Heating Pads.... My Diabetes Doctor wont allow it!why?

By Beverlydolls Latest Reply 2011-03-16 04:36:53 -0500
Started 2011-03-07 06:09:19 -0600

Heating Pads… My Dr wont allow it! Why do you think she wont allow you to have heating Pads to used if you have back aches???? She never did say why??? Just wonder and I would love to hear your thoughts? Thanks

22 replies

courtcat79 2011-03-14 10:33:29 -0500 Report

I heard about the no heating pad thing, but I never was told about the whole blood vessel deal and it bringing down your sugars. I had aquatic PT a few years back and the water was kept at a constant 95 to 102 degrees. My dr. never said a word about anything along those lines and they knew, and the people at the PT place also knew that I was a diabetic. How hot is too hot, does anyone know?

AuntieBear 2011-03-14 03:37:22 -0500 Report

Part of the reason it is not good to use a heating pad is the risk of getting burned. A burn could mean the loss of a limb to a diabetic. Unfortunately, diabetes can be painful and sometimes the only relief is to use heat. This means you need to find some dependable way to get that heat on that ache. With all the different types of heating pads and massagers on the market you have more options for heated relief than was available to diabetics 30 years ago. For instance, my heating pad has a safety feature of only heating for 30 minutes at a time which prevents the pad from overheating. I only use it on the lowest setting and do not use it on places that have any sort of neuropathy or lack of feeling. Another option is to have your significant other/ roommate check the temp of the pad and whatever it is warming to make sure you are not cooking or burning. There are also massagers that do not have heat that are also very effective at relieving aches and pains. Explore your non-medicinal relief options and then re-visit the subject with your doctor. Maybe you can find a happy medium with one of the many products now available.
Good Luck,

Doc 720
Doc 720 2011-03-13 22:53:38 -0500 Report

I am just all out of luck. They tell me the same thing. and then tell me to use an Ice Pack.

Oh Crap, they always forget!! I am allergic to "COLD". Yes if I hold a cold frosty beverage, my hand and fingers will swell into one big hive. If I drink cold items my throat closes. I can't swim for exercise even in a heated pool, too much change in temp will cause anaphylaxsis (sp).

Hurt my back today moving something in the yard and I soaked in the tub. Use a floating (candy or "Balling") thermometer and you can't go wrong!!

Beverlydolls 2011-03-14 05:09:39 -0500 Report

Wow… Never heard of someone be allergic to COLD… Sorry!!! what do u do in the winter when it is so cold out????

Doc 720
Doc 720 2011-03-14 09:10:42 -0500 Report

Bundle up cover all (or as much as possible) exposed skin. Keep the thermostat at at 75 to 80. in addition to the cold urticaria (allergy to cold) I have Reynaud's Syndrome, also known as 'Secondary Reynaud's [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raynaud's_phenom...].

Thanks to this bodily malfunction I can not work outdoors. Even in the Summer here in central VA, it can get chilly in the evening causing either an unexpected allergic reaction or a Reynaud's flair up. WHHHEEEE!!!!

WendyFR 2011-03-13 22:32:22 -0500 Report

I have been told that heating pads malfunction sometimes and can cause burns. being a diabetic and having a burn can cause problems like infection.

rachaeltype1 2011-03-08 17:37:25 -0600 Report

it's possible that she doesnt allow it because excessive heat lowers BSL. maybe she would rather see you not struggle as much with low blood sugar bouts?

tabby9146 2011-03-08 07:49:14 -0600 Report

Thats too bad. I first read it and thought what? but yes the neuropathy would be a reason. I don't have that, and my doctor never said anything about not using one, and I have lower back pain off and on sometmes so I use one on low and works fine. Wish you could too.

PetiePal 2011-03-07 14:40:03 -0600 Report

I think everyone is right on track. The only reason I can think of is that with loss of sensation you may not know if it's too hot or not…you could scald yourself and not even know it!

Perhaps if your friend or s/o tests the heat first and shows you a safe level to keep it on that may make it alright. Discuss with your doctor!

MOMMY_OF_AN_ANGEL 2011-03-07 14:04:00 -0600 Report

My dr had told me not to use them because of the fact we tend to lose sensation in a lot of different parts of our bodies and therefore we may not feel the "true" temperature of the heating pad. Thats why we are also advised to always wear shoes. A lot of us get the numbness and tingling (loss of feeling) in our feet, and if we step on something or cause injury to our feet, we will tend to not notice until we are doing our weekly foot check, or because we notice the nasty infection it has caused if it had went un-noticed. Every little scratch or blister i get on my foot (especially from flip flops :( takes me FOREVER to heal from. Like,…3-5 months for a blister to heal! Crazy right?

Swbtab03 2011-03-14 10:14:47 -0500 Report

You mentioned weekly foot check, I was never informed of this or what to do. What do you do on the weekly foot check if you don't mind me asking

MOMMY_OF_AN_ANGEL 2011-03-14 11:15:34 -0500 Report

Just by checking your feet. In between toes, etc for any cuts or scrathes you may not have noticed/felt. Our feet heal VERY slowly, and because of our weakened immune systems, we need to be careful or if we miss something and it gets infected, it can very easily lead to amputation.

jayabee52 2011-03-07 13:54:45 -0600 Report

I had been a CNA for 11 yrs. We were told not to use heating pads on our patients because of the potential that they'd get burned.

alanbossman 2011-03-07 07:38:33 -0600 Report

I agree with Kd when I was in rehab for my knee they give me hot and cold wraps on my knee no problem at all some individuals my have problems others will not. Each person is different to what effects them.

kdroberts 2011-03-07 07:27:35 -0600 Report

Because if you have neuropathy you may not feel when you are getting too hot and potentially burn or do some injury to yourself. I think the blanket "diabetics can't…" rules are stupid and things should applied to the individual.

courtcat79 2011-03-14 10:29:03 -0500 Report

I agree, when I stay at hotels that have like a "hot tub" in the pool area the sign says "people with diabetes shouldn't get in it…" I asked my dr. why that was and he told me about the Neuropathy. Now the whole people with high blood pressure rule I can understand cause I can only take so much of the hot water and I start to feel woozy. They should revamp the list to make it say "For diabetics who have A, B, and C do's and don'ts"

GabbyPA 2011-03-07 23:04:14 -0600 Report

Or at least explained. That is what bothers me about so many doctor visits. It's the "because I said so" syndrome.

kittenpurr1 2011-03-09 18:22:35 -0600 Report

I agree, it's the sensation of falling asleep, and perhaps burning yourself, then the burn can get infected, and it takes daibetes longer to heal. Also, if it's on your back, you can't get to it, to apply any ointment or take care of it, and when it would start healing, you could itch, and scratch; opening it back up, fingernails carry a lot of germs.