I am wondering why we are not suppose to take hot baths????

By looney52 Latest Reply 2011-05-17 13:02:42 -0500
Started 2011-05-12 00:37:02 -0500

I have muscle pains in my legs and taking hot baths is the only way to relax them. I have tried some of the over the counter stuff for leg cramps but they do not work. Is it bad for a type 2 diabetic to take hot baths. Please let me know if you have any idea about this.

44 replies

melota 2011-05-15 08:49:21 -0500 Report

My pastor told me about Tonic water several years ago, and it really helps, but is a bitter dose. I have to put lemon in it and a smidgen of Splenda. Then, I still have to treat it like medicine.

GabbyPA 2011-05-17 13:02:42 -0500 Report

I have a friend who knows her herbs and things. She said that the bitter in some things are bitter for a reason and we need to not sweeten them. The bitter helps the body react and kind of squeeze the bad out. (in my poor mans terms. LOL) I may just have to try the tonic water idea though. I don't get them often anymore since I have been taking Alpha Lipoic Acid, but I still get some in my toes. Specially when swimming.

2011-05-15 19:48:43 -0500 Report

I kinda a newbie on this site, I've never heard of diabetics not being able to take hot showers or baths. Could someone fill me in? I don't get it.

jayabee52 2011-05-15 23:47:44 -0500 Report

Lisa, you might want to scroll down a while. That information is toward the bottom of the discussion. There's a lot of good information shared along the way.

Tigereyze209 2011-05-14 19:58:46 -0500 Report

My only two cents worth has to be that in some folks, our sense of pain gets compromised, and we can be taking what we think is a warm bath, only to discover that the temp is actualy hot enough to cause a burn, and you might not ever feel it, and to double the danger, if your body can't feel it, it is also slow to heal it, and common knowledge is that diabetics are much slower to heal in any case.

lisa627 2011-05-14 17:03:17 -0500 Report


Asheenita 2011-05-14 16:35:19 -0500 Report

I feel the same way, i am type 2 and hot bathes has soothe my sore muscles and helped with the aches and pains of my RA.

cavie2 2011-05-13 09:11:25 -0500 Report

I have 2 large bottles of Schweppes slimline Indian tonic water (mixed with Lemon zest and containing quinine) the quinine helps tremendously with cramp. I must admit it is an aquired taste because of the quinine but I only take a small half glass twice a week and it has helped with my cramp. Can't remember the last time a had a bad cramp. lol

dietcherry 2011-05-12 23:26:01 -0500 Report

I mentioned this to you before, but I know when Im dehydrated because my toes and calves will cramp like nobodys business!!!

katseyes 2011-05-12 19:30:56 -0500 Report

Also i have a question' Is it safe for diabetics to use a tanning bed?.. I was told it was ok and but was also told no it isn't safe, any one know anything on this subject?

GabbyPA 2011-05-13 09:26:45 -0500 Report

A lot will depend on the meds you are taking. If you are taking glipizide, you will note that you are to avoid direct sun for any length of time. I would consult your pharmacist about any things you are taking and see if that could be an issue. My husband got sever burns on his hands from being in the sun while on an antibiotic. So always use caution.

katseyes 2011-05-12 19:20:01 -0500 Report

Omg' i always bathe in hot water, the hotter the better to me, But i did not know that diabetics shouldn't take hot baths.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2011-05-13 02:38:41 -0500 Report

Me too, I like my shower hot, and my bubble baths warm. My DR. hasn't said anything about hot water, and I live in a very dry climate. Thanks for sharing this info.

GabbyPA 2011-05-12 18:54:12 -0500 Report

Heat and diabetes can be a troubling issue. What I recommend are things where the heat dissipates and you have to be able to detect the heat before you start. Often, as many have said here, we don't have an accurate "feeling" of heat and the chance of burning ourselves is a greater risk.
Here is a discussion that also talk about heating pads and other thermal treatments: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/1649-diabetes-and-heating-pads

jujeecat 2011-05-12 18:49:38 -0500 Report

they tell you to avoid hot water and hot tubs, because the hot water constricts your blood vessels making it hard for your blood to flow to your extremeties. and if you have neuropathy and your veins are already constricted it will not help for even less blood flow than you have.

Zolar1 2011-05-15 13:45:27 -0500 Report

Strange - hot water makes ALL my veins enlarge.

My rule of thumb - if the water temp is OK for a kid, then it's OK for me.

As long as you do not have bad enough neuropathy, you should be OK with a hot bath. If necessary, use a thermometer. The higher the temp above 108F the greater the chance of injury.

Always best to ask your doctor first since everyone is different and at different stages of the disease.

Note: cold things constrict your veins and raise blood pressure. Hot things dilate your veins in an attempt to regulate body temperature by removing excess heat.

