How Long Should You Sauna For Diabetes Support?

Infrared Sauna for Stabilising Blood Sugar and Countering Diabetes Symptoms


Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen. In the blog post, we referred to a clinical study that used a cabin sauna and measured its temperature to demonstrate the practical applications of using the sauna and the outcomes that were observed during the experiment. It is important to note that the benefits are not derived from the temperature of the sauna cabin itself, but rather from the increase in the body's core temperature, and the cabin temperature serves only as a means to raise the body temperature in a controlled manner for the purposes of the study. This fact is supported by peer-reviewed studies that outline specific requirements for duration, frequency and cabin temperature for the safe and effective use of a sauna.

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Research has found that spending time in an infrared sauna is good for diabetes symptoms, but how long should you spend inside an infrared sauna if you have diabetes?

It turns out that spending as little as 25-minutes inside a sauna, 3 times a week at 85ºC, for 3 months, has been shown to increase the body's insulin absorption, help regulate blood glucose levels over prolonged periods by activating heat-shock proteins and the mitochondria, and lower the very important HbA1 biomarker (hyperglycemia marker). A clinical study using a cabin sauna and measuring its temperature was referenced in the blog to demonstrate the practical applications of using a sauna and the observed outcomes. It is worth mentioning that the benefits do not come directly from the sauna cabin temperature, rather they come from an increase in the body's core temperature which is raised by the cabin temperature as a controlled variable for the study.

Not to mention infrared saunas are good for you in many related aspects of diabetes, such as weight loss, stress, cardiovascular health, and reducing inflammation. Making a sauna use a simple, fun and easy activity to support a healthy lifestyle.

Infrared Sauna Diabetes: A Guide To Sauna Use

As a result of spending time in an infrared sauna you’re not just countering your risk of getting diabetes, you’re also actively promoting your quality of life. A Japanese study looked at the effects of dry sauna bathing on obese and type 2 diabetes patients to see if heat therapy would improve their quality of life.

Participants were required to complete two 15-minute dry sauna sessions at an intense 90°C temperature over four consecutive days. Quality of life was assessed through pre and post-sauna session questionnaires, and results showed significant improvements.

Thermal Therapy for patients with Type II Diabetes Mellitus

Another 2010 study measured the effects of three, 20-minute sauna sessions, over 3 months to see if it would improve the quality of life for patients with type II diabetes mellitus (insulin resistance). The study found statistically significant outcomes on physical and general health and concluded that the "uptake of infrared saunas use is greater than the uptake of other lifestyle interventions", making repeated thermal therapy like saunas a fantastic solution.

Both of these studies found positive effects of infrared sauna and traditional sauna bathing in obese and type II diabetes patients, that not only supported general health but also were simple and easy enough to use for prolonged periods making the positive lifestyle changes stick. Infrared saunas also affect factors of diabetes such as glucose levels and insulin sensitivity.

Far Infrared Saunas for Lowering Blood Glucose Levels

Far infrared saunas can lower your risk of diabetes by supporting your body's ability to take up blood glucose, as exercise would, but without the physical struggle of doing exercise. Heating up your body triggers heat shock proteins to get activated.

Heat shock proteins can be triggered by more frequent and long exposure to the elements, such as cold, heat, and the effects of ultraviolet light from the sun.

As a result of activating your heat shock proteins blood glucose levels go down and you’ll lose body fat. Carrying excess body fat is one of the main risk factors for diabetes type two.

Sauna sessions have a similar effect on your cells’ ability to take up blood glucose, similar to exercise. Different types of heat therapy can be used for this purpose, such as hot baths (hydrotherapy), steam rooms, and infrared saunas.

Diabetes can be lifestyle-induced by poor levels of exercise and nutrition, and this can cause the body to have an excessive inflammatory response that underlies diabetes.


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Infrared Saunas for Insulin Absorption and Insulin Sensitivity

Spending time in a sauna also improves insulin sensitivity. Improving insulin sensitivity means that glucose located in your bloodstream is better taken up by your cells, thereby countering one of the main problems in diabetes type two.

Benefits also exist for people with diabetes type one. If you’ve got diabetes type one, you’ll frequently need to inject insulin to allow your cells to take up the glucose in your bloodstream. A 1980 study found that in two sauna sessions of 25 minutes, insulin absorption increased by 110%.

In turn, people with type one diabetes could lower their insulin dose and still retain the full health benefits.

One concern can occur in the case of an infrared sauna and type 1 diabetes, where spending time in a sauna can lower your blood glucose levels too much and too quickly. It's important to discuss your insulin dosing protocol with your physician beforehand.

