Because chronic high blood sugar levels make it harder for your skin to heal itself, even a small cut can become a big problem for diabetics.
Poor immune response and slow-healing wounds can contribute to serious complications such as diabetic ulcers, gangrene, and even amputation. Understandably, diabetic wounds aren’t to be taken lightly.
Our board-certified podiatrists here at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists know that the best way to prevent the complications associated with ulcers is to treat diabetic wounds as soon as you spot the signs of one.
That’s where hyperbaric oxygen treatments 一 available at our southeast Florida locations 一 come into play.
Below, we highlight everything you should know about hyperbaric oxygen treatments.
Before we dive into how hyperbaric oxygen treatments work, we’d like to help you understand the role of oxygen in wound-healing.
Oxygen is one of the many elements on the periodic table, and you know it best for its role in human breathing. Your body also needs oxygen for wound-healing. In fact, oxygen wears many hats in the wound-healing process.
Without ample oxygen supply, healing just isn’t possible.
Studies show that hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, leads to cellular hypoxia. Cellular hypoxia means that there’s reduced oxygen in your cells, which makes it hard for even the smallest of wounds to heal.
If damaged cells aren’t replaced with healthy tissue, tissue death sets in, and that’s exactly why slow-healing diabetic wounds are so problematic: They aren’t receiving enough oxygen to heal.
Now that we’ve covered the role of oxygen in wound-healing and the dangerous consequences of inadequate oxygen, let’s take a look at the role hyperbaric oxygen treatments play in wound treatment.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy supports healing by helping your body take in more oxygen to facilitate healing and reduce the risk of infections.
During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you sit in a pressurized chamber and breathe in 100% oxygen. As you inhale the oxygen, it increases the concentration of oxygen in your bloodstream quickly.
Your body then circulates oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, including the wound. The increased oxygen speeds up the healing processes.
Promoting wound-healing isn’t the only effect of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. In one study, patients with Type 2 diabetes who received hyperbaric oxygen therapy reported reduced blood glucose levels compared to their levels before receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
In a separate study, researchers found that blood glucose levels decreased in 75.4% of participants, but the decrease was not clinically significant nor was it harmful.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is just one part of wound care.
Here at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, we know that the right wound care can spell the difference between keeping a limb or losing it to amputation. That’s why we’re proud to offer comprehensive wound care for all diabetic wounds from grade 0 to grade 5.
In addition to hyperbaric oxygen treatment, you may benefit from regular checkups, topical dressings, medication, prescription medication, and, in the case of grade 4 or 5 ulcers, wound debridement.
If you would like to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen treatments, book an appointment today at one of our offices in Tamarac, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Boca Raton, or Coral Springs, Florida.