Objectives: Decreased quality of life in diabetes is associated with poor health outcomes. Far-infrared sauna treatments improve the quality of life for those with chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and congestive heart failure. The objective of this study is to determine whether far-infrared saunas have a beneficial effect on quality of life in those with type II diabetes.

Design: This was a sequential, longitudinal, interrupted time series design study.

Setting/location: The setting was Fraser Lake BC, a rural village in central British Columbia, Canada.

Subjects: All patients of the Fraser Lake Community Health Center with type II diabetes were invited to participate in this study.

Interventions: The study consisted of 20-minute, 3 times weekly infrared sauna sessions, over a period of 3 months.

Outcome measures: To assess quality of life, subjects completed the 36-item Short-form Health Survey Version 2 (SF-36v2) questionnaire as well as “Zero-to-Ten” Visual Analogue Scales. Baseline study parameters were measured within 1 week prior to commencing sauna sessions. Postintervention measurements were collected between 1 and 3 days after the last sauna session.

Results: Physical health, general health, and social functioning indices of the SF-36v2 improved. Visual Analogue Scales for stress and fatigue improved.

Conclusions: Far-infrared sauna use maybe associated with improved quality of life in people with type II diabetes mellitus. Uptake of infrared saunas use is greater than the uptake of other lifestyle interventions.

Beever R. The effects of repeated thermal therapy on quality of life in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jun;16(6):677-81. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0358. PMID: 20569036.