Can Infrared Therapy help with Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a group of conditions that all indicate an excess of blood sugar levels. Type 1 Diabetes, which often starts in childhood or adolescence, may lead to slower healing, production of sores and lesions, reduced eyesight eventually leading to blindness, and neuropathy. These are all symptoms of an excess of sugar in the bloodstream damaging the capillaries. The eyes, feet, and kidneys are at particular risk.
Type 2 Diabetes, which generally starts in adulthood and is often the result of diet and exercise deficiencies, is less likely to produce the healing issues and neuropathy of Type 1. Less likely, but not unknown. Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes can be just as dangerous as Type 1.
The later stages of Diabetes can bring diabetic neuropathy, or abnormal transfer of blood and/or nerve conduction to and from the extremities. In extreme cases, this can result in amputation. In less extreme cases, this causes pain, tingling, numbness, and loss of sensation in the feet and hands.
As we know, Infrared Therapy can cause an increase in blood flow by dilating the blood vessels in the affected areas. Used for 10-20 minutes, 3 times a week, studies have shown that Infrared Therapy can have a beneficial reaction on nerve conduction and blood-flow to the feet and legs. When continued for several months, the risk of amputation was lessened, and regular blood-flow restored. However, one must never use Infrared Therapy as a replacement for regular medical treatment. Always speak to your doctor when considering a change of treatment.
Though Infrared Therapy has been shown to work well on neuropathy, one should not use it to control retinopathy, or blindness. Never aim an Infrared lamp at the eyes, as Infrared light can have incredibly detrimental effects on the eyes.
When determining which form of Infrared Therapy to choose, either the sauna or the lamp, determine first which form of Diabetes is present. In the case of Type 1 Diabetes, where the body is incapable of creating its own insulin, the excess heat in a sauna might present a danger, as the body will require more insulin. As the heat rises, the body heats, changing the internal water levels, which elevates blood pressure levels. One way the body regulates blood pressure is through insulin, and if there is none, hypoglycemia may follow. Aiming a lamp directly at the feet or hands would have a much better effect than sitting in an Infrared Sauna.
But an Infrared Sauna might be the better choice for sufferers of Type 2 Diabetes. In Type 2, the body produces insulin but is unable to use it properly. An Infrared Sauna may provide the impetus they need to raise blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is a growing concern in developed countries, with far too many sufferers the world over. Infrared Therapy may be able to bring some relief to sufferers and prevent neuropathy and amputation. Proper medication, diet, and exercise must still take premier position in the fight against Diabetes, though.