hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Sheila01, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. Sheila01

    Sheila01 New Member

    Anybody ever tried HBOT? Darn, i cant really remember what it is called now, i always knew..... When you go in an oxygen chamber and get pumped full of oxygen, has anyone ever did that and how did it work for you? Is it called hyperbaric owygen treatment?
  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I think some are trying it here or at least have talked about it. Try doing a search up above in the search box for this forum.

    And here's a bump up!

  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Yes, I did it when in the mountains in Colorado. I was at 9500 feet, and a lot of people get oxygen sickness there.

    I started on an oxygen machine prescribed by a doctor (with the plastic thing in my nose), worn all night and used as needed. It did almost nothing.

    Then I used the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. They pumped it up and I fell asleep within 2 minutes. It seemed like another 2 minutes and the 1/2 hour was up.

    After that, I felt _great_. All cured. This lasted for several days. (Apparently the chamber super-saturates your body with oxygen, and this keeps you going for a while.)

    Since then I've been back a few times (we now have a condo there). I always get the hyperbaric oxygen the moment I arrive in town, and then about 3-4 days later. I feel perfectly fine. (After about a week, my body adjusts and I no longer feel the altitude sickness.)

    I know that altitude sickness has nothing to do with why you're asking. However, based on my experience, I would highly recommend that you try it if you find that oxygen is helpful to you. I don't know if insurance pays for it or not, though.

    Good luck!!!
  4. Sheila01

    Sheila01 New Member

    lisa, that sounds very encouraging. I wish I didnt have to drive 50 miles to do it tho., but i think I want to try it.
  5. Neurological diseases, traumatic brain injuries, and I believe even heavy metal toxicity.

    He's in Naples,Fla, doesn't accept any insurance and extremely* exspensive. I flew there out of desperation last year with hubby, and he started me on glutathione I.V. 2, then 3 times a week,and also wanted me to do HBOT here in indiana for 54 sessions. 2 a week, each session 2hrs long.....only....it was not covered by insurance for anything but traumatic brain injury (stroke, etc..) not MS, so it would be entirely out of pocket, and the nearest chambers were 65 miles away--one way.

    With my I.V. tx's being 3 days a week at doc's office, then at home once my port cath was put in, with a home health care nurse, how could i have gotten there twice a week!? and glutathione alone was $400/month, then I had syringes, alcohol pads, TONS of other meds,B12 shots, supplements, saline, & heparin to flush my port cath after every use....etc

    Just wasn't realistic. He treats usually the very wealthy, I got the impression, and basically was like go back home & fly a kite....."here's the plan, take it or leave it" and "too bad if u can't afford it" but, I did get a free copy of his book, for the $1100 I spent in two appts at his office, (the 2nd one was just a nurse giving me a B12 shot & glutathione I.V.)

    I really do wish I could've afforded the opportunity to try it at least, but, my integrative med doc's NP said the chambers that were 65 miles away, weren't even very decent.

    But, I've always told my husband I won't give up until I have tried absolutely everything, so that I at least know *I* have not failed myself, even if I fail to get better, it won't be for lack of trying on my part. But, when things are just that darn exspensive, and far away....well, I did the best I could, stayed on the I.V.'s for 6 months, until my port-cath repeatedly got infected, and failed to heal over (the incision) the port cath itself was under the skin completely, sewn in place in the muscle, about 2-3 inches above the left breast...

    Wish I could tell you how it worked for me, sorry... yes, though, you are correct, it's called Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment.

    The Better Brain book talks about it for Parkinson's, ALS, stroke, toxicity, MS, Lupus, etc..(maybe--I don't remember, even fibro/cfs) also supplements, diet, avoidance of alcohol and illicit drugs (derr! lol), etc. He also highly recommends a "good grade" of Omega 3's. (his strawberry flavored capsules, were like $96 or something for one month! YIKES

    Best wishes to you

  6. ladude

    ladude New Member

    I have a friend who found it stopped his crashes, no more valleys. so he went and bought a used one for 5 or 6K. It's a soft tube you climb in, like a coffin for an hour a day twice a week....

    He swears by it, I just swear....

    I tried it once and nothing, maybe more tries...

