Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Brings Relief To Those With Chronic Lyme Disease
First identified by a Yale University researcher in the 1970s, Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi and spread by the blacklegged tick. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that 300,000 people get Lyme disease every year in the United States. Lyme disease can progress from feeling feverish, tired and achy to far more serious conditions. It can impact the immune and nervous systems, the eyes, brain, heart and other organs.
Accurately diagnosing Lyme disease baffles doctors for two reasons. First, tests for the disease can yield both false positives and false negatives, and second, early symptoms mimic those of many other health conditions, including the flu. Patients also get misdiagnosed with arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS and Lupus. Only around 60 percent of those with Lyme disease will present with a telltale bullseye rash.
Doctors in New England and the Upper Midwest encounter Lyme disease so frequently that they routinely prescribe antibiotics regardless of whether patient blood tests return negative. Thats because when left untreated Lyme disease can even prove deadly. In fact, in August of 2013 a 17-year-old young man from Poughkeepsie, New York, died from Lyme carditis after suffering flu symptoms for just three weeks.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is generally an acute bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi, causing short term symptoms such an a circular or target shaped rash, flu like symptoms, lethargy and muscle and joint pain. Approximately 30,000 cases are reported each year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Typically, the symptoms are short lived, however, If left untreated, it can easily turn into a chronic condition called late disseminated Lyme.
Although early cases of Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics, late stage Lyme can lead to far more complications and are not so easily treated with antibiotics, with many sufferers reporting symptoms being only temporarily relieved by antibiotics at this stage. It is at this stage where Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be of use in treatment for Lyme. How HBOT for Lyme disease works is that in Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the patient is placed into a hyperbaric chamber and within this chamber, they are given 100% oxygen to breathe. The air outside is said to be approximately 21% oxygen, with the majority of the atmosphere being made of nitrogen which passes harmlessly in and out of our lungs.
Mainstream & Alternative Treatment Of Patients With Lyme Disease
Patients diagnosed early with Lyme Disease by a mainstream practitioner are typically prescribed oral antibiotics, recovering quickly and in most cases completely. According to the CDC, there are approximately 10-20% of patients who continue to suffer from recurrent or persistent symptoms. These patients are generally those who were diagnosed later after being infected.
In the 1980s a vaccination was developed to protect against Lyme Disease. This has since been withdrawn from the market due to fairly severe side effects that patients were developing including deformities.
Today with the increase of alternative practitioners other treatment options are being explored including infrared sauna, HBOT, diet manipulation, salt and vitamin C protocols and herbal antibiotic treatments. Alternative practices such as qigong and acupuncture have also been used to treat the disease, particularly those with chronic illness.
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Message From Dr Alexander Alvarez Md
After practicing medicine for 35 years, Ive seen far too many patients struggling with Lyme disease for too long. Living with lingering Lyme symptoms year-after-year can be a lonely and constant battle for the 10 to 20 percent of people not able to achieve remission with antibiotics. Ive witnessed patients who have spent the past 10 years taking prescription medications before learning that HBOT is a viable medical solution. After three months of Aviv Clinics proprietary HBOT protocol, patients are symptom-free and wishing they would have known sooner it could have saved years of living in the shadow of Lyme disease.
With May being Lyme Disease Awareness Month, there is no better time to share a snapshot overview on HBOT and how it treats chronic symptoms. I invite you to explore how Avivs personalized treatment is revolutionizing how to promote healing in Lyme patients.
History Of Lyme Disease
Dr. Allen Steere first identified Lyme disease in the early 1970s. He connected the disease to a bite from the black-legged, or deer, tick. He named it Lyme disease after Old Lyme, Connecticut, where doctors diagnosed the first victims. It wasnât until 1982, however, that someone identified the actual cause. Swiss-born entomologist Willy Burgdorfer discovered the bacterium responsible for the disease and named it after himself.
Borrelia burgdorferi is the main cause of Lyme disease in the United States. However, in 2013, scientists at the Mayo clinic discovered a second bacterial species, Borrelia mayonii, responsible for Lyme disease in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. In Europe and Asia, two more species of bacteria can cause Lyme disease: Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii. All four species of bacteria spread through the black-legged tick.
