Haemodynamic and hormonal responses to heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath

Summary

Eight healthy young men were studied during three periods of heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath: at 80° C dry bulb (80 D) and 100° C dry bulb (100 D) temperatures until subjective discomfort, and in 80° C dry heat, becoming humid (80 DH) until subjective exhaustion. Oral temperature increased 1.1° C at 80 D, 1.9° C at 100 D and 3.2° C at 80 DH. Heart rate increased about 60% at 80 D, 90% at 100 D and 130% at 80 DH. Plasma noradrenaline increased about 100% at 80 D, 160% at 100 D and 310% at 80 DH. Adrenaline did not change. Plasma prolactin increased 2-fold at 80 D, 7-fold at 100 D and 10-fold at 80 DH. Blood concentrations of the beta-endorphin immunoreactivity at 100 D, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) at 100 D and 80 DH, growth hormone at 100 D and testosterone at 80 DH also increased, but cortisol at 80 D and 100 D decreased. The plasma prostaglandin E2 and serum thromboxane B2 levels did not change. Patterns related to heat exposure were observed for heart rate, plasma noradrenaline, ACTH and prolactin in the three study periods.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Adlercreutz H, Kuoppasalmi K, Närvänen S, Kosunen K, Heikkinen R (1982) Use of hypnosis in studies of the effect of stress on cardiovascular function and hormones. Acta Med Scand [Suppl] 660:84–94

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Berson SA, Yalow RS (1968) Radioimmunoassay of ACTH in plasma. J Clin Invest 47:2725–2751

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Borg G, Holmgren A, Lindblad I (1980) Quantitative evaluation of chest pain. Acta Med Scand [Suppl] 644:43–45

    Google Scholar 

  4. Brandenberger G, Follenius M, Oyono Enguelle S (1979) Responses of anterior pituitary hormones to heat exposure. J Endocrinol Invest 2:297–298

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Brisson GR, Audet A, Ledoux M, Matton P, Pellerin-Massicotte J, Péronnet F (1986) Exercise-induced blood prolactin variations in trained adult males: a thermic stress more than an osmotic stress. Horm Res 23:200–206

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Britton BJ, Hawkey C, Wood WG, Peele M, Kaye J, Irving MH (1974) Adrenergic, coagulation, and fibrinolytic responses to heat. Br Med J 4:139–141

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Bussien JP, Gaillard RC, Nussberger J, Waeber B, Hofbauer KG, Turnill D, Brögger R, Brunner HR (1986) Haemodynamic role of vasopressin released during Finnish sauna. Acta Endocrinol 112:166–171

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Chernow B, Alexander R, Smallridge RC, Thompson WR, Cook D, Beardsley D, Fink MP, Lake CR, Fletcher JR (1987) Hormonal responses to graded surgical stress. Arch Int Med 147:1273–1278

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Christensen NJ (1984) The role of catecholamines in physiology and clinical medicine. Acta Med Scand [Suppl] 685:4–15

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Collins KJ, Weiner JS (1968) Endocrinological aspects of exposure to high environmental temperatures. Physiol Rev 48:785–839

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Follenius M, Brandenberger G, Oyono S, Candas V (1982) Cortisol as a sensitive index of heat-intolerance. Physiol Behav 29:509–513

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Goldstein DS, Feuerstein G, Izzo Jr JL, Kopin IJ, Keiser HR (1981) Validity and reliability of liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection for measuring plasma levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine in man. Life Sci 28:467–475

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Hammond GL, Viinikka L, Vihko R (1977) Automation of radioimmunoassays for some sex steroids with use of both iodinated and tritiated ligands. Clin Chem 23:1250–1257

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Hasan J, Karvonen MJ, Piironen P (1966) Physiological effects of extreme heat as studied in the Finnish “sauna” bath. I. Am J Physiol Med 45:296–314

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Hasan J, Karvonen MJ, Piironen P (1967) Physiological effects of extreme heat as studied in the Finnish “sauna” bath. II. Am J Physiol Med 46:1226–1246

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Hillbom M, Kangasaho M, Kaste M, Numminen H, Vapaatalo H (1985) Acute ethanol ingestion increases platelet reactivity: is there a relationship to stroke? Stroke 16:19–23

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Howlett TA (1987) Hormonal responses to exercise and training: a short review. Clin Endocrinol 26:723–742

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Jaffe BM, Behrman HR (1974) Prostaglandin E, A, F. In: Jaffe BM, Behrman HR (eds) Methods of hormone radioimmunoassay. Academic Press, New York, pp 19–34

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ježová D, Vigaš M, Tatár P, Jurčovičová J, Palát M (1985) Rise in plasmaβ-endorphin and ACTH in response to hyperthermia in sauna. Horm Metab Res 17:693–694

