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: :   HotFlash Central Hot Flashes in Men

Hot Flashes in Men

Yes, men can suffer from hot flashes, too, brought on by hormonal imbalances in their bodies. Known as androgen decline, or andropause, this is the male version of menopause that women experience when their child-bearing years are done. It is estimated that more than 25 million men in the US and over 408 million men worldwide report symptoms of andropause.

While a decrease in female hormones, mainly estrogen, is the cause of menopause in women, a severe reduction of testosterone, the male hormone, is the culprit in andropause. This loss, usually gradual over time, causes the brain's hypothalamus, which controls body temperature, to believe that the body is overheating, and in response, signals the blood vessels in the skin to dilate to allow cooling of the body.HFN 006 HFMen 1 12734748

Less common causes of andropause are some types of medication, diet, or both. Some men react to food additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). If this is suspected as the offender, it's a good idea to monitor everything that the individual eats for a few days, paying particular attention to foods containing MSG, and keep a record of the reaction. Beverages containing alcohol or caffeine can have a similar effect.

Still Controversial
The existence of andropause is the subject of much debate among endocrinologists, psychologists, and doctors specializing in male health. The topic debated is the difference in effect. During women's menopause, estrogen (female hormone) levels drops sharply, generally beginning around forty years of age. The decrease in testosterone levels in men can begin anywhere around the late twenties—but more generally in the forties—and late sixties. While menopause affects all women, only some men experience andropause. Unlike women's inability to bear children after menopause, men's ability to produce healthy sperm remains unaffected by andropause.

Although there are differences in the physical changes between men and women during this transitional phase, the overall effects are similar. Some common signs of low levels of testosterone include scant hair growth, insomnia, increased body fat, decreased muscle and bone mass, breast enlargement, and tenderness. Both genders, however, might experience psychological symptoms, including depression, lethargy, irritability, difficulties with memory, and loss of libido (sex drive).

Other Conditions Causing Hot Flashes
Hot flashes might also be experienced as a side effect of other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid gland), low blood pressure, infections such as tuberculosis and HIV, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and in those men who have had their prostate gland removed, perhaps due to testicular or prostate cancer.
HFN 006 HFMen 2 709327This causes a significant reduction in the levels of testosterone circulating in the blood stream.

Men experiencing hot flashes, which could be alarming and embarrassing, should visit their doctor and have their testosterone levels checked. While a blood test for "total" testosterone (which is bound up) is not adequate, a test for "free" testosterone will yield a firmer result.

Physicians can treat hot flashes with testosterone replacement therapy in the form of injections, patches, or gels. Modifications in diet and reducing the intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages can also be helpful. In addition to testosterone replacement therapy there is a range of dietary supplements that can be tried, such as black cohosh, vitamin E, soy, and red clover.

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