I used to think it was also somewhat related to the increased activity that brought on the sweatiness. But recently I used an infrared spa for 15 minutes, which naturally raised my temperature, and I had a mild diarrhea attack, to the point where I didn’t think I could last the 15 minutes in the sauna. I’m due to increase my time in the sauna up to 30 minutes – and I’m concerned! What could be causing this heat-induced diarrhea?
Although dehydration doesn’t cause diarrhea, the diarrhea certainly may cause dehydration and it’s very important you are drinking water.
It may appear to you as being “heat-induced” specifically, however, there are multiple reasons why anyone could be experiencing diarrhea. My advice would be to contact your physician’s office and schedule an appointment.
Until you’ve discussed this with a medical professional, I would also recommend not utilizing the sauna and certainly not increasing time at this juncture.
I hope it is nothing serious and this is all put behind you, (absolutely no pun intended). Have a nice weekend!
This question made me chuckle as I too have suffered the wrath of diarrhea after a workout and a long sauna. AND my gym is 1.5hrs from home via subway!!!
Now – I see it this way. As long as you are healthy and do not have diarrhea or gut issues any other time, I do not think it is something to worry about. A typical session in the sauna can last anywhere from 5min to 30min. Within this time you core body temperature can raise itself slightly. Te heart can pump 30% harder and faster. A simple analogy is: when you have a cold or flu, the body raises body temperature to ‘kill off’ any bugs we have in the body. This is followed by fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea – basically a myriad of not so jolly ailments. The sauna, which is raising your core body temperature, could inadventently be tricking the body that you have an infection of some sort. Your body will try to flush out these ‘toxins’ – and what quicker way will the body flush this stuff out…?
Again – as long as you do not have diarrhea any other time, or that you don’t feel faint or nauseous after your sauna session, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. What was said by others before – remain hydrated, have some coconut water, or an energy bar to replenish lost electrolytes (sweating and the ‘shits’ will deplete these salts BIG TIME!) and take a nice cool shower to slowly cool your core body temperature. Just make sure every time you use a sauna make sure a toilet is close by. And keep some baby wipes handy…
From the Chinese medical perspective, Diarrhea is Damp Heat. It’s your body’s attempt to rid itself of excess heat and dampness through the gut.
If you’re overweight, your system is probably damp. There are gentler ways to rid your system of the damp heat. Try mung beans, cooked or sprouted. I like them cooked with rice, too.
I hate to be a contrarian here, but I would recommend staying out of the sauna. Your body is giving you a clear indication that it’s NOT HAPPY about all this heat, please listen.
If you continue to use saunas, expect to keep having these symptoms. Make sure you drink enough water, and keep your electrolytes up.