Place one hand in very warm water and the other in cold water. Watch your veins. Oh, and be close to the bathroom due to that one hand in the warm water LOL.

whitetigress 2011-05-12 18:42:53 -0500 Report

Are you able to describe what happens with your legs … do your muscles seize up like a "charlie horse" or does it feel like someone punched you in the leg and your muscle gives out0? Please let me know which because it makes a difference.

looney52 2011-05-12 20:02:43 -0500 Report

It feels like I need to really stretch my legs out like on the old racks used in horror films. Some times they just jump for no reason. Can you help me with this.

Jameesa 2011-05-13 08:34:01 -0500 Report

It sounds like your potassium may be low… And as whitegrass mentioned calcium and magnesium are needed for our muscles to work properly… When I started having pain in my legs, the blood work that my Dr. had taken showed that I was low in the minerals mentioned…

tweetydele 2011-05-13 00:56:42 -0500 Report

sounds like restless leg syndrome to me. there is a medication for it i know people who are on it.

cavie2 2011-05-13 09:16:41 -0500 Report

could you find out the name of the medication, I have suffered from restless leg syndrome since the age of 17

whitetigress 2011-05-12 23:01:04 -0500 Report

Ok, so this is a contraction or a cramping … this sounds like a potassium issue. The electrolytes that we need for our muscles to work properly are: calcium, magnesium, and potassium. I suggest that you ask your gp to do blood work to check your electrolyte levels. The pain may also be due to needing more of those minerals, but if you would describe the type of pain you are having.

kittenpurr1 2011-05-12 19:10:22 -0500 Report

How so?? I ask b/c of 2 medical conditions, and I think my foot doctor got her degree at the Family Dollar Store.

Somoca 2011-05-12 18:36:35 -0500 Report

I was told not to take hot showers because it contributes to our dry skin which is already dry from the meds we take. It makes it much worst that you can imagine.

kittenpurr1 2011-05-12 19:11:41 -0500 Report

Wow- I have osteoarthirits every where, sometimes the hot water massage helps, skin is dry as the beach sand, especially on the feet, and I used a good lotion.

Somoca 2011-05-12 19:41:03 -0500 Report

i haven't used lotion for three years. It has to be baby oil to start and if I want it to last more than 6 hours its Vaseline. I have had dry heels since. I still enjoy a moderately hot shower but I know I better have that Vaseline near by.

kittenpurr1 2011-05-12 19:57:51 -0500 Report

Thanks. I used to have some of the Aloe socks, but they didn't wont to stay on right for long. They slipped around.

jayabee52 2011-05-12 07:28:33 -0500 Report

I have been told to avoid hot tubs. Water temps are often over 110 degrees. It is easy to get high blood pressure in hot tubs.

I have also heard about PWDs going into hot tubs and getting a low, passing out and drowning. I myself avoid them, even though I used to love them before I became a PWD.

dietcherry 2011-05-12 23:24:08 -0500 Report

James you could elaborate on the part about hot baths causing high blood pressure? Thanks!!!

jayabee52 2011-05-12 23:47:58 -0500 Report

I wasn't speaking to hot baths, I was speaking to hot tubs specifically. They have a heater in the water path which keeps the water at the temp which the operator sets it. So the t ub doesn't cool off like a regular tub. Whenever I entered a hot tub before I knew to stay away from them I felt my blood pressure rise in my face.

But jujeecat above wrote: "they tell you to avoid hot water and hot tubs, because the hot water constricts your blood vessels making it hard for your blood to flow to your extremeties. and if you have neuropathy and your veins are already constricted it will not help for even less blood flow than you have."

Constricted blood vessels lead to a raise in BP.

oldbuttercup 2011-05-12 06:08:15 -0500 Report

From what I have learned two main reasons for someone with diabetes not to take hot baths are are:
neurapathy - because sensitivity to hot water is reduced, and the person can not always tell if the water is too hot and they are being burned. This has happened to me in the past.
yeast infections - my late wife's immune system was weakend by her diabetes and her medications.

jayabee52 2011-05-12 07:23:14 -0500 Report

My sense of temperature is altered by my neuropathy, and by mini strokes. Fortunately left hand & arm registers water temps adequately, so I have to remember to touch the stream in the shower with my left hand before entering the shower. If my left hand gets messed up with sensing temps, then I'll need to use a bath thermometer (as I was taught as a CNA) other wise I'd be in a world of hurt.

oldbuttercup 2011-05-12 07:39:26 -0500 Report

I used to use a bath thermometer at work in the healthcare industry. It just never occured to me to use one at home. Great advice jayabbee!

jayabee52 2011-05-15 23:52:19 -0500 Report

I have trouble with baths too. couldn't get up out of them easily because of my arthritis and am afraid I'll slip and fall. The apt I am in now only has a shower, no tub.