As the water temperature in a hot tub rises, it triggers your body's natural cooling mechanisms. This process involves the expansion of blood vessels near your skin to release excess heat absorbed by your body. While hot tub therapy has benefits, diabetic patients should also know about hot tubs' considerations and risks.
In the article below, we discuss both the advantages and the concerns people with diabetes should know before using a hot tub.
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Advantages of Hot Tub Therapy
- Enhanced Blood Flow: The heightened blood flow from hot tub use has numerous advantages, particularly for individuals unable to exercise. This increased circulation ensures that more nutrient-rich blood reaches your muscles.
- Blood Glucose Regulation: Some studies suggest that regular hot tub sessions can reduce blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes. This potential benefit underscores the therapeutic value of hot tubs in managing diabetes-related health concerns.
Considerations and Risks of Hot Tub Use for Diabetic Patients
Before immersing yourself in the therapeutic experience of whirlpool jets and chlorine, it is imperative to consult with your doctor. Hot tubs pose additional risks for individuals with diabetes, and professional guidance is crucial.
- Nerve Damage and Burns: Diabetes can lead to nerve damage, reducing sensitivity to temperature changes in your feet. Stepping into extremely hot water can result in burns before you are aware of it. To mitigate this risk, it is recommended to maintain the water temperature at 105°F (40.5°C) or below and always test the water with your elbow before entering.
- Heart Health Protection: Prolonged exposure to excessive heat in a hot tub can elevate your heart rate. Individuals with underlying heart issues are at risk of serious heart damage. Consulting your doctor about any heart concerns before hot tub use is essential. Limit your time in the hot tub to 20 minutes, and never use it alone – have someone nearby in case of an emergency.
- Insulin Considerations: Special considerations apply for individuals taking insulin, especially those using an insulin pump. Consult your doctor to determine how long you can safely go without the pump during hot tub sessions. Heat can accelerate the absorption rate of insulin, potentially leading to lower blood glucose levels. Monitoring your blood glucose more frequently during and around hot tub time is advisable.
- Infection Prevention: Bacteria thrive in warm water, emphasizing the importance of keeping hot tubs clean. Commercial hot tubs with high bather loads pose a greater risk than private Jacuzzis. If you have an open sore or wound, it is advisable to avoid entering the water, as these can serve as entry points for harmful microorganisms.
In Conclusion: What Every Diabetic Should Know
While hot tub therapy can offer benefits such as enhanced blood flow and potential blood glucose reduction, being aware of associated risks is crucial. Excessive heat can strain the heart, and careful management is required for those taking insulin or dealing with nerve damage. Always prioritize safety and consult your diabetic foot doctor before incorporating hot tub therapy into your routine.
Diabetic Patients Should Schedule Consultation Before Using a Hot Tub
If you’d like to see a diabetic foot specialist before using a hot tub to ensure it is safe, schedule a consultation with our foot specialists at our Grapevine or Keller, TX, office.
To schedule, click the button above or call us at 817.481.4000 now!