Hot flashes in men

As per a study by the National Library of Medicine, between the age of 55-75, every 6th person gets hot flashes. Hot flashes are common in females during pre-menopause and in the menopause phase, but they can happen with males as well.

A hot flash is a sudden feeling of warmth not due to any external factor that spreads throughout your body, making you sweat and turning your skin red and blotchy.

Reasons for hot flashes in men are:

  • Androgen deprivation therapy
  • Lifestyle diseases
  • Low testosterone

Let’s look at all the reasons and symptoms and understand them.

Reasons for hot flashes in men

The reasons for hot flashes for males differ from the reasons for females.

Androgen deprivation therapy

Androgen deprivation therapy, also known as hormone therapy, is used to treat prostate cancer. This therapy aims to stop the male hormone from fueling prostate cancer cells. The main androgens are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone.

The androgens are secreted by the testicles and the adrenal gland situated above the kidneys. If the number of androgens getting in prostate cancer decreases, it would cause the prostate cancer to shrink or slow down the increase rate. 

Therefore, to reduce the hormone reaching cancer, there are different types of hormone therapy adopted widely:

Orchiectomy (surgical castration) is more of surgery wherein the doctors remove the testicles, as they are the primary source of production of androgens. Orchiectomy is considered the most economical and simplest form of therapy. It is a one-time permanent procedure, but it might be difficult for someone to accept the removal of testicles.

The surgery makes cancer shrink or stops growing for a time.

LHRH agonists-Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone is a drug therapy that decreases the amount of testosterone secreted by testicles. Such treatments are often known as medical castration as they reduce androgen and orchiectomy levels.

During this procedure, the testicles shrink probably up to a level that they’ll be too small to feel after a certain time. LHRH is injected under the skin, and depending upon the condition, they are given anywhere between once a month to once in 6months.

 When first given, the testosterone level spikes and then falls drastically. This effect is known as tumour flare.

LHRH antagonists- It is used to treat advanced prostate cancer. Antagonists will impact the body differently than LHRH agonists. Under this procedure, the testosterone drops quickly compared to LHRH agonists, and there is nothing like a tumour flare. There are two ways for this therapy:

  • Degarelix– Men are given an injection under their skin, which may leave pain, redness and swelling.
  • Relugolix– An individual consumes a pill every day.

Lifestyle diseases

The population working from home or desk jobs have increased due to the covid. The physical activities that we used to perform have drastically decreased, which has bumped the % of lifestyle problems and diseases.

Obesity/ too much fat in the body is linked to sitting in one place and working for hours. Moreover, sedentary behaviour can be an add on to it as when you are sitting; you barely burn calories. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Obesity Prevention Source states that the more you sit and watch TV, the more you are chances of getting obese.

desk job

According to the Korean Journal of Family Medicine, if your physical activities decrease/stop, the chances of lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart problems increase. Type 2 diabetes is the most common disease due to insufficient insulin in the body.

Insulin is a hormone that uses glucose to give your body energy. Following are the counties with the number of diabetic patients.

Statistics
India74,194.7 (20-79 age)
China140,869.6 (20-79 age)
United States of America (USA)32,215.3 (20-79 age)
Russia7,392.1 (20-79 age)
United Kingdom (UK)3,996.3 (20-79 age)
Canada2,974.0 (20-79 age)
United Arab Emirates (UAE)990.9 (20-79 age)
People with diabetes, in 1,000s

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who exercise tend to manage diabetes better as their body becomes more sensitive to insulin.

Besides exercising, paying attention to smoking, alcohol consumption, eating healthy, and keeping track of your cholesterol and blood pressure will benefit.

A recent finding showed that people who regularly workout were less likely to face health problems like depression and anxiety because our body releases endorphins/happy hormone that leaves us with a high, euphoric feeling. Moreover, when you perform activities, your concerns and worry usually don’t come to your mind.

Low testosterone

Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, is a common condition where a male produces less than usual testosterone. Along with age, the level of testosterone drops, and as per a study starting from age 30-40 years, the testosterone level drops every year by 1%.

Though a drop by 1% is normal, if it drops at a faster pace, then it is considered as low T. There are multiple reasons for low testosterone:

  • Tumour or any other disease affecting your pituitary gland.
  • Infection or any injury to your testicles.
  • Genetic problems like myotonic dystrophy, Prader-Willi syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, etc.
  • Procedures like chemotherapy or any radiational treatment.

The treatment of Testosterone replacement therapy leads to:

  • Acne
  • Breast enlargement
  • Increase in the production of RBCs (Red Blood Cells)
  • Fat buildup in your lower limbs
test

Testosterone replacement therapy has shown the growth of prostate cancer in individuals who already have cancer. This process also shows positive results for people who get hot flashes as the severity and the frequency post-treatment decrease.

Signs of hot flashes

The hot flash feels like:

  • A sudden feeling of warmth spreads throughout your body.
  • Increased/rapid heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • A chilled feeling as the hot flashes covers your body
  • Sweating is mainly in the upper body

These are the common symptoms of hot flashes, and depending upon the intensity and frequency, you probably might not even feel. On the other hand, they can be severe enough to disrupt your daily routine. The symptoms of hot flashes last longer for women. In certain cases, they continue for 7-10 years.

Hot flash trigger for men

The low/decreased level of norepinephrine may increase your core body temperature resulting in a hot flash. Norepinephrine is a hormone found in the brain responsible for regulating body temperature. 

Conclusion

Several reasons can cause hot flashes, but if you take the proper precautions on time, you can handle them; otherwise, they can be a pain for you. The moment you feel you are getting hot flashes, rush to your nearest doctor to get diagnosed.