Parkridge Health System - August 02, 2019

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million people living in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst and/or hunger
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss or weight gain

However, there is another symptom of diabetes that needs to be discussed—diabetic ulcers, which occur in almost 15 percent of patients with diabetes. Fortunately, Parkridge Medical Center's Advanced Wound Care and Vascular Center offers Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy for patients dealing with diabetic ulcers.

What Is a Diabetic Ulcer?

A diabetic ulcer is an open sore or wound, which is usually located on the bottom of the foot.

Because circulation is often diminished in those with diabetes, they can suffer a cut on their foot without even knowing it. Therefore, because they don't see or feel it, the wound doesn't get the treatment it needs to heal properly, which can lead to a serious condition like a diabetic ulcer.

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygenation Therapy, also known as HBOT, is an effective method in the curing of diabetic ulcers and other non-healing wounds. During a patient's time in the HBOT chamber, he or she is exposed to 100 percent oxygen at a pressure that's much higher than normal.

Wounds need oxygen to heal, so exposing the body to this high percentage of oxygen can help stimulate wound healing and speed up the process.

HBOT is typically performed in an outpatient setting, so that you are able to go in for therapy and go home afterward. The entire process usually takes around two hours. While you might feel ear fullness during the therapy session and hungry afterward, you should be able to return to normal activities.

Since the number of treatments depends on the seriousness of your diabetic ulcer, it is important to listen to the suggestions of your physician to ensure your diabetic ulcer is fully healed before the end of treatment.

Learn more about the techniques we use to heal chronic and non-healing wounds on our website.