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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Calgon, Take Me . . . to Low Blood Sugars?

Last night, I had the rare opportunity of having an hour of nothing to do (what?!).  So I decided to use the occasion to take a bubble bath using my lavender-scented body wash and bath salts.   I tuned my iPod to my favorite radio station, and cranked the water to one degree below boiling, just how I like it.  And I enjoyed having the hour to myself (oh and Elvis the cat, who decided to hang out on toilet next to the tub.  totally.  awkward.). 

After I was done, I went into the living room to catch up on a little Facebook stalking before bed.  But before I could sit down on the couch, Constance was bzzzzzzing from my robe pocket.  "Low BG.  70 mg/dL" with a southeast arrow.  Then I finally took stock of how I felt:  racing heart, maybe sweaty but couldn't tell from just getting out of the tub, kinda fuzzy in the mind.  So I made a glass of milk and grabbed some Elf Fudge cookies before taking to Twitter to discuss this phenomenon. 

This isn't the first time that a hot bath or shower has induced a low blood sugar.  It could be the temperature of the water, which is well above my body temperature.  So, I'm basically boiling myself like a lobster, causing my heart to race--possibly causing the hypoglycemia?  You'd think being disconnected from Arnold for over an hour would have the opposite effect. 

Like this?

When I was first diagnosed, my mom (a nurse for 30+ years) told me that hanging out in the hot tub helps my dad (T2) with his blood sugar.  So, guess where I was the first 3 weeks of my diagnosis?  Do you think purchasing a hot tub could be written off as medical equipment?  (A girl can dream, right?) 

So has anyone else experienced this hypoglycemia phenomenon or managed to harness its power for good?  Like taking a bubble bath when having a stubborn high?  Or hanging out in the hot tub while eating pizza instead of taking a bolus?  The possibilities are endless! 

But regardless, I like Dayle's response.  "still waiting for my endo to prescribe more bubble baths! ;-)"  Me, too, Dayle.  Me too.  


  1. I don't know how true this is, but I was told the heat causes the body to absorb insulin faster. So, what could have happened is you may have had a little pocket of insulin beneith your skin either from an old site or from your current site and it made it absorb faster than it normally would have. Just a thought. This is one reason why I don't do hot baths or hot tubs. Strickly showers for me.

  2. I've experienced one low blood sugar from a hot bath. It go so low actually, that I had to crawl from the tub to the other side of the bed where my supplies were. I thought I was just feeling the heat, so I didn't notice the dropping BG.

  3. Hi, its the first time I'm commenting, but I really enjoying reading you. D-blogging certainly makes me feel there are people "out there".

    What you write today may be related to the fact that PWD are recommended not to use the sauna or hot bath in my gym. I also have the impression that both may cause hydration.


  4. I found out about this phenomenon when I first went on the insulin pump and my CDE at Jefferson U was training me.
    She was all like: Hot & baths induce low blood sugar, so don't bolus before hand and keep an eye out regardless.
    I was all like: This is a perfect excuse to indulge with a cupcake before I submerge!
    Of course I was joking... kinda.

  5. well my BG is hangin out kinda high right now, i'd love to go jump in a hot tub! what a fabulous idea.

  6. I thought I was crazy for thinking the same thing, I'm so glad to know I'm 'normal'. I never thought of it as a remedy, so much as a problem. I'm looking forward to the treatment of my next high bg already! Who says diabetes can't be relaxing?!

  7. yup-just the other day I had to stuff 35 additional carbs down because I bolused right before dinner/hot shower. I guess it's dependent on the amount of IOB (at time of shower,etc)as too how much/rapidly it drops the bg. I don't notice that much of a drop when there's not mealtime insulin involved.

  8. Catching up on your posts and saw this one! I took a trip to the hot springs this week, and it was like I was cured!! Not sure of the science behind it, but I think your right!! WHY didn't I take advantage and eat pizza while soaking!!?? hehe

  9. Wow! They should market this...I guess I haven't paid attention to it, but definitely more reason to use my bubble jet tub at home...and I completely agree about the tax write off...maybe you're onto something!


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.