Autoimmune Disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is a common autoimmune disease that causes severe swelling of the joint linings. RA develops when the body’s immune system is unknowingly attacking its own joints, believing them to be foreign substances like bacteria/viruses. This causes inflammation in the joint linings and discomfort. There is no cure for RA, so traditional treatments focus on managing or improving quality of life with physical therapy, exercise, weight control, and medications.

HBOT has seen positive results in alleviating symptoms of RA and improving quality of life. One study found that HBOT is dinstinctly superior to the routine treatments of RA. Patients in this study showed positive effects on analgesia (inability to feel pain), lowering blood sedimentation rate, stabilizing immunologic function, and strengthening the the body’s resistance for eliminating pathogenic factors. In this study HBOT was found to actually inhibit the development of RA, but treatment is more effective if started in the early stages of disease.

HBOT Benefits

  • Reduce inflammation – decreased joint pain
  • Increase activity level
  • Improve sleep
  • Decrease need for standard rheumatic medications (reduce effects of immunosuppression)
  • Repair damaged tissues
  • Stabilize immunologic function
  • Strengthen body’s resistance for eliminating pathogenic factors
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease remains difficult to identify and diagnose, and the definitive number of people affected is currently unknown, making it the fastest growing infectious disease in the United States. Complications of Lyme Disease include chronic joint inflammation, cognitive defects, neurological irregularities, as well as other issues. The tick-borne bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) is protected by the biofilm it creates to hide from the immune system, and can often lie dormant for years. Antibiotic interventions alone often fall short in providing much needed symptomatic relief.

Like most bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi is anaerobic, meaning they are unable to survive in an oxygen-rich environment. HBOT provides a unique treatment for Lyme patients compared to traditional treatments in that it can deliver concentrated oxygen to the hypoxic areas of the body to directly kill the bacteria. Not only can HBOT directly kill the bacteria, but also aid in decreasing fatigue and joint pain, improving sleep, and increasing mobility.

HBOT Benefits

Ameliorate Neurological Conditions

  • Decreases neuroinflammation
  • Enhances short-term memory
  • Reduces chronic fatigue
  • Improves concentration
  • Ameliorates chronic headaches
  • Lessens depression
  • Moderates insomnia
Lyme Disease

Increase Mobility

  • Diminishes inflammatory-related arthritic pain
  • Lessens muscle discomfort
  • Improves walking distance
  • Amplifies energy levels

Enhance Antibacterial Effects

  • Induces angiogenesis to mobilize blood flow to affected tissue and bone
  • Augments antibiotic interventions by driving bacteria out of biofilms
  • Enhances white blood cell and immune system activity
  • Improves antibiotic cell wall penetration
  • Increases oxygen free radicals to combat the bacteria

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis

IBD refers to both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and is characterized by chronic inflammation of the GI tract. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon and flare ups are defined by continuous inflammation, while Crohn’s can occur anywhere in the GI tract, with healthy parts of intestine mixed in between inflamed areas. Symptoms include flare-ups, where patients suffer periods of severe symptoms, followed by remission. There is no way to predict a flare-up and symptoms vary from abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea to anal fissures. Traditional treatments include various types of medications, bowel rest, special diets, and/or surgery. The goal of these treatments is to induce remission and prevent any complications so that patients can maintain a normal, active life.

HBOT has shown great potential in lessening the severity of symptoms and improving overall quality of life in IBD patients. In one review of HBOT for IBD, 78% of patients showed clinical improvements with HBOT, lowering inflammation and oxidative stress in both human and animal studies.

HBOT Benefits

  • Increasing oxygen delivery to the body
  • Reduce overall inflammation
  • Alleviate pain
  • Support faster wound and fistula healing
  • Reduce mental and physical stress
  • Enhance the effect of of medications, and potentially reduce the need
  • Eliminate bacteria & infection

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Lupus is an inflammatory disease caused by the immune system attacking its own tissues. This can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. During flare-ups, patients typically experience fatigue, joint pain, rash, and fever followed by periods of remission. There is no cure for Lupus, so traditional treatments focus on improving quality of life by controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups through medication and lifestyle changes. The problem with Lupus medications is that they don’t actually treat Lupus, and instead reduce symptoms by lowering immune system activity. This could lead to further complications because a suppressed immune system lowers the body’s ability to fight off infections.

HBOT down-regulates inflammatory pathways and constricts blood vessels (decreasing swelling), making it a promising alternative method for managing Lupus (an inflammatory disease). This helps alleviate pain, but the additional benefit from HBOT is that it helps boost the immune system by weakening infection-causing bacteria, the biggest concern associated with traditional treatment.

HBOT Benefits

  • Increasing oxygen delivery to the body
  • Reduce overall inflammation
  • Alleviate pain
  • Support faster wound healing
  • Reduce mental and physical stress
  • Eliminate bacteria & infection
  • Decrease need for standard rheumatic medications (reduce effects of immunosuppression)
  • Repair damaged tissues
  • Stabilize immunologic function
  • Strengthen body’s resistance for eliminating pathogenic factors

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and emotional/mental distress. Although there are several potential causes for fibromyalgia, researchers believe fibromyalgia amplifies pain by affecting the way the brain and spinal cord process pain signals. There is no cure, so traditional treatments focus on managing symptoms and improving quality of life through medications and physical therapy. While this does provide relief for some patients, many others continue to suffer and look for alternative treatments to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

HBOT provides a non-invasive treatment of symptoms with diminished side effects compared to traditional treatments. In a 2015 study of 48 women with fibromyalgia diagnosis for over 2 years, all patients reported significant improvement in pain and quality of life. Furthermore, SPECT imaging showed restoration of normal brain function, correcting the abnormal brain activity associated with fibromyalgia.

HBOT Benefits

Enhances Healing & Recovery

  • Reduce inflammation & swelling
  • Minimize pain & discomfort
  • Improve range of motion
  • Prevent joint collapse

Supports Healing at Cellular Level

  • Promotes anti inflammatory proteins
  • Improved angiogenesis, enhancing blood flow to dead tissue/bone
  • Induce fibroblast activation
  • Enhance collagen production
  • Stimulate neovascularization
  • Stimulate bone remodeling