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What People with Diabetes Should Know About Hot Tubs

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

Taking a soak in a spa or hot tub can release tension from your muscles—and your mind. Some evidence even suggests it can help control your diabetes.

As the hot water boosts your core temperature, your body activates its natural cooling mechanisms. Blood vessels near your skin dilate to release some of the extra heat you’ve absorbed.

This increase in blood flow has beneficial effects, especially if you can’t exercise. More nutrient-rich blood reaches your muscles as a result. In some studies, regular hot tub visits actually reduced blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.

But before you self-medicate with whirlpool jets and chlorine, check with your doctor. Hot tubs also present some risks for people with diabetes.


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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.

Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.

You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.

The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.

Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.

Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your healthcare provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.

Please click here or the link below for the full prescribing information for Lantus®

US.GLA.13.04.225 © 2014 sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, A SANOFI COMPANY


Beware of Burns

Diabetes can contribute to nerve damage, leaving your feet less sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. Stepping into boiling water could scald you before you feel a thing. To prevent burns, keep the water temperature at 105°F (40.5°C) or lower. Always dip your elbow in first to test the waters.

Protect Your Heart Health

Though you may feel relaxed, excessive heat can cause your heart to beat faster. If you have an underlying heart problem, you risk serious heart damage as a result. Talk with your doctor about heart concerns before soaking. Even if your heart appears healthy, hop out of the tub after 20 minutes.

Mind Your Insulin

Hot tubs pose special challenges if you take insulin. If you wear an insulin pump, you’ll most likely need to remove it before entering. Check with your doctor to see how long you can safely go without it.

In addition, heat can increase the rate at which your body absorbs insulin. This means the dose of insulin you took before your soak may not last as long as it usually does. The end result could be low blood glucose levels.

Check your blood glucose more frequently than usual in and around hot tub time. Staying hydrated can also help keep your core temperature in check and your blood glucose steady.

Steer Clear of Infections

Bacteria love to bask in the same temperate waters that you do. The cleaner the hot tub, the lower the risk that harmful microorganisms residing within it will cause infections.

Commercial hot tubs accommodating high numbers of bathers pose a bigger risk than private Jacuzzis. But stay out of the water altogether if you have an open sore or wound. Such injuries give bacteria an open entry into your body.

Key Takeaways

  • Hot tub use can increase your blood flow, so more nutrient-rich blood reaches your muscles. This may reduce blood glucose levels in some people with diabetes.

  • However, there are risks. Excessive heat can cause your heart to beat faster, which is risky if you have an underlying heart problem.

  • Heat can increase the rate at which your body absorbs insulin. This means the dose of insulin you took before your soak may not last as long as it usually does.

  • If you have nerve damage, stepping into boiling water could scald you before you feel a thing.

Last Annual Review Date: July 15, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2013 Healthgrades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine


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