Lyme Bites…it also sucks!
Lyme Disease is a primarily tick-borne disease caused by bacteria spirochetes. It is a very misunderstood and under-diagnosed condition. Testing for Lyme can be very tricky and unreliable due to the evolution of the bacteria in the body; as such, many people are misdiagnosed with other conditions like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome or depression.
Lyme is found all over the United States and if left untreated for even a month, it can lead to chronic, life-altering symptoms. Not every exposure to Lyme will come with an obvious bulls-eye rash, so it often gets overlooked until the bacteria proliferates deep into the body where it can hide itself from the immune system by changing its structure. This is when it becomes a chronic disease. Chronic Lyme symptoms may not appear until years after the initial exposure and testing may turn up negative.
Lyme spirochetes can hide deep in the body within biofilm, which is a filmy plaque-like substance that can hold dormant and active infections for years. Many of the uncomfortable symptoms of Lyme come from when the spirochete dies whether from the life cycle or when using a treatment. This die-off illness is called a Herxheimer reaction. The bacterium releases a toxin called an endotoxin into the bloodstream, where it travels around and causes discomfort or full-blown illness. Many people with Lyme Disease have compromised detoxification abilities so flushing out the endotoxins can be very difficult.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be a very useful tool to combat endotoxins and alleviate the pain from Herx reactions. Not only can the pressure potentially blast biofilm apart to expose the infection for treatment, it can also help push the endotoxins out of the bloodstream and tissues through to the detoxification organs for elimination.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be a very useful tool to combat the painful symptoms of Lyme Disease, as well as potentially treat the infection itself. Lyme bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in oxygen-depleted environments. Not only can the pressure potentially blast their hiding places within biofilm apart to expose the infection for treatment, it can also help push the leftover endotoxins out of the bloodstream and tissues out to the detoxification organs for elimination. Hyperbaric oxygen has been shown to help alleviate the uncomfortable side-effects of Lyme die-off (Herxing) as the infection is treated thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.