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Oxygen Therapy Used As Weapon In Fight Against Lyme Disease
Posted: Jan 23, 2018 / 05:29 PM EST
Posted: Jan 23, 2018 / 05:29 PM EST
Pennsylvania has the most cases of Lyme disease in the United States, twice as many as New York which has the second highest number of cases.
Nineteen-year-old Samantha Perry of Mechanicsburg struggled with Lyme for years, but her doctor says she is now Lyme-free. Blood tests show no Lyme in her blood and her immune system is fully recovered.
Sam says she feels better than ever.
I feel great, she said. The inflammation is gone in my joints and in my brain and the fatigue is mostly gone.
What was her secret to finally ending the joint pain, the exhaustion and the brain fog? Sam credits oxygen therapy in a hyperbaric chamber.
Rene Krebs of Mechanicsburg also has Lyme and is currently trying oxygen therapy in the hyperbaric chamber. She feels it was her last resort. She has been sick for five years.
My goal is to get my life back, Krebs said, I feel like Ive been robbed of my life for so long, not knowing what I had.
The hyperbaric chamber is at the Robert Lombard Hyperbaric Center in Columbia, Lancaster County. One-hundred percent pure oxygen under pressure is forced into Krebs body. Her treatment calls for daily dives of an hour and a half, five times a week for eight weeks.
This isnt cheap. The treatment costs $1,000 a week and its not covered by insurance. Krebs recently ended her oxygen therapy and says she feels great and her memory is back to normal.
Lyme Disease And Hyperbarics: Turning The Corner On Treatment
The Stram Center is the only free standing medical clinic offering high pressure steel chamber hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the greater New York State. Read how concentrated oxygen can help fight Lyme.
Lyme Disease and Hyperbarics: Turning the Corner on Treatment
Why it works
The tick-borne bacterium or spirochete protects itself by creating a biofilm to hide from its hosts immune system. Nestling in tissues further protected by creating inflammation, and evading blood flow, Borelia can often lie dormant for years. Often antibiotic therapies fall short of providing symptomatic relief, especially when blood flow cannot reach the bacteria so well guarded. With hyperbaric oxygen therapy the plasma becomes saturated with a high load of oxygen, not otherwise possible, resulting in an elevation of tissue oxygenation, bypassing the need for hemoglobin carried by red blood cells. Now, the bacteria hiding from its hosts immune warfare carried by blood, has nowhere to hide from the deluge of oxygen, which is lethal to this bacteria. Further, increased oxygen levels from HBOT can increase white blood cell activity and enhance the efficiency of bactericidal action of white blood cells.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Effects
On Neurological Conditions Associated with Lyme
Diminishes inflammatory-related arthritic pain lessens muscle discomfort increases energy levels.
On Antibacterial Activity
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How Hbot Treats Lyme Disease:
The increased levels of oxygen in the blood delivered from HBOT kills off bacteria and viruses, while also removing heavy metals and toxins often present with Lyme disease. The oxygenation helps stimulate the production of additional stem cells in the body, which helps repair damaged tissue and alleviate joint and muscle pain associated with chronic Lyme disease.These treatments effectively reduce the levels of inflammation in the body by helping to grow and establish new blood vessels to allow oxygen-rich blood to reach inflamed tissues.
The Biology And Impact Of Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is caused by the spirochete B. burgdorferi, a microaerophilic organism carried by the Deer tick and transferred to humans through the ticks bite. Symptoms typically start with a bullseye rash and erythema migrans, a slightly raised lesion at the point of the tick bite. They then can advance to joint and muscle pain, sore throat, fever, swollen glands and mental fogginess.
If not diagnosed within the first month or two, the disease may become a chronic infection. Research shows it becomes sequestered in cells which protect it from effective treatment.
Recent autopsy reports have shown how ineffective antibiotics can prove in some cases. They found that the spirochete continues to live in the human body in multiple areas, including the inferior wall of the heart, tendons, muscle tissue and in the brain.
