Diabetes has rightly been termed “the mother of all diseases”. This is one of the reasons why patients feel apprehensive about what lies ahead in their lives when they come to know that they are diabetic. If the high level of glucose in the bloodstream is not kept under control, it can gradually go on to be the underlying cause of a host of other chronic diseases or complications. This can have serious consequences for diabetics sooner or later. Diabetic wounds constitute one such complication which may require an amputation of the feet in a worst-case scenario.
Prolonged presence of glucose in higher concentration in the bloodstream induces neuropathy – a condition which is characterized by a loss of sensation due to damage to the nerves. As a result, a diabetic may not feel pain in the feet, and an ulcer may go undetected which may become untreatable later on. Doctors usually suggest amputation of the feet as a last resort in such a case to prevent any further complication.
Treating a diabetic wound is a challenge. That said, identifying the right treatment is the key. HBOT has emerged as a popular treatment for diabetic ulcers over the years.
How HBOT Helps Treat Diabetic Ulcers
HBOT involves the inhalation of 100% of oxygen under heightened pressure to supply the oxygen deficient parts of the body with oxygen. It is carried out in a tube or body chamber called hyperbaric chamber. It is executed in presence of a qualified practitioner to ensure safety.
The theory of HBOT is based on the idea that a healthy supply of oxygenated blood to all parts of the body is key to boost the body’s immunity and for healthy healing of wounds. A metabolic disorder like diabetes also causes atherosclerosis which impairs the normal blood circulation to different parts of the body.
A combination of atherosclerosis and neuropathy results in improper or poor healing of wounds in patients with diabetes. HBOT provides the body with additional oxygen, and proves beneficial to a diabetic in the following ways:
- It boosts the potential of the white blood cells to fight against the bacteria which are responsible for causing infection.
- It aids the growth of new blood vessels which, in turn brings about a healthy circulation of blood to different parts of the body.
- It stimulates superoxide dismutase – the main antioxidant and radical scavenger which is synthesized internally in the body.
The combined effects of the above mentioned benefits of the treatment help heal the foot ulcers of a patient with diabetes. The best part about the therapy is that it is noninvasive, pain free and more importantly, it does not have any major side effect. These three aspects of the therapy have helped it gain in popularity.
A study suggests that HBOT promotes healing of wounds, and eliminates the need to cut off or amputate the feet of diabetics. They have a new hope of treating their foot ulcers, and prevent amputation – thanks to HBOT.