Diabetes: bathtubs to lower blood sugar?
A new study suggests that the heat from regular baths can help control blood sugar levels. Explanations.
Type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by excess sugar in the blood, affects millions of people. This chronic pathology usually appears after the age of 40 (but often takes a long time to diagnose) and affects a quarter of people over the age of 75. Being overweight is one of the identified risk factors.
However, previous studies have linked exposure to heat and better blood sugar control, thanks to a decrease in fat mass. A new test has just been conducted in Japan, where locals traditionally use whirlpool bathtubs.
The scientists recruited nearly 1,300 diabetic patients and asked them about the frequency of their immersion. On average, patients took 4.2 baths per week, lasting 16 minutes. However, the more diabetics bathed, the more they saw a drop in their weight (BMI), their waist circumference, or even their blood pressure. But that is not all. After adjusting for age, sex, BMI, etc., the patients who took hot baths also had better glycated hemoglobin levels.
This diabetes marker allows you to assess the balance of blood sugar levels during the last three months. For the researchers, therefore, there could be a link between taking baths and better blood sugar levels. "Our results indicate that daily heat exposure has beneficial influences on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes," the scientists conclude.
Last March, another study also suggested that this habit was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. A hot bath could act as a workout: it increases body temperature, heart rate and blood flow, effects that would improve vascular function in the long term. Do not abuse hot baths anyway if you suffer from venous insufficiency or in the elderly, who do not always regulate their internal temperature well.