Is there such a thing as male hot flashes?
Men do get hot flashes if their testosterone levels drop suddenly.
This kind of dramatic change happens, for example, when men with prostate cancer have their testes surgically removed or take medication that lowers their testosterone levels.
And just as women can experience hot flashes for other reasons, so can men.
Hyperthyroidism, some cancers, and even too much MSG can make a guy sweat. Any man who gets hot under the collar more than occasionally should talk to his doctor. A blood test can help decide if low testosterone or something else is the problem.
Hot flashes aren't just confined to women
Men with prostate cancer who are treated with estrogen sometimes get hot flashes when the treatment stops. Also, men who are put on tamoxifen to treat breast cancer will sometimes experience hot flashes. Niacin can also cause hot flashes in both men and women.
Hot flashes are usually associate with women
Since hot flashes are so frequent in perimenopausal and menopausal women, they are inevitably associated with menopause.
The usual description of hot flashes goes something like...you're sitting there minding your own business when all of a sudden you get a strange feeling and then your whole face and neck are hot, and maybe sweat breaks out on your upper lip or the nape of your neck.
Your heart starts racing and you pick up something to fan yourself. You start to consider ripping off your clothes then before you know it, you're drying out.
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of perimenopause in the Western world.
We know they're related to estrogen, because estrogen medication gets rid of them.
Hot flashes and night sweats
Hot flashes are typically associated with menopause night sweats.
Night sweats are hot flashes that occur in the middle of the night.
Typically, you wake up in a pool of sweat, having soaked your pajamas and bed linen.
Sometimes your heart is racing and it's difficult to get back to sleep.
Or you may not wake up at all. You just discover you're a little damp in the morning, having slept through the whole thing.
Male hot flashes or night sweats that keep you awake can lead you to being increasingly tired, which can lead to mood swings and anxiety.
Some clinicians have attributed all of insomnia of perimenopause to night sweats.
However, there is something else likely also going on.
While most night flashes cause wakening, 40 percent of wakening isn't associated with hot flashes.
Most people waken once or twice a night, but they usually go right back to sleep.
The difference is, perimenopausal women often can't go back to sleep.
It's this lack of sleep rather than the hot flashes or night sweats that drives many women to seek relief.
Hot flashes can usually be dealt with, but it's hard for a sleep-deprived woman to go to work or take care of her family.
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