  7. victoria

    victoria New Member

    is if you have chronic sinusitis, which I do... or would've tried it already. Let us know if you try it and what happens?!

  8. u34rb

    u34rb New Member

    Sheila01, you do not actually “get pumped full of oxygen” in a hyperbaric chamber. The pressure inside the chamber is increased above that outside, that’s where the ‘hyper’ comes from. The 100% oxygen is breathed in normally, it is not forced in as you suggest. There is nothing painful about it.

    The normal treatment for conditions such as MS, CFS and FM is to breath 100% oxygen while at an air pressure twice that outside the chamber, and to do that for a total of 60 minutes.

    Lisapetrison treated altitude sickness with 30-minute sessions, but has not said at what pressure. As stated, “the plastic thing in my nose” is not hyperbaric oxygen.

    Ladude, You say, “I have a friend who found it stopped his crashes, no more valleys. So he went and bought a used one for 5 or 6K. It's a soft tube you climb in, like a coffin for an hour a day twice a week...”. I doubt that a “soft tube” could sustain the increase in pressure required, but if it works for someone that’s fine. My point is that it might not, and before anyone goes out and spends 5 or 6 K $, they should try it out first. It could be a cheap alternative to the real thing. But if it doesn’t work then they should try a rigid hyperbaric chamber, for instance one made from one-inch thick steel like the one I operate.

    Victoria, I would not agree that “chronic sinusitis” is necessarily a contra-indication. Have you discussed this with a qualified hyperbaric operator and actually tried it out? It is entirely possible that hyperbaric oxygen could help your sinusitis, and as well as whatever else you have a problem with. Alternatively, would you like to discuss this with a doctor who is a hospital consultant in hyperbaric medicine? (It need not cost you anything if I arranged it.)

  9. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    My sessions were an hour long too. It's been a year since I went to the mountains and I didn't stop to think about how long they were.

    I don't know the pressure.

  10. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I think I'd brought it up with the last specialist I saw, or the one before... it's been a good while tho, a few years, as I gave up consulting doctors for it.

    I'd LOVE to talk to any knowledgeable specialist.. but you are in the UK, no? I am in the southeastern US... so not sure how that could be arranged?!

    Unless you know someone here? or know someone who knows someone here...?


  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    By the way, I actually had a series of three of these treatments over a period of a couple of weeks at sea level. (Literally at sea level....about 1/4 mile from the ocean in Florida.) They didn't really do anything at all for me, I don't think.

    My CFS is caused primarily by immune deficiency---with extremely high viral loads and yeast. Also endocrine system problems and sleeping problems. I don't think toxicity is a big deal for me. Whatever it is that oxygen does, it doesn't seem to have helped those problems. i was in my usual moderately bad shape (50%) at the time, I believe.

    I know there are some people who really benefit from oxygen therapy in general, and the hyperbaric chamber seems like a great idea for them, though.
  12. u34rb

    u34rb New Member

    Victoria, “I'd LOVE to talk to any knowledgeable specialist.. but you are in the UK, no? I am in the southeastern US... so not sure how that could be arranged?! “ I was thinking by email or telephone, international calls are very cheap for us in the UK nowadays. But I don’t know how to communicate addresses and phone numbers since they can’t be posted here. Perhaps we could email via the management. Has anyone any experience about this.

    Lisapetrison: I would not have expected “a series of three of these treatments over a period of a couple of weeks” to have had much effect. The standard protocol to treat chronic fatigue is twenty sessions over a four-week period, usually one a day Monday to Friday. I would have expected some improvement after five CONSECUTIVE days treatment.

    You say, “I don't think toxicity is a big deal for me”. Do you mean oxygen toxicity? You would have to have spent many hours breathing oxygen at the kind of pressures involved to suffer oxygen toxicity. It would be more likely that someone would die of boredom instead.

    Also you don’t say what each treatment you had consisted of. Do you know at what pressure (or equivalent depth) the sessions were conducted at, and also for how long you were at that treatment depth? In the UK you would have most likely started at a pressure equivalent to 16.5 feet (5 metres) below sea level, then moved up to ‘24 feet’ (7.5 metres), achieving 33 feet (10 metres) by about the end of the first week. The intention would be to complete the remaining sessions at 33 feet. To put this in perspective, 33 feet is twice the ambient pressure at sea level.

