Effective Noninvasive Clinical Therapies for Treating Diabetes-Related Heart Problems

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Diabetes Complications, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Learn about two treatments that have replaced the need for surgery

Three of the most common invasive procedures that conventional doctors rely on to treat patients who have type 2 diabetes and resulting heart problems are angiography, angioplasty, and bypass surgery. Like drugs, these procedures come with risks and side effects.

What may be most surprising about them, however, is that scientific research has shown that these interventions do not—and cannot—prolong life in the vast majority of people who receive them.

I recommend two safer, noninvasive therapies for treating cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes:

Enhanced External Counterpulsation

Enhanced external counterpulsation, or EECP, was developed at Harvard in the 1960s and is sometimes referred to as a “natural bypass” because it increases collateral circulation (blood vessels that naturally form around blocked arteries).

EECP also raises levels of nitric oxide, which dilates the arteries and improves blood flow. In a survey of 4,597 patients with severe heart disease—most of whom had a history of heart attack, angioplasty, and/or bypass—85 percent of those who completed a full course of 35 EECP treatments had reductions in chest pain. Furthermore, their heart attack and death rates were significantly lower than those of patients who did not complete the treatment course.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a perfect complementary therapy to EECP. When 100 percent oxygen is breathed in a pressurized environment, it dramatically increases the delivery of oxygen, promotes the growth of new blood vessels, and mobilizes the body’s stem cells. The end result, particularly when the two therapies are combined, is dramatic improvements in circulation, chest pain, and exercise tolerance.

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