While it's easy to rely on regular sauna sessions for assisting in some of the symptoms, and underlying causes of diabetes, it’s not the cure or sole solution.

It is, however, an easy and sustainable way to help manage risk factors that are included with diabetes and can provide an individual with an improved quality of life experience.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus (DM), is a health condition in which the basic metabolic processes of the body are impaired.

All diabetes is not homogenous, different types of diabetes exist Two types of diabetes distinguished by modern science are diabetes type one and two.

The main issue in DM is that the body loses control over properly metabolising glucose. As a result, people with DM end up with chronically high blood sugar levels. The cause of these higher blood sugar levels differs from person to person, which is why different categorisations of diabetes exist.

What is type 1 diabetes?

If you’ve got diabetes type one, your pancreas doesn’t produce sufficient insulin. Insulin is necessary for your cells to take up glucose. Hence, different carbohydrates that are broken down into glucose, and glucose created from other sources, end up in your bloodstream because your cells no longer take them up.

What is type 2 diabetes?

With diabetes type two, the problem is different. In this case, your body does produce adequate insulin but your cells no longer respond adequately to that insulin. The end result is the same - you’ll have high blood glucose levels - but the biological origin of the problem is different.

What is gestational diabetes?

Then, there is a temporary diabetes problem that might result during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can happen even if you’ve got no previous history with the other diabetes types. Diabetes is not benign as it is interrelated with tons of health complications. Your risk for neurological problems, organ failure, and poor blood flow significantly increases.

As a result, you’ll have an increased risk for heart disease, problems with eyesight and extremities, due to poor nervous system function, kidney problems, poor brain function, and even increased stroke risk.

Diabetes can be a strain on your budget and make life difficult, but several factors may increase the risk of developing it. Eating unhealthy meals or a poor diet, not getting enough restful sleep, failing to exercise regularly, experiencing stress levels that exceed what is healthy for you, ageing naturally as well as breathing in air fraught with pollutants and being overweight all pose potential threats against good diabetes management. Taking steps to avoid these factors may help prevent diabetes from occurring.

Sauna and Diabetes: Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sauna help lower blood sugar?

Yes, the sauna helps to lower blood sugar levels by activating heat-shock proteins in your body, similar to how exercise would lower your blood sugar levels.

Is heat good for diabetics?

Diabetics need to be careful when subject to excessive heat due to diabetes affecting blood vessels and nerves, potentially affecting their ability to sweat and increasing their risk of heat exhaustion.

However, as described in this blog post, passive heat therapy such as a sauna can provide multiple health benefits such as:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • managing systolic blood pressure issues and high blood pressure
  • dilate blood vessels to reduce inflammation

Specific Far Infrared And Near-Infrared Light Benefits For Diabetics

Not only are there numerous advantages to saunas, but they also come in various forms. Finnish saunas and steam rooms use heated air, whereas infrared saunas employ infrared light waves that raise your body temperature.

The benefits of infrared saunas are that different types of infrared light have effects on your body cells independent of heating. Infrared light is like a kind of nutrient that enters your body, thus affecting biological processes in your cells. Here are some examples:

  • exposure to far-infrared light improves circulation in the extremities, such as the feet. The extremities are frequently plagued by symptoms such as poor healing and diabetic neuropathy.
  • in rat studies, higher levels of far infrared light exposure lead to quicker wound healing. In this case, 12 sessions in 4 weeks at 40 minutes worked superior to 20 minutes per session.
  • in a mice study, far infrared light exposure helps maintain the mass and function of the pancreas. The pancreas is the main insulin-secreting organ and is negatively affected in diabetes type one.
  • fortunately, some of these effects are confirmed in human studies. Both blood circulation and overall tissue quality improve when people with diabetes are exposed to far-infrared light.

Other types of infrared, such as near-infrared and middle infrared light also have extensive health benefits.

Near-infrared light, for instance, shows very promising benefits for blood sugar control, helping the nervous system heal if you’ve got diabetes, increasing wound healing, preventing ulcers, and many other benefits.

Some of these benefits are only investigated in animal studies, but, because most of the research points in the same direction, the same benefits in humans can reasonably be expected.

The best way to add near-infrared light and middle infrared light to your routine is to use a full-spectrum sauna.

The frequency of sauna use is more important than the exact length and temperature when it comes to diabetes. This blog provides some general guidelines based on scientific studies; however, our research shows that consistent long-term usage has shown to be the most effective in health benefits overall.

Finally, saunas are a great way to relax and reduce stress levels without the hassle of changing your diet or embarking on a new exercise regime!

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