Hydrotherapy

2019-03-07 08:06:12

By Jonathan Knight A LEISURELY soak every day could be just what the doctor ordered for diabetics. Philip Hooper, a physician at the McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado, asked eight people with adult-onset diabetes, aged between 43 and 68 years old, to sit in warm water up to their shoulders for half an hour six times a week. The water was just a few degrees above body temperature. Hooper reports in The New England Journal of Medicine (vol 341, p 924) that after three weeks, the patients’ blood glucose levels were 10 per cent lower on average. One man was able to cut his daily insulin dose by nearly a fifth as a result. The patients also reported that they slept better and generally felt healthier. Hooper says the warmth probably improves blood flow to the muscles, which is known to improve the absorption of sugar into cells. The therapy may particularly suit patients who are unable to exercise,