Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Prevent Type I Diabetes — Study Results : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Monday Jul 2 | BY |
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“A little fresh air, anyone?”

New research from the Diabetes Research Institute suggests that a treatment called “hyperbaric oxygen therapy” may help prevent or slow the progression of type 1 diabetes.

Also called “juvenile onset” diabetes, type 1 diabetes is usually (though not always) diagnosed in children and young adults, and is a condition that can lead to blindness, leg sores, nerve damage, and kidney damage.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), between 2002 and 2005, over 15,000 young people were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually. In 2007, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease in which the body has trouble regulating blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels due to an immune system malfunction. People with type 1 diabetes have immune systems that attack and destroy the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing the hormone insulin that helps the body metabolize the glucose in food for energy.

With the beta cells destroyed, the body can’t produce insulin. As the result, the glucose stays in the blood, creating high blood sugar levels and potentially causing damage to all organ systems of the body. Those with the disease must replace the lost insulin with daily injections or a pump.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
A well-established treatment for decompression sickness—a hazard of scuba diving—hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. Inside the chamber, the air pressure is increased up to three times higher than normal air pressure. As seen in the picture for this post, the patient lies comfortably in the chamber, and breathes pure oxygen. Under the increased pressure conditions, the lungs can gather up to three times more oxygen than breathing pure oxygen at regular air pressure.

HBOT works by speeding more oxygen to the body’s tissues, helping them to heal. According to the Mayo Clinic, when tissues are injured, they require even more oxygen to survive. HBOT increases the amount of oxygen the blood can carry, temporarily restoring normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

HBOT is also used to treat serious infections, wounds that won’t heal (often as a result of diabetes), gangrene, crushing injuries, burns, skin grafts, carbon monoxide poisoning, and radiation injuries. Some practitioners recommend it for the treatment of allergies, arthritis, cancer, cerebral palsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, stroke, and gastrointestinal ulcers, but scientific evidence supporting these applications is still limited.

What the Study Found
For this study, Pileggi and colleagues used two types of mice. One type was genetically bred to develop diabetes spontaneously, and the other was not, so researchers had to induce the disease.

In the first group of mice, treatment with HBOT reduced the risk of developing type 1 diabetes by 20 percent. In the second group, it reduced risk by 40 percent. For those mice that still developed the disease, treatment helped delay the onset or progression.

Researchers aren’t sure how the therapy worked in the body, but believe that it somehow affected the immune system. They added that it significantly increased the production of new beta cells.

This was a preliminary animal study, and researchers don’t know when this type of therapy may be available for humans, or how it may be used to prevent or treat type I diabetes. At this point, they foresee it being used as a complementary therapy together with standard treatments. HBOT is already being used to treat other complications associated with diabetes, however.

HBOT Already Used in Diabetes Patients
Many diabetic patients have to live with wounds that won’t heal, which can lead to limb amputation. Swedish researchers found that HBOT can help foot ulcers heal in certain patients with diabetes (Diabetes Care, 2010). A Cochrane review of other trials also found that the therapy helps reduce the number of amputations in people with diabetes who have chronic foot ulcers.

HBOT is recognized by the Canadian Diabetes Association as a therapy for diabetes patients with deep, long-standing non-healing foot infections.

The FDA considers HBOT as a drug, so treatment must be prescribed by a physician or healthcare provider.

Kev’s Thoughts:

This was fascinating to read — even though the study was done on rats. Look, we know studies on rodents are not the most accurate, nor humane — but this could be the start of effective Type-1 diabetes treatment.

As you probably know, Type-1 is not an easy disease to treat naturally. Type-2 on the other hand is actually quite easy (if you can help the patient change their lifestyle successfully.)

My biggest question about what I’ve read here — and wasn’t addressed in the study and likely will take years to be scientifically substantiated — is when these treatments could be started on children to prevent the development of this disease.

Regardless, it’s promising news about a more widely accepted non-invasive treatment and a disease that is trickier than most.

Have you tried HBOT? Please share your thoughts.

* * *

Photo courtesy trackpads via Flickr.com.

Serena Gordon, “Oxygen Therapy Slows Type 1 Diabetes in Mice, Study Says,” HealthDay, May 11, 2012, http://health.msn.com/health-topics/diabetes/oxygen-therapy-slows-type-1-diabetes-in-mice-study-says.

