Feb 07, 2017

Elderly women with black ulcerated legs, completely recovered avoiding amputation

The prevalence of diabetes is very high. In April 2012, the World Health Organization published its first Global Diabetes Report. According to the report, diabetes affected 422 million people worldwide, 1.5 million people died and another 2.2 million people died of high blood glucose. Currently, about 700,000 people in Hong Kong are suffering from diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation estimates, the number of people with diabetes in Hong Kong in 2030 will soar to 920,000. The figure is quite alarming.

About treating diabetes, if the leg is inflamed, Western medicine usually uses antibiotics injection. If it is ulcerated, the wound cannot be healed. Western medicine can only resort to amputation of the leg. However, with Chinese medicine, the treatment is very different. Diabetes has long been known as dispersion-thirst syndrome 消渴症. Depend on clinical symptoms, dispersion-thirst can be classified into three phases: upper, middle and lower, but they are mostly lower 下消病. The key to Chinese medicine treatment is the focus on solidifying the vital essence and strengthening the foundation and primordial ‘qi’ of the body. It involves nourishing the liver and kidney, enhancing blood circulation and opening up the vascular obstruction. All these in order to allow the excess sugar deposited in the lower limbs, and the resulting toxin, to be carried out of the body. More importantly, to remove toxins from the liver, clearing the path of this vital organ that supports nearly every other organ in the body, helps carry away waste and break down fats, detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. Also, due to the removal of obstruction in the blood vessels of the pancreas, insulin secretion will be increased. The intestine will get the right amount of insulin. When digested food enters the liver through the veins, the sugar will be broken down into glycogen to be stored in the liver to generate heat. When this physiological process gradually returns to normal, the nerves of the ulcerated skin or muscle will naturally recover. Blood circulation to the bad tissues will also recover, carrying out toxins and sugars. Rotten tissue will be removed and new tissue will start to grow again. The ulcerated leg will then heal and be saved. For a case that turns the foul and rotten into the rare and ethereal, it is not uncommon in my diabetes cases.

The patient of this medical case was a 64-year-old woman with diabetes. She had suffered from diabetes for eleven years and had been taking western medicine to control her index. One time after a trip to Thailand where she had foot massage, she got infected by a virus. When she returned to Hong Kong, both her legs from the toes up to right below the genital appeared to be swollen. There was also a lot of black patches. Since October 4, 2001, Western medicine had treated her with antibiotics. Unfortunately, the treatment was completely ineffective. She then switched to using skin ointment containing antibiotics, which did not help either. When she first came to see me, her legs were so ulcerated it was extremely painful. She could not walk and was wheelchair-bound. Her three daughters who came with her pleaded with tears to me for help to save her mother. Western doctors had no other options but to cut off her legs below the genital. The patient, on the other hand, though melancholy, remained calm. When I looked at her, on the back of her hands and her thighs were large purple patches. Before she came to see me, her pudendum was also slightly ulcerated. After being treated by a gynecologist, who gave her some ointment to apply on the affected area, it was cured.

Right pinky toe appeared black

Patient’s diabetic foot was mainly caused by vascular occlusion and inflammation after being infected. Because the wound was not able to heal, the skin became black and festered gradually. The skin on her feet and the upper layer muscle nerves were numb. Due to poor blood circulation, the right pinky toe had become black and she felt a lot of pain. I urged her not to further damage the skin to avoid enlarging the ulceration. After my examination, I comforted her and her daughters and told them I have a lot of experience treating diabetes and the treatment has been very effective. They did not have to worry too much. The following day after taking the medicine, patient called and said that the pain in the feet was so bad she kept tossing and turning and could not sleep. However, in the morning, the purple patches appeared to have reduced. About 7-inch of the ankle joint area seemed to have new flesh growing. There was no more fluid seeping out of the wound. And the wound was beginning to dry. In just one day, the effect of the medication was astonishing. The blocked meridians and blood vessels had been opened up. I was shocked myself.