    In Victoria’s case she would need a special protocol because of her sinusitis, perhaps only a few feet of pressure at first with the objective of clearing the chronic sinusitis, if possible. There are additional steps that can be taken so she should avoid any discomfort.

  13. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Interestingly... I took my son to his lyme doctor/N.P. today... talked with her about 'hypothetically' using HBO for sinusitis as in my case (as I'm not actually a pt there, my son is) ... she said yes, without any obvious sinus infection it could be used in a situation like mine ... and also lyme anyway can get into those areas and be causing it.

    Also I swear I heard the doctor himself say sometime ago, when I specifically questioned him about it for Lyme itself, that HBO didn't really help Lyme which struck me as odd at the time since they do have HBO there... but the N.P. was saying yes it can be of great help, that is why they do have it there...!!! (talk about brain fog!)

    Well we will be seeing him in 2 months, I am going to re-question him about it for my son in particular for Lyme (no sinus problems anyway for him).

    For myself, well, I'm pretty sure there are some places closer by that offer it, will have to do research and do some telephoning...

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention again as doctors nor websites did not differentiate my type of sinusitis prior to this.

    PS: I think the only way we could get addresses and/or phone #s would be to find a common time to show up in a chat room, which I've never even tried. Don't know if tech support would help. But, I think I can find someone to treat me very possibly armed with this information... will let you know.

    Thanks again,

  14. u34rb

    u34rb New Member


    It was interesting to hear about your son’s lyme disease and the possibility that he could benefit from HBO (hyperbaric oxygen therapy). I’ve found a very interesting reference on the web, but because posting a link may be a problem you can find it, (and some others), if you google “fife lyme hyperbaric”. It’s the first link. I’ve quoted some extracts below.

    As you will know conventional treatment for Lyme is based on antibiotics. HBO can be used instead:

    “Why does HBO therapy show promise in helping Lyme patients? First, we are reminded that Lyme bacteria are microaerophilic, or debilitated in high oxygen environments. Research by F. Austin demonstrated the effect of oxygen on the Lyme organism. The study suggests that the Bb organism is sensitive to high concentrations of oxygen at the cellular level, or what is termed, elevated tissue partial pressures. In other words, the Bb organism doesn't do well in a biological environment similar to that created in the body during HBO treatment.”

    The really interesting bit is that antibiotics can be ‘pushed’ by use of HBO:

    “There is emerging evidence that certain antibiotics may be more readily incorporated into the cell wall of the bacteria itself in the presence of elevated oxygen tension, which is an environment similar to that created in the body during HBO therapy. If true, this is a clear example of HBO therapy working in a synergistic manner with antibiotic therapy. In other words, the effectiveness of antibiotics to kill the Lyme organism is increased through the use of HBO therapy.”

    If your son would benefit from a combined approach perhaps he would need a lower dose of antibiotics and possibly for a shorter period of time?

    I understand that the ability to deliver antibiotics by ‘pushing’ them with the aid of HBO applies in treating other disease as well as Lyme.

    How old is your son and for how long has he had Lyme disease?

    If you could resolve your chronic sinusitis, is there anything else you need to treat?

    Incidently, what is an "N. P."? In the UK it would be a Notary Public.
  15. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Re: my comment on "toxicity"

    As stated in the first couple of messages, hyperbaric oxygen is said to treat a number of conditions.

    Amongst them: injury (head injury especially, but others also), wounds that do not heal, altitude sickness and toxicity (as in "heavy metal toxicity").

    I would tend to believe that at least some of these things are true.

    It certainly helped my altitude sickness.

    If I believed that a major problem for me was heavy-metal toxicity (or toxicity from poisons of any kind), hyperbaric oxygen would seem to be a reasonable (if untested scientifically) approach. Obviously it would take a number of treatments to get rid of this toxicity. However, since that theoretically would be helping me in the long run, it well might be worth it.

