Research Article

Sauna-induced acceleration in insulin absorption from subcutaneous injection site.

Br Med J 1980; 280 doi: (Published 14 June 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;280:1411
  1. V A Koivisto


    The effect of the Finnish sauna on insulin absorption from a subcutaneous injection site was examined in eight insulin-dependent diabetic patients by measuring externally the disappearance rate of 125I-labelled rapid-acting insulin. The sauna (twice for 25 minutes at 85 degrees C) accelerated insulin absorption by 110% as compared with room temperature (p < 0.01). After the sauna blood glucose concentrations were 3.0-3.3 mmol/1 (54.1-59.5 mg/100 ml) lower than on the control day (p < 0.05). The fall in blood glucose values was proportional to the increased rate of insulin absorption (r = 0.30; p < 0.01). The hypoglycaemic effect of a sauna in insulin-treated diabetics is clearly at least partly due to enhanced insulin absorption from the injection site. Such an effect might be prevented by taking a snack or reducing the insulin dose.