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Hot bath = worst hypo ever?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by secrettheatre, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. secrettheatre

    secrettheatre · Active Member

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    I'd heard that having a hot bath can sometimes decrease blood glucose quite rapidly, but had never believed it... until last night. At 10.12 my reading was 6.7, and I knew it was on the way down and probably should have had something to eat, but instead I decided to have a quick bath. Whilst in the tub I started to feel a little bit panicky, and eventually very irritable - to the point of feeling enraged at the dripping tap. I realized I was having a baaaaad hypo, so got out (carefully) and took a reading: it was 2.2! So in just under an hour my BS had gone from an OK reading to my second lowest reading ever... scary. Anyone else had a similar experience?
     
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  2. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. My spcialist said yesterday that not many people are aware that driving, especially on a hot day, can greatly affect blood sugars too. He said the concentration needed when driving sends blood sugars down and you should never assume just because you are 'sitting' in a driving seat and not physically moving, that blood sugars will stay the same, as they won't.
    I think we learn something new all the time about diabetes and it's interesting to read about your bath experience. I wonder if a hot shower can have the same effect? I would think,a shower being briefer, that would be different.
     
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  3. TROUBR

    TROUBR Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I never thought about a bath having an affect. It make sense as they say that people react differently in the heat but I always just thought summertime!

    Louise
     
  4. totsy

    totsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    hya , :( heat can cause hypos,
    i too always check my bloods b4 a bath as i find if ive injected upto an hr b4 i always hypo in a hot bath
     
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  5. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Can baths/hot cars have the same effect on T2s?
     
  6. cugila

    cugila · Master

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  7. timo2

    timo2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi secrettheatre,

    I'm afraid that I can beat your bathtime hypo score. I've had a reading of 1.5 :shock: following
    a long hard day at work and a long hot bath.
     
  8. acron^

    acron^ · Well-Known Member

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    Crikey! Thanks for the heads up.

    @timo2: Good Lord, that's low. How low do you think is possible before coma sets in? (Not that i'm looking to try ;))
     
  9. Pink

    Pink · Active Member

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    Oh thank goodness! I'm not the only one it's happened a few times to me and I thought I was being neurotic or paranoid especially whilst showering. I've experienced hypos In the bath and whilst taking showers, it's so odd isn't it! x
     
  10. Bazza159

    Bazza159 · Newbie

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    Ive been down to 1.2 before >.< (not nice at all)
    I could hardly walk, focus or concentrate on anything but for looking for sugar or something to get in me quickly. my face was tingling all over readly bad (much more intense than usual) & my sweat pours were wide open (making me feel like I was a shower)......I took 4 dextrose & preyed it kicked in before I went any lower...thankfully I started to come round before things got worse.
     
  11. timo2

    timo2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi acron^,

    This is taken from wikipedia's entry for hypoglycemia:

    With my reading of 1.5mmol/l, I had none of my usual hypo reactions at all, I just felt a little tired.
    :shock:
     
  12. farmerfudge

    farmerfudge · Well-Known Member

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    Yep, hot baths & driving always bring my BS down. Been down to 1.5 on a regular basis
     
  13. ahills

    ahills · Member

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    I always find that if i've taken insulin within the hour and have a ypo i very rarely get the usual symtoms until they are really low.

    As for hot baths i love them but man they can be scary with the BS drop, i suspect with the intense heat it dialates your blood vessels and therefore lowers the BS. I think the lowest they have been after a bath is about 2.5, but i have been as low as LO. on the meter and thankfully i've never been in the bath at the same time!
     
  14. secrettheatre

    secrettheatre · Active Member

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    Well thanks everyone for the interesting and informative replies! There would seem to be some truth in it, then - certainly something I will be watching out for in the future. I've recently started to control my BS properly after about a decade of poor-to-middling control, which is probably why I'd never experienced anything like this before...

    As regards 'how low can you go', I think my lowest was about 1.5... But I've never had anything resembling a fit. I've always been able to think straight, and get some sugar (which is usually very close at hand) inside me sharpish. My aim now, though, is to avoid hypos completely (well, I suppose one can't eliminate them altogether), as I've recently been reading about the long-term damage they might do, and it scares the s**t out of me (pardon my Anglo-Saxon)...
     
  15. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    I've been down as low as 1 something and didn't realise until I tested. Other than a very slight headache,I felt fine, which worries me. This is why I queried very recently, in another thread, the possiblity of liver dumps at any time. My body always seems to get itself out of trouble before it goes below zero.
     
  16. scottishkate

    scottishkate · Well-Known Member

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    If I need to get my sugars down I always have a hot bath - have done this for years. A shower doesn't have the same effect at all. And I certainly find I go hypo more often in the heat even if I am not exerting myself in any way. It's how I manage to justify eating ice cream in Italy in the summer!!

    Recently I've noticed that any nightime hypos I have are caught around the 2.2 mark - that's when I seem to wake up. But I do have quite a few 1.3 and 1.4's these days. Chocoholic - your other thread on liver dumping is very interesting - it makes me think that I have a lot to thank it for keeping me out of comas etc for my 20 years as a diabetic...

    Katie
     
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  17. secrettheatre

    secrettheatre · Active Member

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    Diabetics, eh... What are we like? :roll:
     
  18. lilibet

    lilibet · Well-Known Member

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    Yip

    Did the bath thing (had been in bath yakking on phone for ages to sister) before announcing I had to go.Now.
    Dont know how I could feel that horrible hot flush feeling I get with hypos whilst lying in a bath but feel it I did. Caught site of self in hall mirror on way to test and get the dextro and nearly fainted. I looked postively post mortem - so no doubt. OH was oblivious as usual.

    Mind you theres nothing worse than knowing you're hypo then checking and confirming it. If the adrenaline doesnt kick in by time you test then boy it does soon after!

    Worse hypo was 0.5 in hospital, having been at 27 some hours previously at dx (oh the difference between me then and now.....). I dread to think what would have happened if nurse hadnt been 'due' to check at that point. I was so wrung out and exhausted I would have just shut my eyes and went into a coma and she would have assumed I was sleeping (early hours).
    Yuk yuk yuk
     
  19. flojos mum

    flojos mum · Active Member

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    I`m never letting Chloe have a bath again! second night in a row long soak in bath, last night at 2.6 but tonight she got out got into PJs then said I feel a bit funny: reading LO on monitor!! got to 3rd lot of glucose 30 minutes later with readings of 1.8, 1.4, 1.6 ready to go to hospital then up to 4.7 just as we were ready to ring ward, phew. It has to be a bath thing. Does anyone know the science behind what goes on?
     
  20. secrettheatre

    secrettheatre · Active Member

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    Hi flojos mum,

    I asked a doctor friend of mine, and it seems as if it's caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure induced by the heat. I seem to recall her saying something about the blood 'pooling' in the legs, hence (I presume) reducing the amount of blood - and therefore (I'm guessing) glucose - available for the rest of the body. Unfortunately I can't remember the precise details of what she said, but that's the gist... Don't take it as 'gospel', though!

    Best,
    Chris
     
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