Hot tubs and blood sugar

Earlier this week, my husband picked me up from work with a surprise – he was taking me to the hot tub place about an hour away for an evening of relaxation. I was thrilled! But it was our first time going since I began using the pump, and I knew it would be an experience to remember. 

Now, it needs to be noted that diabetics are advised AGAINST using hot tubs, among other things (you’ll see why soon). However I like to live on the edge and also I feel confident in both myself and my husband’s capabilities to care for me. 

I had been fighting a relentless high all day, and when I settled in the tub to begin the hour long soak, I was at about 160. After only 20 minutes, I got out of the tub because it was hard for me to speak. My CGM was reading 126. A finger poke showed I had actually dropped to 55. That’s 105 points in 20 minutes. Of course, the CGM can’t even come close to catching a drop like that fast enough. Luckily I had trusted my instincts and knew to watch for signs of my sugar dropping. 

So how did this happen? The heat from the hot water causes insulin to work faster, meaning the glucose in my blood was being taken into my cells at an accellerated rate. I didn’t feel the 55 like I normally can feel my lows due to my senses being overwhelmed by steam and heat and bubbles which is why I only noticed I was low when it was suddenly difficult to form a coherent thought. 

All is good though. I enjoyed some relaxation, even when I had to stuff three rolls of smarties in my mouth while sitting in the tub. Tis the life of a diabetic. 


Filed under CGM, Real life

7 responses to “Hot tubs and blood sugar

  1. So sorry to hear that the hut tub was a bit of a bust but what a lovely husband to organise to take you somewhere nice to relax….although a sugar low was probably too relaxed, right? I hope you had a fun time together once you felt better.

  2. Huh. Can’t say I knew the science and reasoning behind that… but, WOW! Not a huge hottub-lounger by any means, but I have from time to to time over the years and don’t necessarily recall anything like this. But that’s an incredible drop, and I’m glad you were able to catch it! And you’re husband: Definitely a Type Awesome. Thanks for sharing this, and teaching me a little Diabetes and Hottub 101. 🙂 #dblogcheck

  3. I had never thought about why a hot tub would make your blood sugar drop! I’m an odd duck, but getting in any type of water will make my blood sugar drop.

  4. Abby

    I had heard we should avoid hot tubs but didn’t know why. Thanks for explaining that!

  5. Wow. I never knew that was why. Glad youre ok.

  6. kelly2k

    Glad you’re ok & glad you had smarties with you!

  7. So… Hot Tub > Target > Exercise > Insulin? Diabetes is weird. Thanks for sharing this.

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