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Is it worth consulting a family doctor before taking a sauna?

Health risks and precautions

Moderate use of a sauna appears to be safe for most people. However, a person with cardiovascular disease should speak to a doctor first.

Blood pressure risks
Switching between the heat of a sauna and cold water in a swimming pool is not advisable, as it can raise blood pressure.

A sauna use may also cause blood pressure to fall, so people with low blood pressure should talk to their doctor to make sure sauna use is safe.

People who have recently had a heart attack should also talk to their doctor first.

Dehydration risk
Dehydration can result from fluid loss while sweating. People with certain conditions, such as kidney disease, may be at a higher risk of dehydration.

The increased temperatures can also lead to dizziness and nausea in some people.

Precautions
To avoid any negative health effects, the following precautions are also advised:

Avoid alcohol: Alcohol increases the risk of dehydration, hypotension, arrhythmia, and sudden death.

A year-long studies of people in Finland who experienced sudden death showed that in 1.8 percent of cases, the person had had a sauna within the last 3 hours, and in 1.7 percent of cases, they had done so in the last 24 hours. Many of these had consumed alcohol.

Limit time spent in a sauna: Do not spend more than 20 minutes at a time in a sauna. First-time users should spend a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes. As they get used to the heat, they can slowly increase the time to about 20 minutes.

Drink plenty of water: Whatever type of sauna a person uses, it is important to replace the fluids lost from sweating. People should drink about two to four glasses of water after using a sauna.

Avoid sauna use if ill: People who are ill should also wait until they recover before using a sauna. Women who are pregnant or those with certain medical conditions, such as low blood pressure, should ask their doctor before sauna use.

Supervise children: Children aged 6 and above are safe to use a sauna, but should be supervised when doing so. They should spend no longer than 15 minutes in there at one time.

Source Medical News Today

 

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