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ndttech
@ndttech

Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 29, 2018

Hyperbaric treatment for diabetic neuropathy and ulcers on feet

Posted by @ndttech, Dec 12, 2018

I have heard that Hyperbaric treatment is great for healing foot ulcers caused by diabetes, and may be useful to help pain and numbness in the legs and feet caused by neuropathy. Does anyone have any experience with this treatment?

REPLY

Hi @ndttech I wanted to share this post with fellow users who have experience with hyperbaric chambers or have been looking into this treatment option.

@dawn_giacabazi @gailb @artscaping @squaredancer @kobeelya @mikween and @lynnieb1 all have experience or have expressed a desire to learn more on hyperbaric chambers.

@ndttech what has your research been able to tell you about the effectiveness of this treatment?

Hello @ndttech and welcome to mayo clinic connect.
I have experience twice with Hyper-Baric Oxygen Therapy, also known as HBO, once in 1981 and 2017 due to radiation therapy.
I can explain the process as it is the same for whatever the treatment is for as far as the chamber goes.
If you want know details about your specific condition, and the results, I would suggest getting the books that are available and do your own research.
This is one book I would suggest, "The Oxygen Cure". A complete guide to Hyper-Baric Oxygen Therapy by William S. Maxfield, M.D.

I do know that there were a lot of patience in the clinic with diabetes problems waiting for treatments.

As far as success, each case is different and it depends on the stage of the disease.
In my case, the therapy was a success in 1981 and stop the progression the disease.
However, in 2017 the therapy was not a success due to the doctors not wanting to commit to it for 4 years.
By 2017 the disease had progressed beyond helping the area.
My problem was osteomyelitus of the mandible jawbone due to radiation effects from 1973 and 2012.
I am sure that it was of some help to prevent further destruction somewhere else and also to help me survive the major jaw reconstruction surgery that I went through in January this year. The doctors only gave me a 50/50% chance of surviving the surgery.
It was a battle but I did make it after 12 days in ICU, 2 weeks in Rehab, and another 5 days after second surgery which completed the first surgery. The surgery had to be stopped after 8 hours into the surgery.
This is more information then you wanted to know.

There are two types of chambers, single person and multi-people.
I've only experienced the single person chambers, with two chambers in the room.
You have to lay down on a bed,which is then guided into the all glass chamber on rails.
Once you are in the chamber the door is closed and sealed.
The technician can communicate with you while you are in the chamber.
The chambers today are equipped with a DVD player so you can watch movies during the treatment or sleep.
You can select from what movies they have, or you can bring your own to each session.
The technician will start the equipment and take you slowly down to an equivalent of 2 Atmosphere pressure below sea level.
You will remain at this level for 45 to 60 minutes.
The same process is used to bring you back to normal level.
The entire process takes up to 90 minutes.
This is the process for whatever disease that have.

The number of sessions is determine by the in charge of the clinic.
In my case it was 40 session.

If you have any question with the information I presented you, please let me know.
I hope this gave you some of the information you were interested in.

Take care,

Tim

@squaredancer

Hi @squaredancer and @ethanmcconkey, Thanks for your posts. I have a kind of unique situation where I am trying to rule out another disease that can cause very similar nerve damage as diabetic neuropathy: Lyme disease. I believe that I got a tick bite in 2015, and though the doctors prescribed two course of anti-biotics, it has come back in the form of pin/needles/numbness and pain starting in the feet and working upwards through the legs/groin and higher. It has got so bad that I have difficulty walking. So, I have signed up for a 98 day Hyperbaric treatment which, if it is Lyme disease, will cure it, and if it is diabetic neuropath, it will help a bit, maybe slow it down, but will not cure it.
I have started the treatments two days ago, and will let you know how it goes.

@ndttech

Hi @squaredancer and @ethanmcconkey, Thanks for your posts. I have a kind of unique situation where I am trying to rule out another disease that can cause very similar nerve damage as diabetic neuropathy: Lyme disease. I believe that I got a tick bite in 2015, and though the doctors prescribed two course of anti-biotics, it has come back in the form of pin/needles/numbness and pain starting in the feet and working upwards through the legs/groin and higher. It has got so bad that I have difficulty walking. So, I have signed up for a 98 day Hyperbaric treatment which, if it is Lyme disease, will cure it, and if it is diabetic neuropath, it will help a bit, maybe slow it down, but will not cure it.
I have started the treatments two days ago, and will let you know how it goes.

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ndttech @ndttech

I haven't been able to get back to you before this due the git wrapping and getting cards sent out for the holidays.

Everybody's situation is unique, not just yours.
I'm not sure I understand about signing up for 98 session of HBO therapy. It is not usually done by signing up for xx number of sessions.
A doctor has to recommend the number of session that is felt to be needed. And then the HBO doctor has to follow guidelines as to what would be best. And then the doctor will check every 20 session and reevaluate how to proceed from there for the next 20 session.

Just so that you know, the cost of each session of the HBO therapy is approximately $4500 to $5000. This does not include the cost of the doctors that are constantly checking you during the sessions. Once a week the have to check your ears to make sure no problems are developing. So you better make sure your insurance is going to cover 98 sessions, as that is about $500,000 dollars just for HBO therapy.
So don't be shocked when the bills start coming in.

By now you know how the chambers are all about but I thought you or someone else may enjoy seeing the chambers.

Hope this helps you.
I wish you the best on the therapy and that it helps you.
Don't just assume that you have something else because the therapy did not work, if that should happen.
HBO works if it used at proper timing.
As I stated with me, it was not successful the 2nd time, because the disease had progressed to far by the time I had it.

Take care for now.
Merry Christmas

GOD BLESS,
Tim

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Hi @squaredancer thanks for your valuable comments.
I am in Canada and here the doctors don't prescribe HBOT for Lyme disease. There are only about 13 conditions that are prescribable for HBOT and therefore covered by our health care or private insurers (for instance, treatment of diabetic ulcers); however, the good news is that the private company who provides the therapy only charges $100/hour. Each therapy session lasts 1.5 hours, and the total cost is $9800: that's actually only 68 sessions.
The write-ups that I have studied say that the risk is very low because the pressure is only 45 psi (3 atmospheres), and is therefore much less than most scuba divers experience during a dive.
So far, the pins and needles pain that was up to my navel, has receded and is now concentrated in my calf muscles and feet, so I think the treatment is working. Will keep you informed.
Blessings to you too.

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