Chicago residents who suffer from Lyme disease now have an alternative treatment option in Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy.
Due to the anaerobic nature of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be used to effectively neutralize Lyme disease.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
HBOT is a technique for injecting oxygen into the body by the use of pressurized, oxygen-rich air to increase oxygen absorption and supply.
This treatment entails the patient entering a specific chamber that is pressurized 1.5 to 3 times higher than normal, allowing them to breathe in high doses of oxygen in a safe and regulated setting.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy works by taking advantage of air pressure and how it affects our body’s oxygen absorption.
When we ascend dramatically in altitude, such as when climbing a mountain or taking off in a plane, we have trouble breathing.
The common misconception is that there is less oxygen at greater heights.
In reality, the air we breathe is composed of 21% oxygen on average, whether we are at sea level or at the summit of a tall mountain.
The breathing difficulties we feel are not caused by a lack of oxygen in the air, but by the shift in pressure.
As we ascend, atmospheric pressure rises, reducing oxygen absorption by our red blood cells, causing them to become oxygen-depleted.
When we descend, the pressure rises, and our oxygen absorption rises.
Unless we have any unique heart or respiratory issues, our red blood cells are normally close to 100 percent saturated at sea level.
This means that under typical, healthy conditions, our red blood cells are able to hold as much oxygen as possible.
However, the liquid element of our blood, plasma, generally carries very little oxygen.
Descending below sea level will enhance oxygen absorption even more, but because our red blood cells are already full, all of that extra oxygen will be taken by our plasma.
Our plasma is essentially converted into a large reserve of oxygen in this high-pressure, oxygen-rich condition, which our cells may then use for nearly whatever our body requires such as faster injury regeneration, improved immune system, improved neuroplasticity, and higher energy levels.
This high-pressure, oxygen-rich environment is what Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy simulates in order to treat a myriad of diseases. At HBOT Chicago, patients some of the conditions treated are:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Post Stroke Recovery
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is also used to improve the following:
Post Surgical Recovery
In this blog, we will focus on how Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy oxygenates the body and how it is used to treat Lyme Disease.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a sickness caused by bacterial infection transmitted via parasite bites on humans.
It is characterized by a flat, circular rash that looks like a red oval or bull’s-eye that might appear anywhere on the body.
The rash can be accompanied by fatigue, muscle pains, headaches, joint pain and swelling, fever, swollen lymph nodes, poor sleep, and trouble concentrating.
Borrelia burgdorferi and, in rare cases, Borrelia mayonii is the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Humans are affected after being bitten by infected blacklegged ticks.
When left untreated Lyme disease could later on manifest as Neurological problems.
You may develop inflammation of the membranes around your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and reduced muscular action weeks, months, or even years after infection.
Tick bites can be avoided by wearing clothing that covers the arms and legs and applying insect repellents containing DEET or picaridin.
Pesticides may also be effective in reducing tick populations.
Tweezers can be used to remove ticks. If the tick is full of blood, a single dosage of doxycycline may be given to prevent infection, but this is not normally suggested because infection is uncommon.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Lyme disease is the most prevalent disease spread by ticks.
It is estimated that 300,000 people in the United States and 65,000 people in Europe are affected each year. Spring and early summer are the most typical times for infections.
When it comes to Lyme disease, getting treatment as soon as possible is crucial.
An extended course of oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime is the standard treatment.
Intravenous antibiotics may be used in more serious situations.
Antibiotics are often adequate to cure the condition when caught early enough, and patients recover swiftly.
In some circumstances, patients may continue to experience symptoms following treatment, such as fever and muscular and joint discomfort.
An additional course of antibiotics may be beneficial in certain circumstances. Longer courses of antibiotics, on the other hand, are rarely beneficial, according to study.
Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii are types of anaerobic bacteria.
Any organism that does not require molecular oxygen to grow is known as an anaerobic organism or Anaerobe.
This type of bacteria can only survive in environments without oxygen.
If atmospheric oxygen is present, the bacteria may respond negatively or most likely die from oxygen exposure, which is why Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is such an effective tool against Lyme disease.
Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy be used to treat Lyme Disease?
There have been multiple studies regarding the efficacy of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in treating Lyme disease.
These studies have indicated that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a reliable method of dealing with bacterial infection.
A paper by W.P. Fife was published in 1998 about a study on the use of HBOT and hyperbaric oxygen as a means to treat Lyme disease.
It discussed how the Borrelia bacteria are often protected from antibiotics by fibroblasts (cells found in connective tissue), rendering typical treatment methods ineffectual.
HBOT delivers high volumes of oxygen at high pressures, allowing the oxygen to permeate deep into the tissue and create an oxygen-rich environment in which bacteria cannot exist.
The study looked at 91 patients who were treated with HBOT while still on antibiotics.
84.8 percent of participants demonstrated significant improvement in symptoms and good diagnostic improvements in SPECT scans by the end of the research (a nuclear imaging test that produces 3-D imaging of brain function).
A case report of a 31-year-old man who had been treated with standard antibiotics for years was examined in a 2104 study.
While on the antibiotics, both cycles of treatment resulted in minor symptom relief, but symptoms would recur.
The patient had 30 sessions of HBOT at 2.5 ATA, each lasting 1.5 hours, after years of ineffective antibiotic therapy.
The patient’s loss of thinking abilities and sleep difficulties resolved after the first ten sessions.
Numbness in the limbs and periorbital twitching decreased after 20 treatments. Joint pain and other physical issues vanished after the whole 30 treatments
HBOT, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy, is a novel treatment for Lyme disease that is not available through regular medicines.
The germs that cause Lyme disease, like other bacteria, are anaerobic. This means they can’t live in situations with a lot of oxygen.
As a result, while the bacteria may develop resistance to standard antibiotics, they are unable to grow in environments with high oxygen levels.
As a result, it’s only natural that HBOT and oxygen would be beneficial.
HBOT therapies use pressured settings to give high oxygen concentrations.
The oxygen enters the body and kills the bacteria that cause the sickness.
While standard therapy begins with antibiotics, many doctors are now combining antibiotics with HBOT treatments, allowing the two treatments to work together to cure the patient.
However, hyperbaric oxygen does more than merely kill the germs that cause Lyme disease.
The high oxygen concentrations aid in the treatment of symptoms and illnesses that, for many people, persist even after test results reveal no more infection.
HBOT is often used to treat PTLDS after other treatments have failed.
Joint and muscular discomfort, persistent inflammation, cognitive difficulties, and nerve damage are all common side effects of the treatment.
- Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans via tick bites. It is characterized as a skin rash that becomes progressively worse over time, causing flu-like symptoms and discomfort.
- The bacteria associated with Lyme diseases are anaerobic bacteria, meaning they cannot survive in environments where oxygen is present.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a treatment which increases the amount of oxygen in the human body, therefore creating an unlivable condition for anaerobic bacteria. This is done through one or several sessions wherein patients enter a Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber which creates a high-pressure, oxygen-rich environment.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has seen many successful treatments of Lyme disease at the Hyperbaric Oxygen facilities of HBOT Chicago.