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Hot bath = worst hypo ever?

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

  1. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much hard evidence around about this. It all seems anecdotal. The Blood Pressure angle is one that can cause problems, but this is more to do with a reduction in BP than a lowering of Bg levels.

    Another reason is the one marked in Red below which is specific to Bg levels.

    What causes low blood sugar?
    Low blood sugar occurs when the body doesn't have enough sugar to burn for energy and the level of sugar in the blood falls too low. Frequent causes include:
    1.missing a snack or meal
    2.doing extra exercise that burns more sugar than usual
    3.taking too much insulin
    4.giving a shot into a muscle resulting in rapid absorption of insulin
    5.giving the wrong amount of insulin
    6.taking a bath or shower or soaking in a hot tub soon after taking a shot of insulin (blood vessels in the skin dilate from the hot water and cause insulin to be rapidly absorbed).

    Hope that helps.
    Ken.
     
  2. TROUBR

    TROUBR Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think I need to bath more often! :roll: Showers certainly don't seem to have any affect on me - well apart from the cleaning aspect!

    I will bear this method in mind- although the alcohol method is often more tempting but currently on a diet so this will be very useful!

    Louise
     
  3. flojos mum

    flojos mum · Active Member

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    Thank you Chris and Ken,
    as usual on here wonderful explanations that I can understand, I always find it useful to understand the reasons behind what goes om as I find it useful for predicting what the day may hold for Chloe. We still having lots of up and down days for BG and emotionally dealing with the change in life but what doesn't break us can only make us stronger.
    So I can add baths to my mental list of excerise, hormones, emotion, stress, food, illnesses and the many other things which can affect her levels, after being so low yesterday she has just rang to say her level is 18.7- she is doing maths SATs today which she hates so i'm guessing that is the cause or maybe getting the stomach bug that her little sister has, i`m getting there with working out what is going on.
     
  4. bonerp

    bonerp · Well-Known Member

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    driving increases my BGs not decreases! I work 40 miles from home and its always higher than it should be if I wasnt to do a correction bolus.
    Don't really have baths so don't know about that.
     
  5. secrettheatre

    secrettheatre · Active Member

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    Hi again flojos mum,

    (This is momentarily off-topic!)

    I mismanaged my diabetes for ten years (diagnosed '99), and recently had a retinopathy scare which stung me into taking control of things. I'd just like to say that, with carb counting, I've at last got things under control... and I've found it much, much easier than I ever imagined it would be. I used to regularly get BG readings in the high teens or even low twenties, but now I rarely go above 10. Believe me, if I can do it - with the chaotic, bohemian lifestyle of the perennial student (well, almost!) - then Chloe certainly can!

    Best,
    Chris
     
  6. MattyBoy

    MattyBoy · Member

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    Ive not known a hypo like this but ive had bad hypo's. They give me migrains and make me sick then im ok in 12 hours.
     
  7. connors mum

    connors mum · Member

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    Hi yes my son has quite alot of hypos during or after baths try to stich to the shower as never happened with shower. Quite concerned for the summer too now :?
     
  8. thedriver

    thedriver · Member

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    When I was 17 I had a real bad hypo (20 years ago) which resulted in me going into a hypo coma in the night whilst asleep, I had to be injected with glucagon, by my poor parents to be brought round, luckily I was in the same apartment and the fitting noises had disturbed their sleep.

    My control had been good and I couldnt understand it...it was on my birthday and as a treat we had a larger than normal meal and this was when I was only injecting in the morning and evening, so in theory my blood sugar should have been higher than normal.

    It really confused the hell out of me, but speaking to the nurses on return, they explained that when it's hot your body is "working" harder than normal just to keep your body temp at the normal level, hence the reason why the hypo.

    To be honest it could be utter nonsense, but having had the disease for 25 years now, this little bit of knowledge has helped me in the past....I know a long hot soak in the bath will reduce my blood sugar, and a dip in a hot tub does the same.

    Have you never wondered why in health clubs there is always warnings on saunas, steam rooms and jaquizzes (sp) about heart conditions, pregnant ladies and diabetics.

    My own opinion, but logical and I learned the lesson the hardway.
     
  9. martinsoton

    martinsoton · Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that is amazing, before i was diagnosed as being type 1 i never had baths as the made me feel really strange, now i know they were hypos....

    I never even thought of that before reading this post...

    Great topic

    M
     
  10. dipsticky

    dipsticky · Well-Known Member

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    This is a fact.
    I found this out to my cost in tropical locations. That's when my Diabetes was diagnosed. End of my little career ! Still you people seem very well informed. Think I'll stick around. :D

    D.
     
  11. candi-girl

    candi-girl Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    happens to me all the time, so have a "free" snack before a bath :D and always get better control in the warm summer.
     
  12. carolb

    carolb · Newbie

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    As others have mentioned, a prolonged hot bath can cause hypos. I also agree that driving can trigger a hypo, particularly if the driving conditions were stressful, eg, rain, fog etc. Once a few years ago I had to drive for about an hour on country roads in the fog, this was during the day. That night my husband woke me to tell me I was having a fit, he was very scared. He made me ate something which helped to bring me back round. About a year later, we went on holiday, a very early flight, long delays, a very long day travelling, same again, during the night he had to wake me up as I was fitting again. Since then we have glucagon in the house so he can inject me if necessary. Never fitted again, but I have recently had very low hypos during the night. Around 1.4, very hot and sweaty, difficulty focussing, very drowsy, difficulty thinking other than the need to get some food. i also found that my vision was badly affected, I couldn't see very well directly in front of me, but could see 'round the edges' if you know what I mean. Ended up spilling sugar all over the place as I was feeling around in the cupboard for it.

    So, I have learned that the following will generally lead to a hypo: hot, prolonged bath, hot weather (either in this country or abroad), driving a distance, particularly if stressful, a long stressful day - whatever the cause. Then there are other unexplained ones, particularly those that happen in the night, and very low at 1.4 - these are the ones I find most difficult to figure out. And the ones that give me the worse symptoms. Maybe its cos I'm getting older, now 40, and have had diabetes for 21 years, it likes to continually test me out!!
     
  13. aphex2k

    aphex2k Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think it's to do with the warm water affecting the viscosity of blood, making insulin work that bit faster. Same as hot weather can increase the risk of hypos.

    Having baths also dehydrate you. Strange, but the body tries to cool your core temp down.

    Also there's a scald risk. Dipping a toe into the water to check temps have led to diabetics having some nasty scalds, particularly those with poor control long term, and peripheral vascular neuropathy.
     
  14. secrettheatre

    secrettheatre · Active Member

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    This has proved an (unexpectedly) interesting and informative thread... thanks to everyone who's contributed (so far!).

    Chris
     
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