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.
Borrelia Bacterium And The Black
The spread of Lyme disease occurs when the Borrelia burgdorferi transfers from a tick bite to a human. In the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central United States, this comes from the black-legged, or deer, tick . On the Pacific Coast, it is spread by the western black-legged tick . Most cases of infection are transmitted through the bites of immature ticks, or those in the nymph stage. These ticks are typically tiny, measuring less than 2mm, and are very difficult to see.
Considerations & Side Effects Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
As with all medical treatments, there are side effects and minor risks associated with the treatment. The most common side effect of HBO therapy is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses due to the dramatic change in pressure. To reduce the risks of this occurring patients are provided with techniques to adequately clear their ears during the treatment. Other potential risks include temporary near-sightedness, lung collapse, and eardrum rupture. One of the rarer side effects is oxygen toxicity due to too much oxygen entering the body which can result in seizures.
The cost of the treatment and the availability in your particular area should also be taken into consideration, especially those with more serious and chronic illnesses. A one-off treatment might not do too much damage to the bank balance, but the costs can add up when you require several sessions and most more than likely require some sessions some up to 20-40 treatments.
Patients should also be prepared that the HBOT may not provide any noticeable improvement in their particular symptoms. In some cases, HBOT is used as an addition to a comprehensive treatment plan rather than a stand-alone therapy.
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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Chronic Lyme Disease
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been utilized more and more in the last decade to deal with Lyme disease. Monumental research by the Texas A& M University has shown dramatic improvements in the general state of patients with Lyme disease when treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric has been demonstrated to:
Here we look at the latest studies done on Lyme disease with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Healing Lyme Meningitis With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Read more natural healing stories at here.
On July 4th, 2012, my life changed dramatically. I was suddenly in agonizing pain with a high fever and incapacitated by what was eventually diagnosed as Early Disseminating Lyme Meningitis, and then Lyme radiculoneuritis. Within the short span of just 12 hours, I went from being a person actively gardening, mountain biking and doing the chiropractic work that I love to being bedridden and in acute, excruciating pain.
Treated first with IV antibiotics my condition improved, but soon deteriorated again as I began to experience severe lower back, leg and abdominal pain. Nine months later I remained unable to walk, dress, read, drive, or sit without excruciating pain. A host of treatment approaches, including a long course of IV antibiotics were unsuccessful, and my life was reduced to my couch, bed, constant pain and morphine.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is defined as the medical use of oxygen at pressures greater than normal. Although I was a physician, I had never heard of HBOT until Lyme disease catapulted me into incapacity and demoralizing pain. It is a safe, effective and well-researched treatment modality that is underutilized here in the U.S, as we tend to rely on pharmaceutical approaches instead.
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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.
Recent Study Shows Hbot Effectively Treats Those Afflicted With Lyme Disease:
For most people who catch Lyme disease early, a course of antibiotics frequently knocks out the infection. Many people, however, do not completely recover, even after multiple courses of medication. On its website, the Lyme Research Alliance lists 87 symptoms associated with the disease. The headaches, arthritic pain, fatigue, confusion and neurological symptoms can feel unbearable. Thankfully, many Lyme disease symptoms respond well to treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy even when other treatments have failed.
Here at the National Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center, in addition to these benefits, we see how glands and organs resume functioning normally during the course of treatment.
If you or a loved one suffers from chronic Lyme disease symptoms, we can help you to decide whether HBOT is right for you during an assessment. Simply to schedule a time or call our center at 787-7077.
Megans Treatment Testimonial
Megan shares the emotional story of how she got bitten by a tick during basic training that developed into Lyme disease, and how Dr. Spiegel gave Megan her life back!
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Lyme Disease Is Included Among The Many Conditions That May Respond To Hbot
In reading the study below by Dr. Fife, you will note that the purpose of his research was to determine if oxygen under pressure could kill the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease. The atmospheric levels of oxygen needed to kill the bacteria were determined and could safely be achieved in a hyperbaric chamber. Ninety-one subjects completed hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Of those treated, 84% showed significant improvement by a decrease or elimination of symptoms.
Adam Breiner, ND, Fairfield, CT
Lyme Disease And Hbot What Is Lyme Disease
Early treatment with antibiotics is often enough to cure the infection. However, a delay in treatment or antibiotic resistance leads to long-term disease and complications. This is where HBOT plays a critical role in improving symptoms and helping patients regain their quality of life.
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So What Makes Hbot Effective
HBOT can be used to treat Lyme disease and is most specifically effective against neurological Lyme. The reason it is so effective was discovered in a 1998 study by William Fife at Texas A& M who found that by exposing spirochetes to oxygen they are weakened and can die off. After further research it was found that exposing it to above normal levels of oxygen, Borrelia bacteria are unable to survive. By doing dives of two atmospheres below sea level for 2-3 hours, 5 days a week for 12 weeks, the oxygen levels inside your body are risen by 10-15 above normal levels. The pressurized oxygen penetrates Borrelia bacteria, even those that have developed biofilms and antibiotic resistance, reducing inflammation in the brain and stimulating new stem cells that strengthen the immune system. Dependent on how advanced the Borrelia bacteria it may require slightly deeper dives, but this is determined through advanced monitoring.
