November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

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According to the CDC diabetes currently adversely impacts the lives of approximately 34 million Americans. 

National Diabetes Awareness Month is a great time for doctors and clinicians to fight back against this deadly disease. Advanced modalities, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, are showing tremendous promise in this fight. 

There are many adverse effects of diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery disease in patients with diabetes can cause severe neurovascular complications. These conditions can lead to severe lower limb vascular issues, hypoxemia, and non-healing foot ulcers. Severe diabetic foot ulcers can in turn lead to nontraumatic lower limb and extremity amputations.  

According to  The American Journal of Managed Care, roughly 80,000 Americans have a diabetes-related extremity amputation every year.    

There is good news on the horizon though. Many of these amputations are preventable. HBOT is one therapy that is showing great promise. Louis Pilati MD, of the Kettering Medical Center Network, expounds on the manifold benefits of HBOT for patients with Wagner Grade 3 or higher:  

The physiologic effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatment of the diabetic foot patient is to reverse the described physiologic impediments caused by hypoxemia. Hyperbaric oxygen increases the dissolved oxygen and increases the amount of oxygenated plasma that is dissolved in tissue. It also increases reactive oxygen species and nitrogen species to increase growth factor synthesis, stem cell proliferation, diminished inflammatory response and enhanced white blood cell killing of bacteria. 

Patients are also weighing in on the benefits. David, a patient who recently underwent HBOT therapy at Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center after developing a toe wound, gives a moving personal testimonial: 

“I was in triage less than 5 minutes and they were talking about taking the foot below the knee. Within two weeks of the start of the hyperbaric the wound on my toe had healed. It’s amazing what it can do. Well, you think it’s just oxygen, but when you apply 4 or 5 times the normal oxygen to the body, the BODY CAN DO AMAZING things.”

Doctors and patients always say it best when treatments work and change lives for the better.

It’s November 2021, and it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month again. This year we’re continuing our fight to raise awareness about knowing your risks, diabetic foot care, and the importance of early intervention when a wound occurs.

For more information on life-changing wound care treatments for patients with diabetic foot ulcers, visit https://Cū to find a location near you.