Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been used more and more frequently in the past decade to treat Lyme disease. A ground breaking study published by Dr. William Fife of Texas A&M University, demonstrated dramatic improvements in overall condition of Lyme patients treated with hyperbaric. Hyperbaric has been shown to reduce pain significantly, modulate the immune system, increase energy, alleviate sleep dysfunction, and reduce cognitive impairment. In most cases, patients are also able to discontinue use of antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments infuse the body with oxygen, increasing O2 levels by up to 1000% in body tissues through the increased pressure. Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme are considered microaerophilic, needing small amounts of oxygen to survive, but dies in the presence of abundant oxygen. Hyperbaric also acts as an immune modulator and allows organ and gland functionality to normalize, reducing many debilitating Lyme symptoms. Because the chambers pressurize the atmosphere, hyperbaric acts as a detoxifier as well. By forcing oxygen into the tissues through this pressure, toxins, chemicals and other impurities are forced out.
As with antibiotic treatment, patients may experience a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, after initial hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Also known as “Herxing”, the reaction occurs when the Borrelia burgdorferi are destroyed, resulting in a temporary “die off” effect causing fever, chills and weakness to occur for a short period of time. Many times a Herxheimer reaction indicates that a Lyme therapy is effective.
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