The main side effects of HBOT are barometric problems that can cause ear pain, but Dr. Alvarez stated that if you can handle going up in an airplane then it shouldnt be an issue. Another side effect that may be irritating in the short term but is a sign that treatment is working is a Jarisch Herxheimer reaction. According to the study by Dr. Fife, all but one of the patients treated had this reaction. Dr. Alvarez agrees that herxing is a critical step on the road to recovery.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a disease spread through tick bites and is one of the most common airborne diseases in the US. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 30,000 cases are reported annually.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to people by infected deer ticks. While short term victims of Lyme disease report symptoms such as bull -eye rash, fever, flu-like symptoms, migraines, fatigue, joint and muscle pains, a high number of cases are misdiagnosed and immediately grow into a more severe illness called late disseminated Lyme.
Early treatment with antibiotics can cure Lyme disease outright however, delaying treatment can create long-term complications. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is great in this situation, as it has been shown to help treat Lyme disease.
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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.
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
On Mobility Improvement
Diminishes inflammatory-related arthritic pain lessens muscle discomfort increases energy levels.
On Antibacterial Activity
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Transmission And Prevention Of Lyme Disease
In the United States, most cases of Lyme disease occur in the upper mid-western states, upper north-eastern states and the northwestern states on the West Coast. Ticks live in shady, wooded areas or heavily grassy areas and remain close to the ground. They can cling to tall grass, brush, and shrubs. The ticks responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease are typically in the nymph stage and are very small.
While they can bite and attach anywhere on a human, they are more likely to attach in hidden or hairy areas, such as the armpit, groin, and scalp. While it is possible, the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi does not occur unless the tick has attached and been feeding for more than 36 hours. When hiking or camping, it is essential to check for ticks on a regular basis. And also remove them as soon as possible. The longer a tick remains attached, the greater your risk is of developing Lyme disease.
Studies On Lyme Disease Hyperbaric Oxygen And Hbot Treatment
As of today, HBOT does not have FDA approval for the treatment of Lyme disease and doctors use it as an off-label course of treatment. While it may not yet have FDA approval, there are numerous studies that have shown the effectiveness of HBOT in the treatment of Lyme disease.
A paper published in 1998 by W.P. Fife, Ph.D. and R.A. Neubauer, MD discussed the use of HBOT and hyperbaric oxygen with Lyme disease. They discovered that fibroblasts often protect the Borrelia bacteria from antibiotics, making traditional treatment options ineffective. Because HBOT delivers high levels of oxygen under elevated pressure, the oxygen penetrates deep into the tissue and provide an oxygen-rich environment where the bacteria are unable to survive. The study looked at 91 patients and treated them with HBOT while they maintained antibiotic therapy. At the end of the study, 84.8 percent showed significant improvement in symptoms as well as positive diagnostic changes in SPECT scans .
Hyperbaric Oxygen Helps After Years Of Failed Treatments
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Traditional Treatment Courses For Lyme Disease
When it comes to Lyme disease, early treatment is critical. Traditional treatment is an extended course of oral antibiotics. In more severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be given. When treated early enough, the course of antibiotics is often enough to cure the disease and patients recover quickly. In some cases, patients will continue to experience symptoms even after treatment. In these cases, an additional course of antibiotics may help. However, research has shown that longer courses of antibiotics rarely provide benefits.
Patients that do not respond to antibiotics, or those that begin treatment late in the disease, are often unable to find relief. On the contrary, they continue to battle with chronic conditions and permanent damage to joints and the nervous system. Johns Hopkins researchers determined that many patients treated and, according to testing, cured of the condition, often suffer lingering issues. Their research concluded that Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome is a credible diagnosis. However, patients are left with no effective traditional treatments. This is where hyperbaric oxygen therapy often provides relief where nothing else can.
Oxygen Therapy Used As Weapon In Fight Against Lyme Disease
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.
For more information on hyperbaric treatment for Lyme, go to .
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Benefits Of Ozone In Lyme Disease Management
Using prescription antibiotics to treat Lyme disease can have negative effects4 on the immune system. However, these complications can be remedied by Ozone therapy, as it can make the immune system work faster in relieving the symptoms and improving circulation4, as well as in protecting the liver.
This positive effect on the immune system is caused by the reinfusion of ozone, which creates a mild biochemical stress that stimulates the liver into producing more glutathione, the main antioxidant that the body uses for detoxification.
Studies have shown that administering Ozone therapy in the treatment of Lyme disease and neurological symptoms caused by Lyme neuro-borreliosis has led to positive outcomes.