Sauna Belt Side Effects

The weight-loss industry has introduced a nearly countless assortment of gadgets promising fast weight loss. The sauna belt resembles a long heating pad that fits around your waste. Once turned on, the sauna belt causes perspiration around the midsection. Proponents of the device believe that sauna belts can improve health and speed weight loss. While the short-term weight loss may be encouraging, the sauna belt can also cause side effects that may make you think twice before wearing one.

A woman is wiping perspiration from her face. Credit: Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc/Getty Images

Increased Body Temperature

The sauna belt causes increased perspiration by holding in your body heat. While this heat may cause the desired effect, it also prevents your body from cooling off as efficiently as it should. If you are using the sauna belt in high temperatures or with warm clothes, a sauna belt can increase your risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Skin Conditions

During use, the sauna belt holds perspiration against your skin while preventing fresh air from reaching you. Long sessions in a sauna belt can result in the development of rashes and acne.

Burns

Direct contact with the sauna belt can cause burns to the skin. Sauna belt manufacturers recommend wearing a shirt under the belt to provide a barrier between you and the belt. Using the sauna belt for more than 45 minutes is not recommended.

Dehydration

The sauna belt can cause you to sweat profusely, pulling water out of your system. Overexposure to the sauna belt can result in dehydration. On days when you use the belt, drink plenty of water. Be sure to sip water continuously during sauna belt use.

Electrolyte Imbalances

Sweating can result in an electrolyte imbalance. If you begin to experience muscle cramps, stop using the belt and drink an electrolyte-containing sports drink.

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