Sauna Therapy For Chronic Heart Failure

Research has found that repeated sauna therapy can improve clinical symptoms and cardiac function in patients with chronic heart failure.

Heart failure often referred to as “congestive heart failure” is a serious progressive condition where the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body’s needs.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, leg swelling and exercise intolerance.

Thankfully, there are a number of evidence-based proven alternative treatments which have been shown to improve clinical symptoms, exercise capacity and cardiac function in heart failure patients.

Some of these include the popular dietary supplement Co-Enzyme Q10, the amino acid Taurine, the medicinal herb Hawthorn and as we are going to discuss in this article today, the health benefits of sauna therapy.

Sauna Therapy Improves Clinical Symptoms & Cardiac Funcion In Chronic Heart Failure Patients

Sauna Therapy Improves Clinical Symptoms & Cardiac Funcion In Chronic Heart Failure Patients

A study published 2007 in the Pulsus Experimental and Clinical Cardiology journal reviewed the mechanisms of action, the clinical data available to date and the possible beneficial effects of sauna bathing for patients with heart failure.

The study concluded:

Repeated sauna therapy (60°C for 15 min) improved hemodynamic parameters, clinical symptoms, cardiac function and vascular endothelial function in patients with CHF.

In patients with CHF, clinical symptoms such as fatigue, heaviness in the limbs, edema, appetite loss and constipation are often observed due to increased peripheral vascular resistance and reduced peripheral perfusion.

Sauna therapy improved the cardiac index, mean pulmonary wedge pressure, systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance, and cardiac function.

Improved hemodynamics has been shown in patients with chronic heart failure after a single exposure and after a four-week period of sauna bathing (five days per week).

Left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 24±7% to 31±9% and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension decreased from 66±6 mm to 62±5 mm after four weeks.

Sauna treatment is considered safe for CHF patients with NYHA classes I, II and III. It seems that sauna treatment may help improve clinical symptoms and hemodynamic parameters secondary to an improvement in the endothelial function of patients with CHF whose endothelial function is impaired. [1]

A 2009 review of the literature concluded:

Four papers support the use of FIRS therapy for those with congestive heart failure and 5 papers support its use for those with coronary risk factors.

There is limited moderate evidence supporting FIRS efficacy in normalizing blood pressure and treating congestive heart failure. [2]


[1] Beneficial effects of sauna bathing for heart failure patients

[2] Far-infrared saunas for treatment of cardiovascular risk factors

The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

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