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Visiting the sauna can be very dangerous due to extreme heat
A visit to the sauna means soothing leisure time fun for many people, especially in winter, and when used correctly helps to strengthen the immune system. However, after three men died in Ennepetal (North Rhine-Westphalia) during a sauna session at the weekend for inexplicable reasons, many people feel insecure. If you want to take a sauna, you should actually consider a few things, because extreme heat can be very dangerous in connection with alcohol or illnesses.
Three men in Ennepetal died during the sauna session "Is the sauna really healthy?" Many people will probably ask this question after it was announced on Monday that three men in Ennepetal (NRW) were following a Christmas party in a private electric sauna had died. The case is still a mystery, because no evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning, a defect in the sauna electronics or external influences has been found. Now it should be clarified to what extent alcohol may be a possible cause, because, as "SPIEGEL online" reports, a conceivable scenario is that the victims may have drunk a large amount of alcohol and then fell asleep in the cozy warmth of the sauna.
Strong heat trains the immune system It is not yet clear what role alcohol played in this misfortune - however, it is clear that the extreme temperature changes and alcohol do not match and the combination can quickly become life-threatening. Due to the intense heat between 70 and 100 degrees Celsius, the body sweats intensely to balance and the blood vessels dilate, which stimulates the blood flow and increases the breathing and heart rate. For those who are healthy, this physical reaction is not a problem at all, instead the immune system is trained and the circulation is stabilized due to the extraordinary, high stress on the body.
Alcohol in the sauna quickly leads to circulatory collapse However, it looks different if alcohol is consumed before or during the sauna visit. Since this also widens the blood vessels, there is a "heat build-up", which the body can no longer easily compensate. As a result, circulatory problems can quickly occur, but also a circulatory collapse (syncope), that is, a sudden onset, usually not long-lasting loss of consciousness, in which the person simply "falls over". "In addition, alcohol affects the central nervous system and can cause loss of control," said the warning from Wolfgang Wesiack, the president of the professional association of German internists. "The critical assessment no longer works under alcohol," which means that alcoholized sauna visitors could quickly estimate the time and stay in the hot sauna for far too long.
Do not use a sauna if you have illnesses with fever or inflammation. The Deutsche Sauna-Bund eV also explicitly warns against drinking alcohol while taking a sauna, because, as managing director Rolf Pieper reports, the "few deaths" in sauna rooms, of which he is in his 30 years of service, most of them were related to heavy alcohol consumption. In addition to this, on the advice of the Sauna Association, a visit to the sauna should also be avoided, even with certain illnesses. Caution should be exercised here, especially in the case of acute illnesses with fever or inflammation, because the high temperatures in this case place too much strain on the body, so that the body's temperature control can become out of balance.
Rheumatism patients should therefore only take a sauna in the inflammation-free phases; after a heart attack, according to the Sauna Association, a sauna break of at least 3 months should be taken. But even after that, the return should not be abrupt, but a doctor should first be consulted to check the resilience - which also applies to people with heart defects.
With strong varicose veins, put your legs up if possible. People with strong varicose veins and other venous vascular diseases should be careful in the sauna on the recommendation of the Sauna Association and adhere strictly to some rules of conduct: "If possible, put your legs up or keep your upper body level ; do not stand around after leaving the sauna room, but walk up and down in the open-air area and soon start pouring cold water. Epileptics unfortunately have to do without the sauna altogether, as this could trigger seizures. "
In the case of chronic illnesses, those affected should also speak to a doctor before visiting a sauna for the first time - this applies in particular to cardiovascular or vascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, irregular heartbeat (fluttering of the heart, rapid heartbeat), high blood pressure or asthma. Depending on the type and stage of the individual illnesses, a sauna session can be very beneficial, but it can also quickly become a very dangerous affair. Therefore, in the event of chronic suffering, the doctor in charge should be consulted. In addition, you should always listen to your “own inner voice” and, for example, should not take any risks in the case of dizziness or a weak circulation, but the sauna session should be postponed to another time. (No)
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