top of page

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM)

Type‑2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a common metabolic disorder that results from insulin resistance and dysfunction of pancreatic β‑cells (Hyperglycemia). The disorder is ranked as one of the most rampant public health menaces. T2DM accounts for 90-95% of diabetes diagnoses. Various environmental and genetic factors predispose individuals to the disorder. T2DM results in numerous health complications if left unmanaged or mismanaged. The health complications negatively impact the life span and quality of life. The disorder is characterized by reduction and apoptosis (death) of β‑cell. Their function is compromised; therefore, less insulin is released into the blood. Lipid metabolism disorders result as well. Other symptoms of T2DM include persistent thirst, fatigue, cloudy vision, numbness in fingers and toes, random weight loss, and periodic urination. Men also experience reduced sex drive, muscle weakness and erectile dysfunction. Hyperglycemia and vascular dysfunction result pretty often in patients with T2DM. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been explored quite often in the recent past in the management of T2DM. 

Mechanism of action

HBOT reduces the levels of blood glucose in the blood since it boosts insulin sensitivity for patients with T2DM. Alongside raising its sensitivity and, ultimately, secretion, HBOT also improves the cells’ response to insulin. The latter is attributed to the increase in glomerular infiltration rate. Glucose metabolism is optimized since insulin resistance has been addressed. Other vital organs and tissues within the body, especially the liver, muscles, and adipose tissues, are able to function optimally as well. HBOT boost the functioning of various tissues and critical organs by boosting glucose levels and insulin metabolism: kidneys, nervous system and eyes. The blood chemistry profile is also raised in the process. The specific components upgraded include fasting blood sugar, haemoglobin HB A1C and lipid profiles. Increased oxygen concentration also impacts blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus reducing the chances of other health complications, e.g. obesity. It also aids in the repair of blood vessels and nerves associated with the condition.

HBOT also reduces the activity of carotid bodies in the body, thus curbing the insulin resistance associated with T2DM. Increased oxygen concentration also decreases inflammatory filtrate related to the condition. By extension, HBOT also plays a vital role in the handling of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). HBOT also addresses microvascular complications that are associated with T2DM. These include diabetic nephropathy and diabetic retinopathy. If unmanaged, the former leads to kidney damage and high blood pressure (HBP), while the latter causes vision loss and blindness. In the long run, HBOT, which is non-invasive, improves the quality of life and increases the lifespan. 


Baitule, S., Patel, A. H., Murthy, N., Sankar, S., Kyrou, I., Ali, A., Randeva, H. S., & Robbins, T. (2021). A systematic review to assess the impact of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on glycaemia in people with diabetes mellitus. Medicina, 57(10), 1134.  

Resanović, I., Zarić, B., Radovanović, J., Sudar-Milovanović, E., Gluvić, Z., Jevremović, D., & Isenović, E. R. (2020). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and vascular complications in diabetes mellitus. Angiology, 71(10), 876–885.  

Sarabhai, T., Mastrototaro, L., Kahl, S., Bönhof, G. J., Jonuscheit, M., Bobrov, P., Katsuyama, H., Guthoff, R., Wolkersdorfer, M., Herder, C., Meuth, S. G., Dreyer, S., & Roden, M. (2022). Hyperbaric oxygen rapidly improves tissue-specific insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial capacity in humans with type 2 diabetes: A randomised placebo-controlled crossover trial. Diabetologia, 66(1), 57–69.  












bottom of page