Under the direction of their physicians, many type 2 diabetes patients use their hot tubs for therapy, but is it safe. If you’re a diabetic, chances are high that you’ve heard, read or seen signs posted warning diabetics about hot tub use.
Type 1 diabetes sufferers should absolutely not use hot tubs or hot tub therapy, but what about Type 2 diabetic patients?
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study that showed a decrease in glucose level, and an increased overall sense of well-being for Type 2 diabetics that used hot tubs on a regular basis.
Dr. Philip Hooper of Colorado University originally conducted the study to test if hot tub immersion would stimulate exercise in diabetes patients. The test subjects, all with type 2 diabetes, sat in the hot tub for 30 minutes, 6 days a week, for 3 weeks.
At the end of the study, the all patients experienced weight loss and lowered blood sugar levels, and another patient was able to reduce his insulin intake by 18%.
The original intent of the study, to see if increased blood flow would stimulate exercise, also proved promising. Patients previously unable to exercise showing increased mobility. Aside from the medical benefits that the study revealed, Dr. Hooper noticed other benefits to hot tub use for diabetes sufferers – the patients were reporting better sleep and increased sense of well-being.
Dr. Hooper notes that hot tub use for diabetics is a lifestyle change, a positive one for diabetics if it can decrease stress and improve sleep – all factors that are important for type 2 diabetes sufferers.
8 Tips for Type 2 Diabetic Hot Tub Use
1. Talk to your doctor about warm water or hot tub therapy first and foremost
2. Use the hot tub at the end of the day, after the most strenuous activities of the day have been completed.
3. Never hot tub alone!
4. Check your glucose levels before getting into the hot tub. If your levels are spiking or dropping, wait until they become normal.
5. Make sure the water temperature does not exceed 104 degrees. Damaged nerve endings in the feet could cause accidentally burning with higher temperatures.
6. Only use a clean and well balanced spa to prevent risk of bacterial infections.
7. Using a hot tub may cause a drop in blood pressure, so exit the tub very slowly and with assistance. You will not feel the dizziness until you stand up.
8. Use hot tub therapy along with other therapies such as diet and exercise.