A single copy of this article may be reprinted for personal, noncommercial use only.
Diabetes: Are electric blankets off-limits?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes/AN01509
- With Mayo Clinic endocrinologist
Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.read biographyclose window
Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.
Dr. Maria Collazo-Clavell is board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. She's a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic and an associate professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
The Aibonito, Puerto Rico, native has been with Mayo Clinic since 1994.
She's a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American College of Endocrinology, the American Diabetes Association and The Endocrine Society.
Dr. Collazo-Clavell is medical editor of diabetes content on Mayo's health information website and for "Mayo Clinic The Essential Diabetes Book." Her clinical interests include management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, obesity and nutritional disorders.
Risk factors (1)
- Diabetes: Does alcohol and tobacco use increase my risk?
- The dawn phenomenon: What can you do?
- Diabetes: How do I help protect my liver?
Treatments and drugs (5)
- Diabetes management: Does aspirin therapy prevent heart problems?
- Blood glucose monitors: What factors affect accuracy?
- Avandia and Actos safety concerns: What should I do?
- see all in Treatments and drugs
Lifestyle and home remedies (11)
- Caffeine: Does it affect blood sugar?
- Diabetes: Are electric blankets off-limits?
- Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes?
- see all in Lifestyle and home remedies
Alternative medicine (1)
- Diabetes treatment: Can cinnamon lower blood sugar?
- Sodium nitrate in meat: Heart disease risk factor?
- Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
Diabetes: Are electric blankets off-limits?
Why are electric blankets discouraged for people who have diabetes? What's the danger?
from Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.
Diabetes has many possible complications, including nerve damage (neuropathy). Over time, excess blood sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish the nerves. This can cause tingling or numbness that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and over a period of months or years gradually spreads upward. Left untreated, it's possible to lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. If a person has any degree of nerve damage, he or she may not be able to sense if an electric blanket or heating pad is too hot — which can lead to inadvertent burns. The same issue applies to water temperature when bathing.
If you have diabetes and would like to use an electric blanket, warm up your bed with the blanket before bedtime — then turn the blanket off or remove it from the bed before you climb in.Next question
Vegetarian diet: Can it help me control my diabetes?
- Foot care. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-care.html. Accessed Nov. 8, 2010.
- Take charge of your diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/tcyd/foot.htm. Accessed Nov. 8, 2010.
- Are electric heated blankets and electric mattress pads safe or dangerous? The Electric Blanket Institute. http://www.electricblanketinstitute.com/safety.html. Accessed Oct. 20, 2010.
- Heated product user manual. Sunbeam. http://www.sunbeam.com/BeddingManuals/SunbeamBedding/Universal.pdf. Accessed Oct. 25, 2010
- Product comparison. Pillows pads and more. http://www.pillowspadsandmore.com/index.php?target=pages&page_id=blanket. Accessed Oct. 25, 2010.