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Jolkkonen JT, Soininen HS, Riekkinen PJ (1987)β-Endorphin-like immunoreactivity in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Sci 77:153–159

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Kaukinen S, Seppälä E, Kaukinen L, Ojanen R, Vapaatalo H (1987) Effects of halothane and enflurane on prostanoid concentrations in operation patients. Prostagl Leukotr Med 29:85–94

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Kauppinen K, Vuori I (1986) Man in the sauna. Ann Clin Res 18:173–185

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Kukkonen-Harjula K, Kauppinen K (1988) How the sauna affects the endocrine system. Ann Clin Res 20:262–266

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Laatikainen T, Salminen K, Kohvakka A, Pettersson J (1988) Response of plasma endorphins, prolactin and catecholamines in women to intense heat in a sauna. Eur J Appl Physiol 57:98–102

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Lántto O, Lindbäck B, Aakvaag A, Damkjaer-Nielsen M, Pomoell V-M, Björkhem I (1983) Assay of cortisol with a radioimmunoassay method calibrated by isotope dilutionmass spectrometry. A Nordic collaborative study. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 43:433–437

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Laustiola K, Seppälä E, Nikkari T, Vapaatalo H (1984) Exercise-induced increase in plasma arachidonic acid and thromboxane B2 in healthy men: effect ofβ-adrenergic blockade. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 6:449–454

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Laustiola K, Seppälä E, Vuorinen P, Salo M, Uusitalo A, Vapaatalo H (1985) The effect of pindolol on exercise-induced increase in plasma vasoactive prostanoids and catecholamines healthy men. Prostagl Leukotr Med 20:111–120

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Leppäluoto J, Ranta T, Laisi U, Partanen J, Virkkunen P, Lybeck H (1975) Strong heat exposure and adenohypophyseal hormone secretion in man. Horm Metab Res 7:439–440

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Leppäluoto J, Tuominen M, Väänänen A, Karpakka J, Vuori J (1986a) Some cardiovascular and metabolic effects of repeated sauna bathing. Acta Physiol Scand 128:77–81

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Leppäluoto J, Huttunen P, Hirvonen J, Väänänen A, Tuominen M, Vuori J (1986b) Endocrine effects of repeated sauna bathing. Acta Physiol Scand 128:467–470

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Leppäluoto J, Tapanainen P, Knip M (1987) Heat exposure elevates plasma immunoreactive growth hormone-releasing hormone levels in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 65:1035–1038

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Mairiaux P, Sagot JC, Candas V (1983) Oral temperature as an index of core temperature during heat transients. Eur J Appl Physiol 50:331–341

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. Mills FJ (1985) The endocrinology of stress. Aviat Space Environ Med 56:642–650

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Molinatti GM, Massara F, Strumia E, Pennisi F, Scassellati GA, Vancheri L (1969) Radioimmunoassay of human growth hormone. J Nucl Biol Med 13:26–36

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Rowell LB (1983) Cardiovascular aspects of human thermoregulation. Circ Res 52:367–379

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Seppälä E, Pora O, Metsä-Ketelä T (1984) Modified method for extraction and purification of prostaglandins with XAD-2. Prostagl Leukotr Med 14:235–241

    Google Scholar 

  37. Shoenfeld Y, Sohar E, Ohry A, Shapiro Y (1976) Heat stress: comparison of short exposure to severe dry and wet heat in saunas. Arch Physiol Med Rehab 57:126–129

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Sirviö J, Jolkkonen J, Pitkänen A (1987) Adenohypophyseal hormone levels during hyperthermia. Rev Roum Méd Endocrinol 25:21–23

    Google Scholar 

  39. Taggart P, Parkinson P, Carruthers M (1972) Cardiac responses to thermal, physical, and emotional stress. Br Med J 3:71–76

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. Tatár P, Vigaš M, Jurčovičová J, Kvetňanský R, Štreč V (1986) Increased glucagon secretion during hyperthermia in a sauna. Eur J Appl Physiol 55:315–317

    Google Scholar 

  41. Viswanathan M, Van Dijk JP, Graham TE, Bonen A, George JC (1987) Exercise- and cold-induced changes in plasmaβ-endorphin andβ-lipotropin in men and women J Appl Physiol 62:622–627

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Katriina Kukkonen-Harjula.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kukkonen-Harjula, K., Oja, P., Laustiola, K. et al. Haemodynamic and hormonal responses to heat exposure in a Finnish sauna bath. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 58, 543–550 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02330710

Download citation

Key words

  • Finnish sauna bath
  • Catecholamines
  • Pituitary hormones
  • Prostanoids