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Does High Blood Pressure Affect Sauna Use?

Posted In: Health & Wellness

People in Chamblee, GA, who have never experienced the relaxation of a sauna often wonder if it would negatively affect their health in any way, especially if they have high blood pressure. The answer is not a simple yes or no. People with cardiovascular disease need to consult their healthcare professionals first since everyone is different, but there are benefits for people with hypertension. There are also some precautions.

Be aware that problems can occur.

Hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, and even long hot showers or baths bring the same potential problems for people with cardiovascular disease. It all depends on your body and how it reacts to the excess heat. It can cause blood pressure to drop dramatically or go too high. That’s why checking with your doctor before enjoying the healing heat is important. Heat dilates blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, but causing the heart to work harder to avoid fainting. If your heart isn’t healthy, it can overwork it.

You could also experience benefits besides relaxation and pleasure.

If you use a sauna regularly, studies indicate you’ll improve blood vessel dilation and lower blood pressure. Lower blood pressure reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, if you’re new to saunas and have high blood pressure, doctors have always suggested avoiding use. A small study published in 2009 showed no adverse effects from a 15-minute sauna session three times per week for people with heart failure. It indicated that there was some cardiovascular improvement.

Saunas can produce similar effects of mild exercise.

In 2012, one study showed that people with high blood pressure benefitted as much from a sauna as they did from exercise. The effects of lowered blood pressure lasted 120 minutes after sauna use. If you were told to avoid even moderate exercise, don’t use a sauna without first checking with your doctor. The effects are similar to taking a brisk walk. If your blood pressure is higher than 180 systolic—the top number, or 110 diastolic—the bottom number, don’t use a sauna but seek immediate medical help.

  • If your doctor okayed the sauna, start slowly. Don’t consume alcohol before enjoying a sauna and drink adequate water. If you get dizzy, leave. Saunas can lower blood pressure and increase the potential of fainting.
  • Avoid moving from a hot sauna to a cold shower or reverse. It can stress your body and cause dramatic swings in blood pressure. If you’re using a sauna at home, don’t do it alone if you suffer from any health condition.
  • Studies using saunas to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of high blood pressure are conclusive but still limited. The studies do not indicate whether the reduction of blood pressure is long-lasting.
  • Studies show that regular use of saunas may help reduce the potential of cognitive and cardiovascular diseases, and improve lung function, besides benefiting blood pressure.

For more information, contact us today at Thrive Sauna Studio