Sunday, November 14, 2004

News - theworldlink.com - Diabetes breakthrough is helping local patients

News - : "Diabetes can be nerve-wracking in a serious and deadly sense. And two local health care workers have teamed to try to reverse that effect.

R.N. Linda Hicks knows about the disease's mysterious attack on people's nervous systems that can lead to amputations. A longtime diabetes education coordinator, she has worked with people daily in trying to help them learn about the disease and cope with the pain of nerve damage.
'As a nurse ... we've always been trained that neuropathy is unreversible,' Hicks said.

She believed it. Then a little more than a year ago, the mother of one of her patients began pestering her about a treatment uncommon in this region, but being used back east. Technically, it's called monochromatic infrared energy or MIRE therapy.

Hicks simply calls it a miracle.

Once the disease worsens, neuropathy can cause serious damage to a diabetic's feet and legs.

"They just disappear because they can't stand walking because it hurts so much," she said.Often, as patients succumb to infections and loss of feeling and circulation, they lose their feet and legs to amputation. The nerve-ravaging condition is perplexing to physicians. Researchers don't know what causes nerves to stop functioning in people with diabetes. It's likely linked to the high level of glucose that crowds in and thickens a person's blood. But the science is another issue. Hernandez's patients talk more about results."

Ultimately, some of Hernandez' patients buy home units from the company, Anodyne Therapy, that makes the professional unit for therapists. Those people are able to continue the light treatments on their own.

By Elise Hamner
Southwestern Oregon Publishing Company
City Editor

1 comment:

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