Opinions about the effect of a wood sauna on the human body are not unambiguous, since the benefits and risks depend on your organism. Countless studies have proven the various positive effects of this type of therapy. Yet, heat exposure could be dangerous to certain people.
In this article, you will learn all the typical reasons why the sauna may not be suitable for you. Continue reading below and judge for yourself if there is any risk to your health.
1. EFFECTS ON THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
This warning applies mainly to men. It is not recommended to visit the sauna if you are trying to conceive. The reason is that as the body and ambient temperature rises, so does the testicular area. It is known that heat affects the quality of sperm.
Although the effect is reversible, it does not happen overnight. Science has proven that the sperm count decreases within one week after you have used the sauna. In turn, it takes up to five weeks for the normal number to be restored.
2. NOT SUITABLE DURING PREGNANCY
Science hasn't agreed to the extent of the risk for pregnant women. Yet, several studies have proven that it is moderate to high. If you have been using the sauna often in the past, your body may be acclimated to the heat and environment. In this case, it could be acceptable and there may be no risk.
Yet, if you know that you have a high-risk pregnancy, you definitely shouldn't enter a sauna. In each case, consult with your doctor before you make a decision. But if your physician is a professional, he should advise you against it.
In people with asthma, dry air can cause a seizure due to bronchospasm. Thus, it is important that the first visit does not last more than 5-7 minutes. Also, you should not go alone. You are not prohibited from using the sauna at all and there are even studies that have proven certain benefits for asthmatics. Yet, in each case, you should consult with a doctor in advance as cases vary.
4. RECENT USE OF DRUGS OR MEDICATION
Be honest with yourself and stay away from the wood sauna if you have used any type of drugs recently. This includes medical ones too. When it comes to psychedelic drugs and certain types of medication like insulin, for example, the risk is increased. There are certain substances that remain in the system for weeks after they have been used.
The heat in the sauna could release this residue into the bloodstream, causing the same effect as when the drug or medicine was originally taken. There is no guarantee that this would happen but it is possible, and it could cause serious discomfort.
Consult with your doctor or therapist (depending on the case) and ask about the effects of a sauna.
5. CHILDREN OR ELDERS
Elders and children should not take a steam bath and sauna without supervision. The second person should be able to provide emergency medical help. This should be considered because their body temperature does not regulate as steadily as in healthy adults.
For children, in particular, exposure should be limited to 15 minutes at a time. What is safe will vary from child to child. But, it is generally accepted that they should be at least 6 years old to use a sauna safely.
6. PEOPLE WITH INFECTIOUS AND CONTAGIOUS DISEASES
You may be unaware of this condition but it is expressed in the decrease of blood pressure when you are standing. When exposed to the heat in a sauna, your blood circulation increases. This could bring severe discomfort to your system, especially when you get up.
Do you have silicone implants? If the answer is yes, then a sauna may not be the most suitable place for you. The recommended course of action is to contact your doctor before any exposure.
It is true that high-quality implants are made to be heat resistant. But, you need to be sure what your doctor has used in your particular case. You should receive a proper confirmation of the quality. Cheaper implants could melt or deform if you have a long session in the sauna.
8. ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION
You may be unaware of this condition but it is expressed in the decrease of blood pressure when you are standing. When exposed to the heat in a sauna, your blood circulation increases, which could bring severe discomfort to your system, especially when you get up.
9. TOO MUCH FOOD OR NOT ENOUGH FOOD
How much did you eat before your sauna session? If you eat a lot and shortly before exposure, you will not feel good. The heat increases the pumping of blood in your body since it needs to manage the temperature. When you eat a lot, your body focuses on digestion, and your energy may not be sufficient to deal with the additional heat. It is recommended that you wait at least a couple of hours before you enter a sauna.
In turn, you will not feel well if you expose yourself to the environment when you are hungry. The high temperature exposes your body to unexpected stress and it deals with it with the help of calories. If you haven't eaten, you will not have the necessary energy and it will make you feel bad.
10. RECENT HEART ATTACK
Recurring chest pain or a recent heart attack are two good reasons to avoid a sauna. The benefits for certain conditions are well-known but science generalizes that sauna therapy is more useful in decreasing the chances of a heart attack than improving your condition after experiencing one. Exposing your system to this environment could be too much to handle.
It is worth remembering that while a visit to a wood sauna is pleasant and beneficial for the body for most, there are dangers for certain categories of people with specific diseases and conditions. Sauna therapy is receiving more and more support from science, and the opportunity to have your own at home these days makes it even more attractive.
This article mentions ten of the common reasons why you should consider avoiding the sauna. Yet, these cases should not be generalized and you should consult with a doctor before making any decisions.