Patients regained hope, she was ecstatic. She called me to report her progress every day, saying the pain on her feet was unbearable and the pain felt like it was from deep inside the muscle. When she came for a follow-up visit, there was a large purple black patch around the ulcerated wound. She said it had appeared for 2 days. It was extremely painful and she had to use a wheelchair to get to my clinic. I could understand her pain. When I touched her feet, they were quite warm and had regained some sensation. At the third follow-up visit, after taking a total of nine doses of medicine, her condition had new progress. Her right pinky toe felt like it was being shocked. It suddenly restored a sense of feeling. After a day, the skin turned from deep black to red blood color. She slept well. Both feet gradually restored the sense of feeling.

Patient continued to take medicine and her feet continued to improve. She was happy, smiley and her voice was strong like a bell. The festered area continued to grow new flesh. The dead skin on her right pinky toe began to shed. There was no further proliferation of purple black patches. The pain subsided and she could walk with ease. She did not need the wheelchair anymore. At the sixth follow-up visit, the dried dead skin gradually shed and purple black patches slowly became lighter. As the case seemed, I believed she would soon fully recovered.

Ulceration healed, new muscles regenerated

The patient was very patient with taking her medication. By the thirteenth follow-up visit, the wounds had completely healed. All the dry dead skin had shed. Her feet swelling had gone. She was full of energy. The color of the brown spots on her face had become lighter and her face was smoother. When she stood, her back was straight. As oppose to her old state when I first saw her before the medication, she was a totally different person. She had a morning glycemic index of about nine, smooth stool and slept well for about eight hours every night.

In just three months from the beginning of treatment, patient became energized, added three pounds (usually it is difficult for diabetic to add pounds), her cheeks became fuller, gray hair became darker, fingernails hardened, hands and feet were warm and her palms sweated a little. She said that since adolescent, her hands and feet had always been cold. However, since she started taking the Chinese medicine, her physical fitness had improved, there was no more panic attack nor cold hands and feet. I examined the affected area of her feet. Most of the black mark had receded. The right pinky toe still felt piercing pain, especially when walking. At the 17th follow-up visit, she pointed out that she had fainted twice. I inquired about her eating habits. She might have eaten too little, causing hypoglycemia. She measured her glycemic index every morning, averaging between eight and nine, and rose to around 10.7 after breakfast. At the back of her feet where it had ulcerated, she still felt piercing pain. Sometimes the thigh and knee would feel pain too but would disappear after a while. The most unusual thing was that even the fingers and the back of the hand would suddenly feel the piercing pain. Like an electric shock, it happened in split second. These are phenomenon when the medicine is opening up the meridians and blood vessels. During this time, the urine color had become clearer and lighter. Shortly after, the black marks on both feet had faded completely. Her feet had completely healed, escaping the pain of amputation.

Due to metabolic disorders of sugar with diabetic patients, peripheral neuropathy at the lower limb and arteriosclerosis happen easily, leading to nerve sensory delay, or even lost of senses. In severe cases, ulcers will occur. Lower limb arteriosclerosis causes insufficient blood supply and thus pain. At a later stage, senses will be lost and ulcers will occur. Diabetic foot patients should pay attention to foot care to avoid damages, infections, ulcers, and so on, of the skin.

Patient was treated from November 16, 2001 until March 25, 2002 for a period of four months and 30 visits. Patient’s bad skin on the feet had completely regrown with new tissue. Everything was back to normal. She could walk normally and was fully recovered. After more than a year, the person who referred her to me told me she had moved to Shenzhen. She had good health and often participated in Cantonese opera performances. The year before last year, a woman over seventy years old came to seek treatment for her ulcerated foot due to diabetes. Her family told me that they were referred to me by patient, who had been cured for more than ten years. This shows patient is still very healthy and often sings. The following are pictures of the diabetic foot before and after the treatment for comparison.

By Dr. Au Sik Kee

Feb 07, 2017

Medical record number: 011116

For enquiry, email: sikkeeau@gmail.com