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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining. In addition to abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal discomforts, it can also cause arthritis, inflammation of the eye, and skin rashes. Currently, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, so treatment is focused on controlling symptoms through medications and lifestyle changes (improvement of dietary and health habits). Preliminary scientific studies suggest that hyperbaric oxygen can help diminish symptoms during a flare-up of Crohn’s disease, possibly due to modulation of the immune system, particularly with regard to inflammation.

Common complications of inflammation include the development of an intestinal obstruction abnormal connecting channels (fistulae), and pus-filled pockets of infection (abscesses). Pistulas may develop that connect two different parts of the intestine. Fistulas also may connect the intestine and bladder or the intestine and the skin surface, especially around the anus. When the large intestine is affected by Crohn's disease, rectal bleeding commonly occurs.

Crohn's disease is associated with certain disorders affecting other parts of the body such as gallstones and inadequate absorption of nutrients. When Crohn's disease causes a flare-up of gastrointestinal symptoms, the person may also experience inflammation of the joints (arthritis). Under chronic inflammation there are microcirculation disorders in bowel mucosa, hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and changes in catecholamine and other metabolisms. These factors are the reason to use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy combined with conventional medical management in the treatment of this disease where medication alone has not relieved symptoms to a satisfactory degree.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy limits the amount of inflammation in the bowels, lowers the CRP values, lowers Sedimentation values and lowers the WBC values. The pain is alleviated, the patients weight improves, and bowel movements return almost to normal. Although the mechanism is not clearly understood, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy should be considered in treatment of Crohn's Disease not responding to conventional treatments.

In the study published in Proceeding of the Tenth International Congress on Hyperbaric Medicine the remission of patients treated with HBO prolonged until 4-5 years in 49% of the cases, the improvement was noted in 37%. Later none of the patients treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy needed operative intervention as compared with the patients treated only with drugs. The considerable improvement induced by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatments allowed some patients to receive lower doses of drugs and in most cases to cease the hormono-therapy.

Patient Medical makes no claims as to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy efficacy for any indication, other than the thirteen indications approved by the FDA. Information within this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only. This information is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your personal physician or any other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Get Additional Information on Crohn's Disease Here

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the ability of nerve cells to properly transmit signals. Nerves are surrounded by sheaths of myelin, which act as insulation, ensuring that the signal reaches its destination. In multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks the myelin, damaging it irreparably. A variety of neurological problems can result, ultimately causing problems with balance, coordination, vision, speech and cognition. While hyperbaric oxygen therapy is unlikely to cure multiple sclerosis, it has been used in conjunction with other treatments to aid in recovery from multiple sclerosis attacks for many years now. Although more research is necessary, hyperbaric oxygen seems to alleviate symptoms and significantly increase periods of remission between attacks.

Before we explain the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for multiple sclerosis, it must be understood that this therapy is not a cure for this condition. The main aim is to stabilize the patient's condition and improve the quality of life. Many MS people report improvements in their overall symptoms and their function ability. Patients have reported improvements with their ataxia, numbness in their fingers and hands, balance, visual fields, concentration, pain, weakness and dizziness. It has been shown that most often, improvement can be achieved in bladder-bowel disorders.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments should be initiated as soon as the condition is diagnosed and before irreversible lesions have become established. This does not mean that patients with a diagnosis longer than 5 years will not benefit. Controversy surrounding the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy exists because the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy have been widely misunderstood.

Despite the involvement of patients with advanced disease in trials, the results are very impressive. A combination of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, other therapeutic agents and diet can help ensure a positive outcome. The addition of antibiotics has shown to be beneficial in some patients. A university in the USA announced the use of Minocycline or Doxyclycline helps to slow the progression of the disease process for years.

Oxygen is essential to all tissues in the body and especially to injured tissues, which require oxygen to support and improve the healing process. It has been shown that, there may be a severe lack of oxygen in the affected areas during a "MS flair" so that when oxygen is needed most to reduce swelling and help prevent scarring or plaque formation, it cannot reach the tissue in sufficient quantity. With the help of extra oxygen, the body's ability to heal and limit some of the damage the disease causes, is possible. Under Hyperbaric oxygen therapy conditions, breathing 100% oxygen causes vasoconstriction which causes the dilated leaky blood vessels in MS to constrict back to normal size and reduces the swelling, due to fluid gathering, which can lead to cells dying. Drugs can also cause vasoconstriction but reduce the available amount of oxygen tissues receive when blood flow is reduced. Oxygen is the safest "drug" available when administered by trained professionals.

Of all the current therapies presumably based on an understanding of the etiology and pathophysiology of the disease process, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has the soundest foundation. Based on comparative efficacy and safety considerations, it is recommended that HBOT be used for treating early MS and treating MS associated cerebellar and bowel-bladder dysfunction.

Patient Medical makes no claims as to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy efficacy for any indication, other than the thirteen indications approved by the FDA. Information within this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only. This information is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your personal physician or any other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Get Additional Information on Multiple Sclerosis Here

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Article Last Updated: 08/26/2015