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Gangrene is a serious condition in which a loss of blood supply causes tissue to die. It can affect any part of the body but typically starts in the toes, feet, fingers and hands (the extremities). It can occur as a result of an injury, infection or a long-term condition that affects blood circulation.

You should seek immediate advice from your licensed health practitioner if you think you have gangrene.

Symptoms of gangrene include:

  • The affected area of tissue changes color, such as turning red to brown to black
  • A loss of sensation in the affected area, or the area of tissue becomes extremely painful
  • The affected tissue develops black blisters and begins producing a foul-smelling pus

The two most common types of gangrene are:

  • Dry gangrene
  • Wet gangrene

Other types

Other less common types of gangrene include:

  • Gas gangrene – where an infection develops deep inside the body and the bacteria responsible begin releasing toxins
  • Necrotising fasciitis – where bacteria spreads into the skin and then into surrounding tissue
  • Internal gangrene – when blood flow to an internal organ such as the gallbladder is blocked; this often occurs as a complication of a hernia


Having an amputation – even a so-called ‘minor amputation’ such as having one of your toes or fingers removed – can have a profound negative emotional impact.

Having an entire limb removed can cause serious psychological complications. People often grieve for the loss of their limb in the same way they would grieve for the loss of a loved one. Feelings of anger and depression are common.


Many cases of dry gangrene can be prevented.

Dry gangrene usually develops inside the foot of a person with poorly-controlled diabetes, atherosclerosis and/or peripheral arterial disease.  If you have one of these conditions it’s important to have regular check-ups to assess the state of your feet and report any problems to your licensed health practitioner as soon as possible.

A low-fat diet, regular exercise and, if you smoke, quitting smoking will also improve your blood supply.

Who is affected

Dry gangrene is a relatively common problem among high-risk groups, such as people with diabetes and/or peripheral arterial disease, and is a common cause of amputations.

Diabetes UK estimates that people with diabetes are 15 times more likely to require a major amputation than the population at large.

Every year in England around 5,000 people with diabetes have an amputation as a result of gangrene.

There is limited data about other types of gangrene which are not thought common.

For example, from April 2010 to April 2011 there were 52 reported cases of gas gangrene and 903 cases of internal gangrene in England.

Dry gangrene

Dry gangrene is usually caused by a health condition disrupting the flow of blood to certain body parts; most commonly the toes and feet.

Conditions associated with dry gangrene include:

  • type 1 and type 2 diabetes – high levels of blood sugar associated with these conditions can damage the blood vessels
  • atherosclerosis – where arteries narrow and become clogged with a fatty substance known as plaque (risk factors for atherosclerosis include smoking and having high cholesterol levels)
  • peripheral arterial disease – in which a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricts blood supply to leg muscles (people with diabetes, atherosclerosis and/or high cholesterol levels often go on to develop peripheral arterial disease)

Wet gangrene

Wet gangrene often occurs when a serious injury, a burn or frostbite becomes infected by bacteria. The swelling caused by the infection can block the blood supply to the affected area which makes the infection worse.

Wet gangrene can spread much quickly than dry gangrene and can lead to further life-threatening symptoms, such as septic shock, if not treated promptly.

Gangrene can develop when the supply of blood to one or more areas of your body becomes blocked. This can occur when an underlying health condition such as diabetes causes damage to a section of blood vessels or because of a bacterial infection or because of an injury. Frostbite can also lead to wet gangrene. It is estimated that just under half of all wet gangrene cases occur as a result of infection that develops during surgery.

Any long-term (chronic) condition that can affect your blood vessels and arteries has the potential to cause gangrene, particularly if the condition is poorly managed. These include:

  • type 1 and type 2 diabetes – high levels of blood sugar associated with these conditions can damage blood vessels
  • atherosclerosis – where arteries narrow and become clogged with a fatty substance known as plaque (risk factors for atherosclerosis include smoking and having high cholesterol levels)
  • peripheral arterial disease – in which a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricts blood supply to leg muscles (people with diabetes, atherosclerosis and/or high cholesterol levels often go on to develop peripheral arterial disease)

Gangrene often develops as a complication of an open wound or sore that develops on the skin of the feet (a diabetic foot ulcer).

