, and a number of times a day. The incidence and intensity of hot flashes increase during summer months and in high temperatures.
Redness Of Skin
Redness of skin often accompanies intense hot feeling when a person experiences hot flashes. The face becomes visibly red. The redness may be accompanied by pimples, resulting in a skin disease called rosacea.
Night sweating is the nocturnal perspiration that is observed in men who have hot flashes. It can be quite intense resulting in the drenching of the clothes and bed covers of the person experiencing it.
Night sweating is often accompanied by rapid heartbeat and sleep disturbance of the person experiencing the syndrome. Such a person may experience an intense heat or a chill after perspiring.
When having hot flashes, you feel as though your heart is racing at top speed. This might be a matter of concern for you, as you may feel that you are suffering a cardiac condition. However, you do not have to worry much about this, as this is not due to any problem of cardiac origin, but due to the hormonal action that sets your pulse racing when the heat in your body increases.
Hot flashes are often accompanied by anxiety. The intense sweating, palpitations and body warming, which are quite abnormal reactions, create uneasiness in the body which results in somatic anxiety, a condition that is triggered by bodily sensations, rather than emotions.
Low testosterone levels cause irritability in men. Men may avoid close persons, exhibit mood swings and anxiety. Their physical activity and socialization also decreases considerably.