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Has diabetes got you down?

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Is your diabetes inhibiting your ability to enjoy life, including enjoyable activities such as golfing, taking walks, and even having sex? ECP may be your answer.

Diabetes has reached worldwide epidemic proportions, threatening to be a significant economic burden to patients and healthcare systems. It is an important driver of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Much has been written and published about the beneficial effects of exercise on diabetes. Besides weight loss, exercise introduces an element called pulsatile shear stress (PSS). Pulsatile shear stress (PSS) is produced by friction caused by the contraction of the heart and subsequent blood flow along arteries. PSS restores function to the endothelium, the important cells that line the arteries.

The endothelium mediates the balance between vasoconstriction and vasodilation because it is the primary producer of nitric oxide (NO). NO is critical for the relaxation of vessels, leading to increased blood flow and better circulation. It is an important signaling molecule that calms the body’s inflammatory cascade. A salient feature of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is endothelial dysfunction and loss of NO production.

External counterpulsation (ECP) involves compression of the legs to buttocks using pneumatic cuffs, timed to early diastole via EKG leads attached to the motherboard of the compressor. Many beneficial clinical effects of ECP have been reported for diabetes, including positive changes in diabetic retinopathy (eyes) and diabetic nephropathy (kidneys). Other chronic complications of diabetes including early-onset peripheral neuropathy in the feet have improved with ECP sessions.

Further, compared with laser photocoagulation, ECP treatment improved ophthalmic artery blood flow, diminished lesions on the retina, and improved vision more than with traditional therapy alone.

A randomized controlled trial enrolling 30 type 2 diabetic patients showed a reduction in fasting glucose level, two‐hour post‐prandial (after eating) glucose level, and glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbA1C) compared with baseline levels drawn before the series of ECP treatments. The differences were seen as soon as 48 hours. The effect of the lowered HbA1C persisted for at least three months. The glucose-lowering effect and the lowered inflammatory markers lasted at least six months. Another study of diabetic patients confirmed that ECP sessions decreased multiple inflammatory markers for several months.

ECP is a passive leg exercise that induces the production of NO. Can you think of any organ in the body that will NOT improve with better circulation?

If diabetic side effects are interfering with activities in your life, check out one of our clinics. Tenpenny Health Restoration Center is in Cleveland, Ohio. ECP Studio is in Ventura, CA. Our centers have served clients from 20+ states. Come for two weeks, go home with improved health and vitality!

NOTE: What’s the difference between EECP and ECP?

EECP is a registered trademark of Vasomedical, Inc., Westbury, New York, one of the manufacturers of external counter pulsation equipment in the United States. EECP stands for Enhanced External Counter Pulsation. EECP and ECP are essentially synonyms.

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