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Steph says:

    Its really sad that ppl are getting sicker and sicker as a society. I know they say type I diabetes is inevitable, but maybe if they just took better care of their health (eg. reduce dairy) they’d feel better…

  2. jerry says:

    My daugter has Type 1. You don’t know you have it until it’s too late. The pancreas produces just enough insulin with the B cells it has left until it doesn’t and then your blood sugar goes thru the roof. This treatment must reverse the process of the immune system destroying the B cells. It’s good to know that this treatment is available if my daughter needs treatment for issues related to diabetes.

  3. reen says:

    Fortunately I have not had any experience with HBOT but if needed, I would not hesitate to give it a try. I have some questions about oxygen – Could you get the same results with just a canister of oxygen and a mask, or does the body need to be ‘submerged’ in the oxygen as in the photo? Also, does the body absorb oxygen through the pores when you are swimming or bathing?

  4. sue says:

    there seems to be confusion re Type 1 vs. Type 2 diabetes. @Jerry–this is a lot of work isn’t it? A friend has such a child and insulin shots have to be given during the night time. Perhaps there will be some sort of pre-birth testing available sometime.

  5. George says:

    Possibly this therapy may have its application, but I feel it should be used as a raft of therapies. The causes of Diabetes are still under investigation and I think it would be foolish to claim one therapy as the cure for the problem. Synthetic drugs are clearly not producing a cure.

  6. davidfreels says:

    This is not really news but was first discovered in the late 1920s and/or 1930s by a physician named Orville Cunningham. He used HBOT to cure people with diabetes. A wealthy patient named Timken, who manufactured ball bearings (still made today) built Dr Cunningham a 6-story hyperbaric chamber that housed dozens of patients. The American Medical Association required Cunningham to pay a fee to the AMA for the right to treat patients. Today we’d call that extortion. Cunningham refused, and the AMA destroyed his hyperbaric chamber and sold the leftover scrap to armament makers for WWII weaponry. See

    The AMA spent decades disparaging Hyperbaric Medicine, one reason why it’s not taught as core curriculum in any medical school so 99% of all physicians know nothing about it, which means HBOT is still ignored by medicine–even though all diseases begin with some form of oxygen deprivation, and there’s no more efficient method of administering extra oxygen than within a hyperbaric chamber.

    It’s quite safe. A jet plane is a hyperbaric chamber and must withstand greater pressures than the chamber pictured in this article, yet hospital-type chambers are so over-regulated that the cost per treatment begins around $1500 and averages around $2500–for maybe $5 worth of medical-grade oxygen.

    The use of HBOT is tightly regulated by the US Government because HBOT can also cure brain-injury. See the before/after HBOT video at . If HBOT for brain-injury were an “approved use” of HBOT, the reimbursement rate would drop from $1500 to just $150. Or lower.

    That would also mean the 1,000,000 new stroke patients/year would live longer, and that would further drain the bankrupt Social Security program (via Medicare) even further.

    David Freels

  7. Rocio says:

    Taking my father to Sarasota, Fl. in August and he will enjoy the blessing of being there and experience this new technology!
    Full of Gratitude..The Lord is good..so good!

  8. joe says:

    Too much oxigen couse oxidation producing free radicals which is bad.for exempel a person at a party drenk a gallon of water and died of water toxemia.yoga breathing is safe. Joe

  9. suzanne says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) now called CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome). In a nutshell, when one’s body suffers an injury and that injury continues to cause pain, (possibly body-wide pain, skin changes, temperature intolerances, etc.) long after the injury should of healed. The brain has gone wacky and continues to get pain messages. Anyway, millions suffer from this. HBOT was the only thing that gave her mostly permanent relief. It took 40 treatmts. of approx. 1 and 1/2 hrs each at a cost of $6000. One can now buy a home unit for many thousands.

  10. Leo Schwaiger says:

    Interesting article. Here is a link that all should see. At 17:30 Dr. Veith discusses Type-1 diabetes. There are four other videos which also have information one might find useful.


    Dr. McDougall also mentions the cause and its possible prevention.


    Also see the DVD “Simply Raw, Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days.” Two of the six people are Type-1. One is apparently cured and the other reduced insulin from 70 to 5 units. There are two parts, in the links below.



    Wishing you and all you touch the very best in health and happiness.

    Help this go viral.

