Q. I have high blood pressure but enjoy sitting in a steam room, sauna, or hot tub. Is there risk of increasing my blood pressure more?
A. This is one of those medical questions to which it is hard to give a clear yes or no answer. Although it is true that prolonged visits to hot tubs, steam rooms, or saunas can have a definite affect on your blood pressure, several medical studies have shown that a ten minute sauna, steam room, or hot tub visit is safe for people with treated hypertension. Saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs are generally not recommended for pregnant women, people with diagnosed heart disease, untreated high blood pressure, severely low blood pressure, advanced lung disease, or neurological disorders. The bottom-line is that if you fall into one of the above categories or are taking any medication you should consult your personal physician before you visit a hot tub, sauna, or steam room.
L. Frank Chandler, M.D.
1651 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 301