Previous autopsy reports on beagles and rhesus monkeys produced similar findings, even after they had received 15 to 20 years of antibiotics. Resistance to antibiotics comes from plasmids, including the Spire key that causes Lyme disease. Also, a biofilm protects both the spirochete and spirochetal DNA.
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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: More Lyme Quackery
Hyperbaric Oxygen is another unnecessary therapy marketed for Lyme disease.
HBOT has not, however, been proven to be the kind of universal treatment it has been touted to be on some Internet sites. FDA is concerned that some claims made by treatment centers using HBOT may give consumers a wrong impression that could ultimately endanger their health.
Another statement by the FDA specifically cautions regarding unproven Lyme disease treatment:
If you are considering the use of a HBOT device for yourself or a loved one, be aware that some claims of what it can do are unproven. For example, HBOT devices are not proven to cure cancer, Lyme disease, autism or Alzheimers disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends you check with your health care provider before using a HBOT device to make sure you are pursuing the most appropriate care.
A 2015 review of 30 unproven or disproven therapies advertised for Lyme disease noted No study of in humans with Lyme disease has ever been published. Why use hyperbaric oxygen when Lyme disease is a treatable infection?
HBOT is not cleared as safe and effective for Lyme disease by the FDA, and HBOT is not approved for Lyme disease by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society .
One hyperbaric oxygen peddler was disciplined for the unauthorized practice of medicine.
Hbot For Lyme Disease: A Possible Adjunctive Treatment Of A Chronic Debilitating Illness
December 3, 2021 | By Dr. Rudy Gehrman
Lyme disease is a common bacterial infection in humans caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a tick-borne parasite. In the United States, B. burgdorferi is the only pathogen causing the disease, while the Eu and Asia have a few other related bacterial species which cause Lyme disease as well, including Borrelia afzelii or Borrelia garinii.
Importantly, Lyme disease typically only occurs in specific geographic areas. In Europe, its prevalence has primarily been observed in Scandinavian countries and Central Europe, with a minor number of cases reported throughout the rest of the country. Meanwhile, most Lyme disease cases in the USA occur in New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. On the contrary, the prevalence of Lyme disease is much lower on the Pacific Coast of the USA such as California or Oregon1.
The past decade has seen a small rise in the number of yearly reported Lyme disease cases by as much as 30,000 per year in the USA, and recent statements by the CDC estimate roughly 476,000 total cases in the USA yearly.
So how are individuals infected? Well, exposure to ticks is the key of course since Lyme disease is a tick-borne pathogen. Thus, persons with high exposure to tick-infested areas, such as in woodlands or fields in endemic areas, are at an elevated risk of becoming infected.
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Case Study: Hbot And Lyme Disease Clinical Trial By Texas A& m
In a clinical trial performed by Dr. William Fife of Texas A& M University, 91 patients diagnosed with Lyme disease were treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. The 91 patients completed 1,995 hyperbaric oxygen treatments in total. All patients were given 100% pure oxygen for 60 minutes, for a variety of sessions, up to 3 months in duration.
Each patient was evaluated by a questionnaire, sourced from a standard Lyme disease questionnaire by Lyme specialists. Eighty-four percent of patients in the study showed significant improvement or elimination of symptoms.
While HBOT is effective in treating Lyme disease, all except one of the patients developed severe Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, usually starting within the first five days of treatment. In most cases, the Jarisch-Herxheimer response lasted throughout the duration of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Most subjects started to show significant improvements after HBOT treatments were finished.
Hbot For Lyme Disease Can It Improve Symptoms
Before getting started, its important to note that HBOT is not an FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of Lyme disease. This is due to a lack of studies and evidence for or against its utility.
That being said, a number of promising clinical studies and case reports have shown that HBOT is effective in treating Lyme disease throughout the USA.
In a clinical trial conducted at Texas A& M University, 91 Lyme disease patients were given HBOT treatment . The HBOT protocol included a 60-minute session for up to 3 months.