  11. Kelli says:

    I am a 50 year young, vibrant woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2011. I went to Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL where I learned and still live the entire raw food lifestyle and the amazing healing that it can bring. I have not allowed western medicine doctors do the horrific treatments that would have by now maimed me. I learned about HBOT at Hippocrates and tried to implement it into my own treatment when I arrived home. I tried getting my insurance to cover it by asking my primary care doctor for a referral, which she gave me, but to no avail. There are only a few ailments for which insurance will cover HBOT. Besides that, I tried to get it with paying from my own pocket and no doctor in any facility in my area would allow me to receive it as therapy for breast cancer. I even tried to look into becoming a diver so that I could receive HBOT. I simply can’t afford all of this as I already have loans to pay back because I couldn’t afford to go to Hippocrates. There must be somewhere that allows it; I just stopped looking when I had to deal with my last class, but now I’ve graduated. If anyone knows how it could be done please let me know! Thank you, Kevin and everyone for reading! Blessings.

    • Crystal says:

      You can receive HBOT treatments along with Vitamin C IV treatments in
      Kansas City at McDonagh Clinic. They will give you the prices of their treatments
      on the phone and they are cheaper than what has been quoted by those commenting.
      Their number is: 816 453-5940.

      Our daughter was cured after her neck injury stroke doing 2, one hour treatments one
      day a week for 8 weeks. She went from needing the assistance of 2 to being able to be
      entirely able to care for herself and is normal except for Trach and G-tube scarring.

  12. Charles says:

    It’s certainly heartening to hear about treatments that are NON-INVASIVE and NON-DRUG based!

    Actually, however,there is a protocol for reversing type 1 diabtes that works. You can see two brothers–both type 1 diabetics- who are no longer diabetic! Just go to Youtube and type in “Roman family diabetes testimonial” and it is all there.The medical researcher who taught it to the family is also in the video.

    As for hyperbaric oxygen treatment having possible negative effects, all that has to be done is to allow medical people to be properly trained to administer it safely. No sweat. Heck, don’t drug medications also have bad side effects,EVEN WHEN SOME ARE ADMINISTERED ACCORDING TO THE DOCTORS’ INSTRUCTIONS?


    As for the idea that hyperbaric oxygen is a “DRUG”, well, I guess soon we will have to get a doctor’s prescription to simply BREATHE the sir that surrounds us or eat oranges because they contain vitamin C and so on, ad infinitum!!!!!

    Isn’t it amazing that animals in the wild don’t have to worry about hyperbaric oxygen for reversing typE 1 diabetes? In fact, animals, unless we start messing with them, don’t have to go to the doctor or pharmacy! In nature, animals know just what to eat and they know the lifestyle that’s BEST FOR THEM! If they If they could talk, they’d probably shake their heads and say to us:”YOU POOR HUMANS”!

  13. marja says:

    What about sulphur? it seems that sulphur can give us more oxygen and is very good for preventing and curing cancers as cancer cells do not like oxygen.
    You can read an interview with dr. Seneff on sulphur, she was interviewed by dr. Mercola.

  14. marja says:

    What about sulphur? it seems that sulphur can give us more oxygen and is very good for preventing and curing cancers as cancer cells do not like oxygen.
    You can read an interview with dr. Seneff on sulphur, she was interviewed by dr. Mercola.

  15. Ernie says:

    Another good article on treatments for diabetes. Will it produce a cost effective treatment? Remains to be seen! There was another treatment mentioned in an article almost 6 years ago that seems to have disappeared. See http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a042812e-492c-4f07-8245-8a598ab5d1bf

  16. KC says:

    … and it may also help with Lyme. Totally anecdotal, but a diver friend of mine with Lyme disease says she always feels better while diving (which is breathing under pressure) than at any other time.

  17. Darlene says:

    I have a friend who has taken many HBOT treatments for IBS/Crohn’s. It immediately reduces the inflammation. I know quite a few others who have taken HBOT and have yet to hear any negative feedback other than it’s expensive. My cousin’s leg was amputated due to MRSA. She gets HBOT treatments at the hospital. Apparently, some doctors have recognized this treatment. Her insurance does cover. There is a documented study re HBOT and autism; good results with some. The people I know who have used HBOT use it as part of a total protocol.

  18. Debbie Resta says:

    I had 20 sessions of Hyperbaric oxygen for wound healing after radiation therapy on my right forearm I had an aggressive sarcoma and multiple surgeries, so unfortunately the HBOT was unable to heal the wound completely and the bone became exposed in my arm. I had to stop, but I believe this treatment may have helped had I not had so much previous damage and intense radiation However, it was experimental and my insurance did cover the cost after 3 doctors referred me. (2 oncologists and a plastic surgeon)

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