Hot flashes are not only caused by low estrogens of menopause or perimenopause, they may also be caused by non disease or condition reasons such as anti-cancer drugs. Tamozifen and osteoporosis prevention drugs such as raloxifene which act as anti-estrogens can also promote hot flashes and night sweats. If you’re experiencing Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or hot flashes more then a few times in a seven day period, it’s a good idea to take measures to lessen them.
Men undergoing prostate cancer treatment by way of anti-testosterone therapy, thermal blankets or other measures can experience menopause like symptoms, commonly referred to as male menopause (male hot flashes).
Estrogen and testosterone are believed to help protect the body against night sweats and hot flashes. When these hormones are no longer provided, the body may have a tendency to dilate blood vessels randomly which causes rapid increases in skin temperature -leading to excessive sweating.
A very common cause of hot flashes and night sweats is hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle.
Hot Flash – What is it?
Commonly referred to as blushing (facial blushing for example), a hot flash is the sudden feeling of warmth and a sudden increase in upper body excessive sweating. An intense feeling of heat, especially in the face and neck area, is experienced accompanied with redness.
These hot flashes are commonly mistaken for mild fevers such as those found with a urinary tract infection and sometimes with tuberculosis or cancer. The way you can tell a ‘hot flash’ or ‘night sweat’ is by the fact they come and go lasting only for a few minutes or even seconds.
There is not a definitive answer for the cause of ‘hot flashes’ which is often attributed to ‘male menopause’ or menopause in general, but it is known that our brain regulates our body temperature; if it senses the body temperature rising, the brain will release chemicals to help dilate the blood vessels to help remove the increased heat. The presence of estrogens estrogens and testosterone permit the body to tolerate greater changes in your core body temperature. For example, your body may normally tolerate a change in body temp of say 2 degrees before reacting. Without the estrogens, your body may start reacting at .5 degrees creating a hot flash, hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating), night sweats and more.
Woman who are menopausal, male menopause and others suffering from night sweats commonly forget one of the best kept secrets to reducing night sweating – Temperature! In fact, studies show that a woman in menopause can eliminate between 40 and 55 % of the night sweats by simply lowering the temperature by a few degrees. Other studies point out that because heat escapes from the head and foot region, simply wearing sandals may dramatically reduce the number of day sweats or hot flashes.
Eating the right types of food can also help reduce hot flashes. Most people are aware that hot peppers can contribute to excessive sweating, but did you know that many of the additives in food, not hot at all, can contribute to hot flashes? Health foods can not only help deal with the hot flash, but have profound impacts on all functions of the body.
Hot Flashes causes other than menopausal
Many systemic, but rare conditions can also produce flushing such as carcinoid syndrome, systemic mast cell disease, pheochromocytoma, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, pancreatic islet-cell tumors, renal cell carcinoma and hyperthyroidism. These conditions are thought to inject chemicals into the blood stream that can agitate nerves and blood vessels within the brain. Make your doctor aware of any symptoms other than hot flashes including rapid or irregular heart rate and blood pressure.
Stress is by far the most common cause of hot flashes causing epinephrine and norepinephrine to be released into the blood stream. The body reacts by increasing blood flow and heat. The hot flash is the body’s way of expelling the excess heat.
Night sweats are commonly mistaken for male menopause when in fact it’s simply the days event triggering sweating at night. Female or male, stressful events that occurred during the day will be processed by the brain at night. Too much stress and the brain will actually start the process of hyperhydrosis during deep REM sleep
Stop Hot Flashes or Night Sweats without Hormonal treatment
If you experience a hot flash and it’s been less then a month, you may want to consider waiting to make sure it’s not a short term problem. They are necessary harmful and at that frequency, they do not usually represent a disease process. For the more frequent hot flash, you may want to try the following:
For daytime hot flashes:
* Try to avoid contributing factors such as strong emotions, caffeine, alcohol, cayenne, heavy clothing, etc.
* Use fans during the day.
* Wear natural material such as cotton.
* Practice deep, slow breathing techniques in the morning and evening, and use this technique when you feel a ‘hot flash’ about to happen.
* Exercise, walk, swim ride your bike every day for at least 30 minutes
If hot flashes and male menopause is still an issue after using these techniques, you should see your doctor for other treatments.