Women with diabetes tend to experience hot flashes that aren't just a sudden rush of feeling too warm. Instead, you may have noticed your hot flashes come with flushing, sweating or shakiness, as well as confusion and weakness.
This might be because these aren't hot flashes like those associated with menopause. The issue here is with your blood sugar.
Does diabetes cause hot flashes?
Diabetes itself does not directly cause hot flashes. Instead, hot flashes and sweating can come from low blood sugar. In fact, a sudden hot flash can be a sign of hypoglycemia.
If you get hot flashes after eating, check how much insulin you're giving yourself. If you take more insulin than the amount of food you just ate requires, your blood sugar can dip too low, causing hot flashes. You might also find yourself with low blood sugar if you don't eat after you take your insulin or you overdo it at the gym.
What can you do about hot flashes?
The solution to diabetic hot flashes lies in managing your blood glucose levels. If you frequently get hot flashes and have diabetes, you should discuss this with your doctor to see whether your treatment regimen needs adjustment.
When you're having a hot flash, the first thing you should do is check your blood sugar. Low blood sugar is very serious and can have severe consequences if you don't address it, so treat your hot flashes as a warning sign from your body and take action.
How to treat low blood sugar
The first thing you need to do is consume 15 to 20 grams of glucose or simple carbohydrates, according to the American Diabetes Association. This can be in the form of glucose tablets or gel, four ounces of juice, hard candies, or a couple of tablespoons of raisins. Once you've done this, check your blood sugar again in 15 minutes and consume more glucose if necessary. Repeat this until your blood glucose numbers return to within the normal range. Eat a small snack if you won’t be eating your next meal for more than an hour or two.
In the long term, while you may not be able to eliminate hot flashes from your life completely, aim to manage your blood sugar carefully and keep yourself on the treatment plan you and your doctor have created.