Diabetes is on the rise worldwide. It is a side effect of both our lifestyles and dietary habits. Diabetes is said to be a silent killer, in that you can have it without knowing – it can take years before the first symptoms appear, by which time damage has already begun.
Approximately 10 -15% of people with diabetes mellitus suffer from foot ulcers. This is because diabetes compromises blood flow through the vascular system. The areas furthest from the heart are most at risk, ie: the feet. A diabetic’s foot ulcer can result in major surgery being necessary to remove affected areas. Amputations are sometimes necessary.
There are two ways that hyperbaric therapy can help diabetics when it comes to foot care.
- Hyperbaric therapy has been shown to improve damage done to peripheral nerves. Damage to peripheral nerves in the foot can adversely affect the diabetic in two ways. Firstly, the loss of sensation can mean that the foot gets injured without the person being as aware of the severity of the injury as what they should be. Secondly, damage to the nerves can cause the diabetic to walk unevenly on their soles. A build up in calluses can happen and breaks in the skin around the callus can develop and these can become infected.
- Decreased blood flow through the area will reduce the body’s chance of fighting off the infection, which is why gangrene can develop in severe cases. Hyperbaric therapy both increases the number of white blood cell you have (these are the infection fighters) and increases levels of oxygenated blood flow.The following article gives some before and after pics. Click here.
There is another benefit to diabetics from hyperbaric therapy. This is what Dr. Paul Harch reports, “Additional exciting information emerged in 2008 when researchers in Argentina harvested bone marrow stem cells from patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. They gave these individuals five HBOT treatments and then reinjected each patient’s stem cells directly into the artery that supplies the pancreas. After the injections, they gave the patients five more HBOT’s. At the end of one year, these patient’s average fasting glucose dropped by 50%, from 205 to 105. They also had a reduction in their insulin requirements, from 35 units/day to 2.5 units per day. This is a dramatic result, and one that holds great promise for Type II diabetics in the future”
Please note, hyperbaric therapy should be considered as an add on to standard diabetic care. Your first line of treatment must include your doctor and podiatrist. Your second line of treatment should include hyperbaric therapy.
I do hope that is helpful.