First things first. What is a hot flash? In laymen’s terms, a warm feeling that spreads over your entire body, and felt most strongly near your neck and inside your head, is hot flash. It may or may not be accompanied with sweating. It is a common misconception that hot flushes are experienced only by menopausal women. The truth is, men going through andropause can experience hot flashes just as easily.
What Causes Hot Flashes in Men?
The biggest/most common reason for hot flashes in men is a deficiency of testosterone. But how does that give you hot flashes? Well, a lower production of testosterone by your body tricks your hypothalamus into believing that your body is producing more heat than it normally does. As a defense mechanism, your body tries to instantly cool itself.
Keep in mind that even though testosterone is the most common reason for hot flashes in men, there are other causes as well. They include:
Poor lifestyle: Unnecessary mental or physical stress, anxiety, mood swings, alcohol and even spicy food;
Medical conditions: Like depression, erectile dysfunction, rare tumors and other medical conditions;
Androgen deprivation therapy: Patients of prostate cancer are often asked to undergo this therapy, which limits your body’s production of testosterone in order to curb the growth of cancer cells.
What Are the Symptoms of Hot Flashes in Men?
As already explained above, hot flashes occur throughout your entire body and can be felt the most either inside your head or around your neck region. You may or may not experience sweating, redness on your skin, irritability, anxiety and even heart palpitations. You might feel warm despite sitting underneath a fan or wearing loose clothing, and you may notice that you feel warmer mostly during night time. Hot flashes generally last for a maximum of 4-5 minutes.
How Can We Treat Hot Flashes in Men?
Keep yourself cool
This one goes without saying. Switch on the fan, cooler or air-conditioner. Wear loose cotton clothes (or any other natural fiber) which allow the passage of air easily between your body parts, keep your hair tied, wear short clothes and bathe with cold water 2-3 times a day. Splash your face with cold water every hour or so if bathing is not a possibility.
Try black cohosh
Now there is no definitive proof for using this herb, but hey, whatever works! It’s said that black cohosh is able to control globulin, a hormone that reduces the production of testosterone in your body. You can consume about 50mg of the herb daily. If you have a liver disorder, stay away from it.
Increase your zinc intake
It stimulates your pituitary glands, which creates testosterone for your body. It’s advised to take a total dosage of 75mg each day.
Change your lifestyle
Quite smoking, reduce your alcohol consumption and start eating healthier. Opt for organic foods, leafy greens, plant proteins, green tea, and lots of fruits which will help restore your body’s normal hormonal levels. We already know that spicy foods are included in what causes hot flashes in men. But you should also go ahead and avoid caffeine as well.
Add Vitamin E and D in your diet
Vitamin E helps boost the testosterone production in your body by stimulating your pituitary gland. Vitamin D also boosts your testosterone levels, but it does so by not only stimulating the testosterone production, but also making it easily available in your blood. Talk to your doctor about the dosages you should be taking.
Resistance and strength training are your friends. They increase your muscle mass, which in turn increase your testosterone levels. Make sure your workout is preceded by a 5-10 minute cardio warm-up session (nothing too intense). Doing more cardio will do you no good, as it will only end up decreasing your testosterone levels. And remember to rest your muscles for 2 minutes between each exercise (not to be confused with each set).
Use dong quai
Depending on your body’s level of testosterone (i.e. whether they’re low or high), dong quai can adapt itself accordingly and work to increase or decrease the levels within your body. Ideally, you should be consuming 200mg of the herb 3 times a day in a form most convenient for you.
Now you have known what causes hot flashes in men and how to handle this condition, then it's time to take actions to keep yourself on the safe side.