Do you find yourself suddenly heating up for no reason, leaving you blanketed in sweat? Or perhaps you wake at night, drenched and cold. Welcome to the world of hot flashes, which is by no means solely a woman’s world.
At our practice, Dr. Mike Hsieh and our team understand the many issues that can come on the heels of a change in hormones, namely testosterone. As the director of the Men’s Health Center at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Hsieh and his colleague, Jose Luis Ruiz, PA, have extensive experience helping men resolve a wide range of health issues unique to their gender, including low testosterone.
Here’s a look at why low testosterone levels may lead to hot flashes and what we can do about the problem.
Testosterone is largely responsible for reproduction, but this reproductive hormone also casts a wide net over your overall health. If your testosterone levels dip, the effects can be widespread and include:
This last item on the list — hot flashes — is commonly associated with women who go through menopause and experience a precipitous drop in estrogen. In fact, 70% of women experience hot flashes and night sweats.
Men, on the other hand, only lose about 1% of their testosterone per year after the age of 40 and many are able to retain enough testosterone to prevent any side effects.
For some, however, testosterone deficiencies can develop, leaving them with a similar experience as women have, creating a version of male menopause.
Of course, low testosterone can also be caused by other reasons, such as certain cancer treatments and injury to the testes.
We call hot flashes a phenomenon because researchers are still unclear as to the exact mechanism behind the sudden heat up. What they believe is that reproductive hormones influence your hypothalamus, which is responsible for regulating your body temperature.
If you’re experiencing hot flashes, your first step is to come see us so that we can evaluate your testosterone levels. If we uncover a deficiency, we can tackle the problem using several approaches, including:
We offer several different types of testosterone replacement therapies, including:
While hormone replacement therapies can be effective, lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, reducing stress, and losing weight, can also greatly improve your testosterone levels.
If you’re experiencing hot flashes, please contact our office in La Jolla, California, to schedule an evaluation.