Are hot flashes and night sweats from menopause related to diabetes in any way?

This is the question I posed to Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 10 years of experience in various community and clinical settings.

Here is what Massey says: “No. I’m not aware of a connection here. Sweating can be a sign of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).

“If a woman has diabetes she may want to monitor her blood glucose to make sure it is not too low. It would be important to distinguish between a hot flash and hypoglycemia symptoms.”

A woman may have diabetes and not know it, and by coincidence may be experiencing hot flashes due to either being in menopause, or postmenopausal hot flashes.

Diabetes does not cause hot flashes or a feeling of being overheated, but the classic signs of either type 1 or type 2 are that of excessive thirst, more urination than usual, unexplained weight loss and problems with vision.

The presence of hot flashes does not indicate a disease process no matter how fierce or drenching they are.

Both conditions — hot flashes and diabetes — can easily coexist in the same woman.

Other Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Intense hunger with no explanation (e.g., new heavy workouts).
  • Fatigue that cannot be explained (e.g., no increase in activity levels necessitating more rest)
  • Irritability despite no change in circumstances
  • Frequent infections of the skin, gum or vagina
  • Slow healing of minor wounds

Though being overweight is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes, it is not a factor in type 1.

Besides hot flashes, menopause is associated with

  • Vaginal dryness and atrophy
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Gain of fat without eating more
  • Thinning hair, loss of hair and dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness

Menopause occurs to nearly every woman. Hot flashes are extremely common. Diabetes affects millions. The first two conditions are not connected to the third.

Alison Massey has been working in the field of nutrition for more than 10 years helping individuals make sustainable changes to improve their health.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  

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