30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, has diabetes (as of 2015). 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (as of 2015), with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.
Source: American Diabetes Association
With diabetes primarily affecting the small blood vessels, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been demonstrated to stimulate angiogenesis to help ameliorate compromised blood flow and prevent organ failure. Research has shown that HBOT can lower blood sugar levels by increasing cellular sensitivity to insulin and skeletal muscle reception of glucose. Furthermore, recent reports have provided evidence towards linking HBOT to regenerating pancreatic islets of Langerhans, thus potentially producing more insulin. HBOT is often beneficial in treating osteomyelitis and cellulitis, in addition to preventing systemic toxicity and permanent disability. With chronic diabetes, impaired circulation reduces wound healing capability and promotes ulcerations. HBOT increases the amount of oxygen available to ulcerated areas, leading to increased fibroblast activation.
Studies have demonstrated the following benefits of HBOT for diabetes.