Hot Tub Diabetes

Your hot tub can be used for so much more than just pleasure. While enjoying a good soak in the warm, churning waters can be relaxing and help you de-stress after a hard day, there are many other health benefits to be found with regularly soaks in hot tub. While it is common knowledge that a nice long soak in a hot tub can do wonders for sore muscles, joints and other athletic related injuries, there are many other conditions that people can suffer that a hot tub can help treat.

Type 2 diabetes has become a growing problem around the world in recent years. According to the American Diabetes Association, currently there are over 29 million Americans dealing with the diabetes each and every day with more and more Americans being diagnosed every day. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for 90% of the cases that are diagnosed.

Learning to manage type 2 diabetes is the key to living a normal, healthy life but people suffering from the disease should learn all of the available treatment options available to them to help them manage their blood sugar levels properly to ensure optimal health. One treatment that all diabetics should consider is hot tub therapy.

Hot Tub Therapy

On top of the conventional treatments mentioned above, there are other treatments you can use to help control the disorder. Recent studies have shown that a daily soak for about 30 minutes in a hot tub can help lower blood sugar levels in diabetes patients and have even helped some patients lower the amount of medication they must take.

In study performed by Philip L. Hooper, MD, of the McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, hot tub therapy helped a group of people suffering from type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels, lose weight and improve their sleep patterns.

With a temperature in the hot tub set as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the type 2 subjects sat in the hot tub with the water up to their shoulders for 30 minutes per day, six days a week for three weeks. After three weeks, the patients average blood glucose levels were lowered from 182 mg/dl to 159 mg/dl and the subjects had lost an average of 3.75 pounds.

So why does this work? According to researchers, the reason a soak in the hot tub is so effective is that it improves your heart rate and circulation and actually mimics a rigorous exercise routine. In addition, Hooper also believes that heat plays an important function as well.

Is it Safe?

One of the biggest concerns diabetics have is safety when using a hot tub. Most diabetics suffer from numbness in their feet due to nerve damage and don’t realize when they are being burned.  Fortunately, most hot tubs won’t allow the temperature to get so hot you could actually be burned. However, if you are concerned, be sure to purchase and use a thermometer in your hot tub at all times.

The other danger that must be considered is the risk of blood sugar dropping too low. If you have just taken your medication and then jump into the hot tub, your blood sugar could drop much more quickly presenting a different set of dangers. It is best to schedule your hot tub soaks either before you have taken your medication or some time after you have taken it to be sure your blood sugar doesn’t plummet unexpectedly.

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