Men Get Hot Flashes Too

What Helps Women Does Not Help Men
By Marie Yeung
Marie Yeung
Marie Yeung
October 2, 2013 Updated: October 2, 2013

Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. What helps hot flashes in women does not help men who experience hot flashes during certain cancer treatments.

A recent study found women who experience hot flashes from menopause can receive relief when taking soy proteins and/or antidepressants. The same remedies do not help men who are undergoing hormone treatment for prostate cancer, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

A hot flash is an uncomfortable flush, a sudden sense of being too hot, and sweating.

Approximately 80 percent of men who undergo hormone manipulation as a treatment for prostate cancer experience hot flashes. Androgens, male hormones, are manipulated so that they do not encourage tumors to grow.

“Changing hormone levels cause hot flashes in both women and men, so we hoped that using soy supplements and/or an antidepressant would help reduce them in men as it does in many women,” said Dr. Mara Vitolins, in a university press release. She is a professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study, which was published in the Sept. 30 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The researchers tried four different daily regimens for androgen-deprived men. Antidepressants and soy protein alone or combined did not reduce hot flashes.

Men need remedies tailored just for them, the researchers found.

National Cancer Institute supported the study, and Physicians Pharmaceuticals, Inc. gave free soy and milk protein powders for the research, according to the university.