Hot flushes don’t just happen to menopausal women as their hormone levels drop. The problem also occurs in men undergoing treatment for prostrate cancer. Flipping the testosterone switch
Flipping the testosterone switch
Prostrate cancer cells are turned on by the hormone testosterone. So one way to treat this type of cancer, is to drop the levels of testosterone in the body, effectively switching off the power supply.
“Starving” the cells means that they are going to find it pretty difficult to grow and spread, but lowering testosterone levels, often brings on hot flashes, heart palpitations and anxiety.
Hot flushes don’t kill, but the sensation of being on fire inside is really very unpleasant.
“Fixing” the hormone balance (which is what is often done in menopausal women) clearly is not an option, so getting relief is challenging.
Let the hot air out
A somewhat unconventional approach might be just what the doctor ordered.
Researchers at New York Methodist Hospital tried out a couple of acupuncture sessions as a treatment option. The men enrolled in their study reported feeling a lot cooler – their hot flash scores dropped from an average of 28.3 to 7. The men in the study had two sessions a week, for 12 weeks.
Study was small and did not follow all the rules to make it a “good” study, but sticking needles in seemed to let some of the hot air out.
Not going to pretend anyone understands the science behind this, but acupuncture seems to bring relief to some. It might be worth a try since medical options are limited.
NOTE : Studies also suggest that it works for women suffering from hot flashes caused by hormone imbalances brought on by cancer chemotherapy, so is not just an option for men.Acupuncture for the Alleviation of Hot Flashes in Men Treated With Androgen Ablation Therapy. International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics, 2011; 79 (5): 1358. Hani Ashamalla, Ming L. Jiang, Adel Guirguis, Francesco Peluso, Mark Ashamalla.
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