    On the other hand, despite extensive testing, there is no evidence that heavy-metal toxicity or any toxicity of that sort is causing my problems. I also do not have obvious exposure to toxins in my background that other people have.

    What I do have is a very messed-up immune system, measured by genetic testing as well as a test of my Rnase and Natural Killer Cell activity and level of viruses in my body. (These tests are very new and do not seem to have been done on anyone else on this board.) While you could make an argument that my immune system has been destroyed by toxins, the lack of measurable toxins and the genetic testing seems to suggest that that is not the case.

    This does not consist of one particular "bug" (e.g. as in lyme disease). My immune system is very bad at fighting off _all_ bugs, which is why working on one of them does not make me better as a whole.

    Therefore, removing toxins or particular "bugs" through the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy does not seem to be useful _for me_, over the long-term. It is possible it might help over the short-term, but a dozen treatments is an expensive proposition if the effects aren't going to make me better over the long term---e.g. by helping my immune system.

    I am having a hard time imagining how the hyperbaric oxygen would help my immune system. Even if it did so for a short period of time, after a whole bunch of treatments, my assumption would be that after several days my oxygen levels would go down to normal and the viral count (and yeast etc.) would start to take over again,.

    Perhaps if I slept in a tank llike that every nnight, it might be helpful. I am not sure though.

    In any case, I do not think it's wise to say that just because a treatment helps one person, it should help another. Before we spend huge amounts of money on a treatment, we should at least have a theory of how it might help our particular problems (as well as "CFS" patients in general).

    If you would like to tell me how the hyperbaric oxygen might help my immune problems permanently, should I do however many periods during a discrete length of time, that would be great. I always am looking for new alternatives, as long as they make some sort of logical sense.


    [This Message was Edited on 10/19/2006]
  16. u34rb

    u34rb New Member


    One of the good things about HBO is that it can used to treat particular symptoms as well as specific conditions such as those that you have listed, and a great many more.

    The healing qualities of oxygen have been recognised for ages. The history of HBO goes back over 200 years. Early chambers where furnished with leather armchairs and brassbound furniture, (I’ve seen the photographs)!

    Some symptoms including pain can be permanently resolved such as associated with problem fractures. Others such as associated with MS are alleviated but not cured, nevertheless regular top-up treatments provide a better quality of life. The absence of oxygen (hypoxia) in the body can be a cause of pain, so when HBO or any of the other oxygen therapies are employed, then pain tends to go away.

    Dry gangrene can turn to wet gangrene as more tissue is invaded and deprived of oxygen. And can be turned back to dry gangrene with HBO. I have seen it with my own eyes! The cells of cancerous tumours are deprived of oxygen, and the only serious difficulty of HBO to attack cancers is the problem of delivering oxygen across the wall of every diseased cell when the malignancy has seriously impeded the microcirculation of the blood.

    Oxygen breathed in under an increased pressure increases the amount of oxygen in the red blood cells. Of greater importance is that the rest of the blood (the plasma) is flooded with oxygen, which does not normally happen with normal aspiration. Of even greater importance, in some conditions, is that HBO also floods the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) with oxygen. In normal circumstance this does not happen. Instead the continuous cycle of production and circulation through the skull and spinal chord cavity, and its eventual drainage, is the only natural system of garbage collection (apart from the blood system) serving the central nervous system. In sickness this can be inadequate and HBO is a superb natural supplement when the oxygen is delivered by natural aspiration.

    It is the hyperbaric pressures involved that provide ‘oxygen tension’ across the walls of all cells that it can reach. Even bacteria that thrive on oxygen are killed off so long as the pressure is at least twice that of ambient pressure at sea level.

    HBO is very safe and usually well tolerated by most people of all ages. Normal treatments involve 60 minutes at the appropriate pressure. Spending all night is impracticable since if you stayed in that long you would eventually tend to experience oxygen toxicity, (after several hours). Also, it is inadvisable for someone to treat them selves even if they have their own chamber, so an operator would have to spend the night as well. And anyway if a commercial set-up was used the cost would be prohibitive. Only treatment of acute conditions, such as in hospital emergency rooms, would usually involve more than one session a day.

