Autoimmune Diseases

Deviant Immune Systems

There are about 100 conditions classified as autoimmune diseases and they affect about 7% of the American population according to the NIH. An autoimmune disease (AD) occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues as if they were foreign invaders. With Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerves. With Rheumatoid Arthritis, the immune system attacks the linings of joints, usually in the hands and feet. With Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the immune system attacks the lining of the intestinal tract. There are many potential causes and triggers for autoimmune diseases ranging from environmental toxicity to genetic malfunction. Lyme Disease and PANDAS are examples of Autoimmune Diseases that stem from bacterial infections that become chronic within tissues. Any part of the body can be attacked by an overactive immune system, creating a chronic inflammatory condition.

Because there are so many autoimmune diseases that can affect every part of the body, symptoms vary in type and intensity. While some may cause only minimal discomfort, others can be life-altering for the patient. Some ADs, like Type 1 Diabetes, cause constant symptoms while others, like Psoriasis come and go in “flare ups.” Common symptoms of many ADs include swelling of affected tissue, fever, pain, brain fog and fatigue.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy may be a very helpful therapy in combating the symptoms of autoimmune diseases by primarily fighting the chronic inflammation caused by the overactive immune system. ADs associated with infection may be treated with HBOT because the pressure and oxygen can reach deep into tissues and kill off the invading bacteria. Long-term treatments may decrease the intensity of flare ups as well as prolong the amount of time between the flare ups. Flooding the body with oxygen may reduce inflammation, decrease pain and support the immune system. Some patients have seen their Autoimmune Disorders go into remission after adding HBOT to their regimens. Many patients also report improved mental clarity, sleep, overall wellbeing, digestion and pain levels.

Autoimmune Diseases and Hyperbarics: Studies, Articles and Videos

Early hyperbaric oxygen therapy attenuates disease severity in lupus-prone autoimmune (NZB x NZW) F1 mice

Shao-Yuan Chen 1, Yen-Chen Chen, Jehng-Kang Wang, Hsiao-Ping Hsu, Pey-Shen Ho, Yi-Chyan Chen, Huey-Kang SytwuAffiliations expand

The effects of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO(2)) therapy on the immune system are reported including potential changes to the CD4/CD8 ratio and a decreased proliferation of lymphocytes during exposure. The immunosuppressive effect of HBO(2) had been suggested to be applicable for the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases. (NZB x NZW) F1 hybrid mice, the unique lupus-prone mice, have been used for elucidating the pathogenesis of SLE. To investigate the effect of HBO(2) on NZB/W F1 lupus-prone mice, 32 female mice were divided into four groups. Three groups of mice were treated with HBO(2) (2.5 atm abs (ATA) for 90 min daily over 2 weeks) starting at (A) 3 months, (B) 6 months, or (C) 8 months of age, while the remaining group (D) served as control. Animals were followed until 11 months of age. Experimental parameters included life span, proteinuria, peripheral lymphocytes, anti-dsDNA antibody titers, and renal histopathology. HBO(2) treatment resulted in increased survival, decreased proteinuria, alterations in lymphocyte-subset redistribution, reduced anti-dsDNA antibody titers, and amelioration of immune-complex deposition in groups A and B. Our data demonstrated that HBO(2) therapy attenuated disease severity in NZB/W F1 mice. HBO(2) treatment may be of use in the clinical treatment of lupus patients and would benefit from further study.

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