If you have diabetes, you may be more at risk of developing foot ulcers as a result of:

  • reduced sensation
  • reduced blood supply

High blood sugar associated with diabetes can damage nerves (peripheral neuropathy), particularly in your feet. Once damaged, the nerves are unable to transmit sensations of pain to your brain. Therefore it is easy to damage or injure yourself without realising.

As a result, you may continue walking without protecting the wound. This can make the wound worse and it may develop into an ulcer.

High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels, restricting blood supply to your feet. Less blood means your feet will also receive a lower number of infection-fighting cells, and wounds will take longer to heal.

Reduced sensation means you are more likely to develop an ulcer, and reduced blood supply means the ulcer is more likely to become infected. The infection is likely to restrict the blood supply further, leading to gangrene.

If you have type 1, or type 2, diabetes, it is essential you take extra care of your feet. You should get your feet checked regularly by a podiatrist (a medical professional, also known as a chiropodist, who specialises in foot care).

Other factors known to weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing infection associated with gangrene include:

  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • HIV
  • chronic alcohol misuse
  • injecting drugs, such as heroin
  • malnutrition – where a person’s diet does not contain sufficient nutrients to meet the demands of their body
  • being over 60 (the older you are, the less efficient your immune system is)
  • obesity – being overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above
  • kidney failure

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It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:

  • Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
  • Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
  • Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid all fast food restaurants.
  • Avoid all canned food.
  • Eliminate conventional dairy products.  The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows.  If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
  • Avoid conventional beef.  The best beef is organic grass fed beef.

www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok?affld=104400  The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.


  • Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
  • Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met.  The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product.  You can find more details here kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
  • Take an Omega 3 supplement:

Krill oil

Fish oil

Cod liver oil


Prescription and non-prescription medication:

What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking?  Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.

We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:

  • Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
  • Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
  • Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
  • . Find out more by clicking here.
  • Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
  • Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage.  Find a practitioner here.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress.  Find a local practitioner here (link) or go towww.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
  • Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind.  Find a practitioner here.

This content is for members only. Please JOIN NATURAL CURES OR LOGIN


Traditional Chinese Medicine  – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php

The best way to cleansing and purification of the body  blogs.naturalcures.com/the-best-way-to-cleansing-and-purification-of-the-body/

Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters/

Immune health www.naturalcures.com/Members/newsletters/pdfs/NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf

Collodial Silver www.naturalcures.com/Members/newsletters/pdfs/NC_Newsletter_09-08.pdf

Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong (from August 2012 newsletter)         

Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT (June 2012 newsletter)

Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress (Oct 2012 newsletter)

Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout (Oct 2012 newsletter)

Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective blogs.naturalcures.com/hypnotherapy-for-stress-management-why-it-is-so-effective/


Bentonite clay can prevent needless amputations:  www.naturalnews.com/026259_clay_diabetes_amputations.html

Further Information

Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics by John McKenna

by Bernie S Siegel

The Healing Power of Nature Foods: 50 Revitalizing Superfoods & Lifestyle Choices To Promote Vibrant Health by Susan Smith Jones

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green

Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen

Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative by Zane Baranowski

The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal

The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine

1,000 Indian Recipes (1,000 Recipes) by Neelam Batra;

Food–Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper

Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy

Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.

David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress

judith hoad [email protected] – herbalist.

Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.

Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.

Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.

Rakesh  [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.

Joanne Callaghan – [email protected]   www.RogerCallahan.com Thought Field Therapy (TF) releasing unresolved emotions, stress and illness.

Trusted products

Essential Oils

KT Daily Supplements

Aromatherapy oils

Rebound Air – mini trampoline

Clean well – Natural Cleaning Products

EMF necklace – blocker and stress reducing pendant

Neutralize electromagnetic chaos

Dr Callaghan Techniques


Water filter

Candida plan

Herbal and homeopathic remedies