Can Hydrotherapy Help With Diabetes?

Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to effectively regulate blood sugar levels due to abnormal insulin production; diabetes is regarded by most health organizations as a global health threat.

Chances are you or someone you know suffers from diabetes. But aside from insulin shots, expensive medications and other costly measures, are there any alternative therapy methods for treating diabetes? Hydrotherapy has shown plenty of positive impact for a variety of injuries and illnesses, and it’s now considered common knowledge that water therapy for diabetes – including regularly scheduled and random hot tub use – can improve certain health markers for diabetes. patients. It’s estimated that over 400 million people worldwide, approximately 29 million in the USA and about 5 million in the UK suffer from some form of diabetes, mainly Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. If you are affected by Type 2 diabetes, we encourage you to explore hydrotherapy options of a hot tub. While most of us already know that regular dips in to our spa can ease stress and release muscle tension, some research suggests that regular soaks in a hot tub could help control type 2 diabetes.

A recent study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that hot tub therapy could help groups of type 2 diabetes patients to lower their blood sugar levels. The research team, from the Mckee Medical Centre in Colorado studied a small group of diabetic men and women.

These research participants were instructed to cut out exercise and replace the time they would have spent exercising with sessions in a hot tub The result of the study revealed that sitting in a hot tub, set at a temperature of 40c for 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, for three weeks, improved the patient’s overall wellness.

Upon conclusion of the three-week study, patients had lost 1.7kg, lowered their blood sugar and glucose levels from1.82 kg/m3 to 1.59 kg/m3, equivalent to what they would have experienced through regular exercise, and improving sleep. It may be especially helpful for patients who are unable to exercise.”

The team found that hot tub therapy could give a reduction in insulin requirement Researchers said that the therapy could be effective because it increases blood flow, as well as for more complex reasons such as heat conditioning and heat shock proteins.

Hydrotherapy has shown plenty of positive impact for a variety of injuries and illnesses, and it’s considered common knowledge that water therapy for diabetes – including regularly scheduled and random hot tub use – can improve certain health markers for diabetes patients.

Research of this kind suggests that hydrotherapy may be especially helpful for patients who are unable to exercise.

As the study progressed, the patients began to receive additional benefits including improved sleep and an overall sense of well-being. Experts believe that the successful results of the study can be attributed to the hot water pumping action of a hot tub that actually helps pump nutrient- rich blood to your muscles.

Diabetes and Hot Tubs Hydrotherapy’s Little-Known Impact

While hot tub and spa therapy has been touted as having positive effects for every condition ranging from high blood pressure to sleep disorders, it’s becoming increasingly evident that diabetes patients can benefit from hot tub use too.

The warm waters of the Dead Sea have offered refuge and relaxation for millions of people throughout the Middle East, and recent scientific analysis suggests a strong link between
diabetes symptom relief and the Dead Sea’s soothing, hot tub-like hydrotherapy. Some interesting medical studies have been conducted on water therapy’s positive impact on blood sugar levels. These tests and trials illustrate how Hot tubs have been used to benefit diabetes patients many different ways, including: Enhanced insulin sensitivity.

In one study, diabetes patients were subjected to
regular hot tub therapy. The data showed that hot tub use enhanced patient health by mimicking intense aerobic exercise – just one of the positive benefits of better insulin sensitivity. This is particularly important for diabetes patients that aren’t able to exercise regularly due to age, physical disability or other limitations.

Normalized blood pressure

For many diabetes patients, their condition is compounded by high blood pressure. Some tests suggest a strong correlation with warm water hydrotherapy and normalised blood pressure.

Reduced blood sugar levels

The jury is still out on hot tub hydrotherapy’s impact on actual blood sugar levels, but a recent New England Journal of Medicine paper showed that five men and three women with type 2 diabetes had lower blood sugar levels after extensive, regularly scheduled hot tub sessions. With such encouraging research showing the benefits of hydrotherapy and hot tub use for diabetes patients, maybe it’s time you enjoyed the numerous advantages for yourself.

Please consult your doctor before making any health or wellness routine adjustments. In a study performed by Philip L. Hooper, MD, of the McKee Medical Centre 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, improve their sleep patterns and experienced a reduction in insulin requirement.

Dr Hooper, MD, was reported as commenting: “These results suggest that hot tub therapy should be further evaluated as a therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Some diabetes experts expressed concern that hot tubs are not safe for those with diabetes, particularly those with diabetic neuropathy. It is important that if you have a serious medical condition that you consult your GP before using your hot tub.

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, the temperature in be sure to regularly check your spa or if that facility isn’t available, 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 sometime after you have taken it to be sure your blood sugar doesn’t plummet unexpectedly.

Team Member

Jo Medhurst

Health Benefits Advisor

Jo has worked with Kingdom Spas for over 2 years. She is on hand to advise and answer questions on all the health benefits of hot tub and swim spa ownership.