Are hot flashes dangerous?

Julia Schlam Edelman
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Hot flashes are harmless unless they compromise your ability to function in daily life. Frequent or severe night sweats can disrupt sleep, causing sleep deprivation, irritability, and memory loss. They are life threatening if they make you sleepy enough during the day to be at risk of falling asleep at the wheel of your car.

Hot flashes are uncomfortable, but are not necessarily dangerous.

Your body can feel like it has become a raging furnace, creating heat that feels overwhelming. Your clothes feel too heavy, your bed covers feel like they are suffocating you and you are often drenched in sweat.

Those intense flashes of heat are sometime followed by chills, which are a result of sweat drying on your skin.

Some people experience hot flashes at random, but others experience them on regular basis.

They typically last between two minutes and thirty minutes and their frequency may increase over time.

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Hot flashes are more uncomfortable than dangerous. In fact the danger comes from them being so uncomfortable and constant that many women feel they will jump out if their skin (but of course they won't!). There are many things one can do to diminish hot flashes like diet, exercise, yoga, and if all else fails hormonal replacement supplementation. Your OBGYN can prescribe something for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.