Using an Infrared Sauna for Digestion and Digestive Disorders, Does it Work?
Can an infrared sauna really help with digestion issues? In a word, yes. Digestive disorders are all too common, and can include GERD, chronic heartburn, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), as well as inflammatory bowel disease. If you frequently experience abdominal discomfort or have a history of these conditions, a solution may be found by regular use of an infrared sauna.
Digestion is a complex mechanism — and one that changes from a day to day basis, all depending on a number of factors. Digestive disorders can be embarrassing, discomforting, and painful, which can limit your enjoyment of certain activities and foods. By managing your digestive disorder through lifestyle changes and regular infrared sauna use, there is hope in living a more fulfilling and active life.
Before we go into detail about using an infrared sauna for digestive disorders, we should probably go over a few of the types of digestion-related issues that plague far too many individuals.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — Sometimes referred to as “acid reflux disorder,” gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) usually pops up following a meal and may worsen as the evening goes on. You may experience a burning, acidic sensation in your chest that may also be accompanied with some degree of pain. Some also report a feeling of a lump being stuck in their throat. While many will experience acid reflux from time to time (especially after eating high-fat, acidic foods), with GERD, the condition is chronic and may appear several times per week. Many doctors have recommended using infrared saunas to combat the top cause of GERD — poor digestion and imbalance of the digestive system. Saunas (and infrared saunas in particular) encourage proper circulation as well as waste elimination (yes, even in the bowels), so all those digestive fluids in the esophagus can work more quickly and effectively.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) — “What about IBS?” is a question we get a lot. Yes, an infrared sauna can help with the main cause of irritable bowel syndrome, which can include abdominal cramping or discomfort, gas-related bloating, and reduced tolerance to certain foods. Some individuals may also experience alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation. By improving digestion, infrared saunas can be a great help to those dealing with IBS.
Chronic Heartburn — While heartburn really has nothing to do with the heart, the name has stuck. Heartburn is caused by powerful stomach acids moving up into the esophagus. The lining of the stomach is made to handle these acids, but the esophagus is not. What results is a burning, acidic sensation in the chest. Chronic heartburn and GERD are essentially the same, with GERD being a more chronic form of heartburn. By using an infrared sauna regularly, your digestive tract will digest foods better, thereby neutralizing acidity and reducing the inflammation that causes heartburn.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) — Inflammatory bowel disease is a persistent inflammation that affects the colon (large intestine). This is not one disease, but a category of diseases describing similar symptoms, such as inflammation of the colon (ulcerative colitis) and digestive tract (Crohn’s disease), unexplainable weight loss, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Because of these symptoms, patients often feel rundown day after day. In addition to visits with a doctor and diet changes, many patients also find relief through regular sessions in an infrared sauna. The deep-penetrating infrared light helps to rebuild cells, remove dead cells, and improve digestion — all factors beneficial to those with inflammatory bowel disease.
How Infrared Saunas Work for Digestive Disorders
So how do infrared saunas help with digestive disorders? By using an infrared sauna at least several times a week, you will better manage your digestive disorder and prevent irritation/inflammation along the digestive tract. Many find that when an irritation does occur, bowel rejuvenation and relief of symptoms are achieved more quickly.
What happens is that when far-infrared rays of an infrared sauna penetrate the body, a brief, yet beneficial increase in body temperature occurs. This is almost like an artificial fever, but one that imitates the body’s natural response to this type of stimulus — boost the immune system. By promoting healthy immune function, your body is more equipped to rid itself of toxins, viruses, bacteria, and irritants that can cause flare-ups in the digestive system. As many users have found, regular infrared sauna sessions can do wonders in relieving the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic heartburn, and inflammatory bowel disease. Many of these users also report increased energy and stamina by ridding the body of many of the previously mentioned inflammatory agents.
Digestive disorders can be painful, embarrassing, and limit day-to-day activities. So, can an infrared sauna actually help with digestion-related complications? Absolutely. The main goal of using your infrared sauna should be to help your body function at an optimal level so it can carry out normal digestive processes. By reliving these symptoms, you should be able to resume some of the activities you’ve missed out on due to your bowel inflammation or acid reflux disease.
Infrared saunas can also be used alongside many medications prescribed to individuals suffering from heartburn or chronic irritation and/or inflammation of the digestive tract. But, if you have long been dependent on antacids to treat your condition, you may also want to check out our article on detoxifying from heavy metal toxicity, as one of the active ingredients in these over-the-counter products is aluminum hydroxide. It’s just another unexpectedly pleasant way infrared saunas are good for your health!