    Furthermore, HBO is compatible with drug regimes. In particular it can increase the effectiveness of antibiotics because it can enhance the drug’s delivery.

    There is not enough space on this site to do further justice to your question. I would strongly suggest that you read up on HBO, and other oxygen therapies. You could start off with anything written by Richard A Neubauer, MD, and Mortgon Walker, DPM: such as “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy”. You will always get several hits on this subject on that large bookseller’s website.

    By now you must be asking yourself why all doctors and hospitals are not using this miracle treatment. Sadly the answer is money. Drug companies cannot patent oxygen or its hyperbaric delivery. So they and their shareholders cannot get rich. The medical establishment want to make their name by being associated with ‘magic bullets’ instead, so hyperbaric medicine is not taught in most medical schools, instead myths akin to smoke and mirrors abound, and so on and so on… If anyone wants evidence about this just look at what happened about 60 years ago when antibiotics were discovered. In no time doctors forgot the old tried and tested remedies, such as hydrogen peroxide; which is another oxygen therapy that is making a come back, but that’s another story.

    The good news is that HBO is readily available at least in the UK where it’s rather inexpensive. A case of ‘too good to be true’, that actually is. Surprisingly this type of medical tourism hasn’t caught on yet here.

    If you have further question, as I’m sure that you will, please post again.
  17. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Thanks for the info... correlates to what I've read in the past, and we're looking into it. I'll google that link in a few minutes...

    What is 'inexpensive' in the UK? Just curious, my impression is that it could be pretty expensive here sadly, but not sure. but if it does allow our son to lessen amount of abx doses and/or length of treatment, it will be worth every penny no matter what it costs.

    My son is now 19, he was first tested in May '05, 17 months ago, was positive even according to the strict CDC standards of the 5 bands plus clinical picture... he's one of the many tho who never had an observable rash so far as we know. We figure symptoms have been showing up for 3++ years prior to his dx.

    He has been on ever-changing protocols of oral abx since. It is scary to say the least, but when you see your child steadily going downhill, well, it is worth the risks vs. possible death.

    It takes orals or IV abx at least 18 months to penetrate cell wall form of Lyme, and he's taken a few breaks to let immune system rebuild... some symptoms have resolved such as BP, pulse, plus he gained 17 lbs... only to start losing right away as soon as he was off abx for more than 6 weeks with only 1 week of abx in the middle of that... now that he's pulsing 2 weeks on abx and 2 weeks off, he's regained 3 of the 6 pounds he lost.

    Yes, I am hoping that HBO could allow him to take less abx or shorten the treatment time...

    His doctor and NP figure he also has something else, probably Bartonella, due to his ongoing cognitive problems, none of them have resolved. It is more the rule than exception that there are co-infections with Lyme... and of course when the body's immune system is 'down', it would be easy for viral infections to jump in too.

    For me, I am doing the Marshall Protocol, figure I have some kind of bug, probably Lyme, since I have herxed on the MP and made some gains... did not spend the $$ on tests for myself.

    I have been dx'd with CFIDS, but also found doing the MP got rid of crippling pain in my hips and was able to stop my thyroid medication.

    SO -- ah well, beside the daily headaches, I would love to not be fatigued and have brain fog! LOL!

    We are also looking into neurofeedback as it appears to help CF/FM and chronic lymies with cognitive plus pain problems...

    What is your background? You've given a lot of useful info... It'd be great if you could take a moment to fill out your profile!

    all the best,

    PS: NP here is 'Nurse-Practitioner' - a registered nurse who has taken extra courses and is licensed to see patients and write RXs while working/supervised ultimately under an MD.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/19/2006]
  18. victoria

    victoria New Member


    I'm becoming more and more interested in this the more I read...

  19. yesnettv

    yesnettv New Member

  20. victoria

    victoria New Member

    are you going to do it at the FFC in Torrance Calif?

    What do they feel is the reason for doing it... have you been dx'd with lyme or mycoplasma or any other 'stealth pathogen', or virus... or do they suspect it?

    Just curious, full of questions!

    Also wondering how much they're charging you if you don't mind my asking..

    there's a FFC Center here as well in Atlanta, wonder if they offer it... I'll have to check with them too.

    all the best,