After the 3-month period, each patient was evaluated using a Lyme disease questionnaire developed by Lyme disease specialists. Surprisingly, 84% of the patients displayed either significant improvement in symptoms due to Lyme disease, or a complete elimination of their symptoms, indicating HBOT was markedly efficacious. The authors attributed the reduction in symptoms to the higher pressurized atmosphere of the HBOT chambers, which produces oxygen levels that kill off the bacterium responsible for the disease3.
Essentially, the study suggests HBOT removes bacteria and toxins from the body as the elevated oxygen in the blood delivered via HBOT kills bacteria/viruses. The increased blood oxygen may also aid in the removal of heavy metals and toxins which are often present in Lyme disease as well.
The patient was characterized/diagnosed with CLD prior to HBOT treatment.
However, some other ways HBOT works to treat Lyme disease were discussed as well, such as:
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Lyme Disease Bacteria Survive 28
Unfortunately, new research is showing that the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes can continue to survive, even after a 28-day course of antibiotic treatment. A recent study by researchers at Tulane University supports the claims of many Lyme disease patients. These patients continue to experience symptoms after antibiotic treatment. And even when blood tests say they no longer have Lyme disease.
Researchers discovered that the B. burgdorferi spirochetes have the ability to adapt to the host, can escape immune recognition, and even tolerate the antibiotics, allowing them to invade the brain and the heart. The lead researcher, Monica Embers, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology stated, Ã¢In this study, we were able to observe the existence of microscopic disease and low numbers of bacteria which would be difficult to Ã¢seeÃ¢ in humans but could possibly be the cause of the variable and nonspecific symptoms that are characteristic of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Although current antibiotic regimens may cure most patients who are treated early, if the infection is allowed to progress, the 28-day treatment may be insufficient, based on these findings.Ã¢
Some of those findings also show that all subjects treated with antibiotics had some level of infection up to 12 months post-treatment. Even after testing negative for Lyme disease antibody tests, subjects were still infected in the heart and bladder.
Hbot And Lyme Disease
Thousands of people are affected by Lyme disease throughout America. Often it can be misdiagnosed as other illnesses or ailments and so the Centers for Disease Control say the number of sufferers may be 5 to 10 times more than the estimated number.
The symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, flu symptoms, headaches, fatigue and muscle and joint pain. Lyme disease is often accompanied by a rash that looks like a bullâs-eye at the site of a tick bite. Itâs important to obtain an accurate diagnosis soon after a suspected tick bite as a misdiagnosis can result in early-stage Lyme disease developing into a more serious problem.
Late-disseminated Lyme causes a variety of problems like immune-system dysfunction, nervous system disorders, cognitive disorders, chronic sleep troubles, cardiac problems and even personality and mood swings. While late disseminated Lyme is not fatal, symptoms can be so disabling that many patients become bed-bound.
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Texas A& M Case Reports
Patient 1: 40 year old female with chronic Fatigue, limited Walking, constant joint pain, and cognitive difficulties.
Had symptoms for 5 years despite 5 rounds of antibiotic treatment for Lyme.
Patient initially had a severe herxheimer reaction.
Improved walking distance and cognitive function at 2-months after finishing Hyperbaric Treatment.
Many activities of daily living resumed at normal levels 5 months after finishing HBOT
Patients 2: 39 year old female, partial vision loss, left sided sensation alteration, chronic fatigue, joint stiffness, muscle pain and left leg weakness.
Had symptoms for 6 years prior to treatment.
More energy, decreased pain in left foot, and leg weakness resolved after sixth Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment.Improved with only periodic down days 5 months after stopping treatment.
Patient 3: 16 year old female, with fatigue, muscle and joint pain, mood swings, insomnia, memory loss and headaches. Patient was removed from high school.
Had symptoms for 3 years prior.
Long term antibiotic treatments only gave temporary relief.
After 45 treatments, concentration time increased from 30 min to 3 hours and continued to improve to point where she did well in college.
All patients were positive for Lyme disease with Serological Testing.
Taiwan Case Report
This case report on Hyperbaric Oxygen and Lyme was published in 2014 by Huang et al. In April 2003, the then 31-year-old healthy man began suffering from intermittent low- and high-grade fever.