HBOT As A Ray Of Hope For Diabetics With Foot Wounds
It is natural in our day-to-day lives to get a cut or scratch while performing tasks such as chopping fruits or vegetables, shaving, etc. One may also experience an abrasion due to a trauma, which may gradually get transformed into wounds. Normally, it does not take too long for a wound to heal. However, if the case in hand is a diabetic, immediate attention and prompt treatment are of paramount importance.
What Are Diabetic Foot Wounds?
Diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder, which gives rise to numerous complications. Type 2 diabetes patients have a hard time if there is a wound on their feet. About 15% of diabetics are exposed to the risk of developing foot wounds. A higher concentration of glucose in the bloodstream not only delays the healing of wounds, but also leads to peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs by virtue of damage to the nerves, and affects a patient’s ability to feel the sensation of any pain in their feet. The wounds to a patient’s feet go undetected in a majority of cases until they become worse. Diabetic patients are vulnerable to developing arterial disease or the narrowing of the arteries, which results in poor supply of blood to the affected part, thereby delaying the healing process.
Foot ulcer is one of the leading causes of amputation among patients with diabetes in the United States. It usually surfaces as an open wound or sore on the feet, and may get infected if left untreated. It is estimated that about 14–24% of patients with diabetes need amputation to prevent any further damage to their body. However, diabetic wounds are treatable if not neglected, and treated in time.
What Is HBOT?
HBOT is the acronym for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy — a revolutionary treatment in the world of medicine. It is a therapy based treatment which enables a patient to draw in 100% oxygen in a chamber under pressure equivalent to almost three times the atmospheric pressure under normal conditions.
HBOT has witnessed an upward trend in terms of its use in the last few years. It has grabbed the attention of people and gained popularity — thanks to the observation that it is an effective treatment for a numerous complications, including diabetic foot wounds.
HBOT is based on the idea that the potential of the white blood cells to fight against the bacteria can be stimulated by providing an adequate supply of oxygen to the oxygen-deficient cells.
The FDA has approved HBOT for treating diabetic patients with chronic foot ulcers. It is generally used when medications prove ineffective to bring about the expected level of improvement in a patient. It is considered safe as it is administered under the supervision of a professional. Popular figures like Rashad Jennings have advocated the usefulness of this therapy.
How HBOT Helps Treat Diabetic Foot Wounds
Oxygen plays a key role in generating ATP in cellular respiration. ATP is the lifeline for the cells to get energy in order to perform their vital functions. This is the reason why oxygen is indispensable for the cells. White blood cells constitute the defense mechanism of our body and fight against the harmful microbes.
Leukocytes help in healing the wounds. They act as the line of defense and produce antibodies to help ingest the antigens, which intrude our body. HBOT enables an additional supply of oxygen which dissolves in the blood and reaches those parts of the body which lack an adequate amount of oxygen. This boosts the ability of the leukocytes to fight against infection and an elevated supply of oxygenated blood also promotes healing of the wounds.
A study indicates that a large fraction of diabetic patients showed improvement in the healing of wounds on their feet when they received HBOT in conjunction with other treatments. The therapy provides a viable solution to the amputation of their feet.
HBOT Therapy serves as the ray of hope for diabetic patients with foot ulcers. The best part about the treatment is that it is pain free and noninvasive. Moreover, it is administered under the supervision of an expert, which makes it a safe treatment. More details are still awaited as the research work is still on to gain more insight into the therapy as a treatment for diabetic wounds.