A few months ago, there was a series of online interviews related to Lyme uploaded on this site: http://chroniclymediseasesummit.com/ they’re for sale now, but I managed to snatch them before that deadline, and with some clever URL guessing, you might be able to do the same even still… ;). There was an interview with Kenneth Stoller, and that’s how I first found out about HBOT: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
If you google for his name and HBOT you’ll probably find this article, but if not, it’s worth reading to give you the general idea: http://www.tiredoflyme.com/dr-kenneth-p-stoller-md.html Here’s the meat of what you’re looking for:
It requires 160 mm Hg partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) to start causing the Borrelia organism to die. This is the amount of oxygen we breathe into our lungs at sea level, but by the time that oxygen gets into organs and bone marrow the partial pressure of oxygen is very low – in bone marrow it is in the low 50’s. Treating patients at 2.8 atmospheres of 100 % oxygen will increase the amount of oxygen in human tissue by over 2000%. A Borrellia organism exposed to that level of oxygen will die.
Awesome. A few follow up questions are “how long do you sit in this thing?” and “how many treatments do you need?” but I didn’t see either of those answered there by him, but you can find various answers across the web (anywhere from 10-50+) In the lyme summit interview Stoller mentioned he normally treats patients without HBOT for some time, then they go in for an HBOT session and see if they can provoke a die-off/herx reaction. It seems like he uses this more as tool used only a few times rather than constantly.
Why not use it all the time? My guess is cost. If you google “cost of HBOT” you’ll get answers from $100-380, wikipedia claims: “A 1-hour HBOT session may cost between $165 and $250 in private clinics, and over $2,000 in hospitals“. Yeah, $165 in a private clinic and $2000 in a hospital sounds like our “awesome” healthcare system in America. 10-50 sessions even at a $200 and you’re starting to get to the point where you consider getting one of these yourself, just like sports athletes: http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=13860092
Here’s a study I found very informational that really tipped me over the edge in wanting to investigate more: http://hbotnova.com/resources/lyme_disease/Fife_EffectsofHyperbaricOxygenTherapyOnLymeDisease.pdf the gist: “it appears that approximately 84.8% of those treated showed significant improvement by a decrease or elimination of symptoms“. And this study was done in 1998! It seems like we should be using this more for Lyme patients.
But, I happen to not live in America at the moment, so I investigated options here in Kyiv, Ukraine. This is the first result on google for “гипербарическая оксигенация киев”, or “gyperbarecheskaya oksegenatsia kiev” for those of you still learning cyrillic (what do you mean you haven’t started? you just did). I had my wife call them up and get the low-down: 200 UAH ($7.50) for a required consultation, then 460 UAH ($17.30) per session. Now we’re talking. One of the reasons I love living here is that so many things become so affordable, even to the point where you can try stuff just for the lulz (that basically means “just for fun” for you old people). So, I have an appointment on monday (tomorrow), will report how it goes…
Update September 6th, 2016
I did it! I feel really tried. I’ll go in for another session tomorrow. I have pictures but I’m too tired to upload them now. I think I might be experiencing a mild die-off reaction. I did 1.5 atmospheres for 45 minutes (in that 45 mins was ~10 mins to increase/decrease pressure). My head is a bit weird feeling also.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Chamber at the main military hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine. Before you get in, they cover the old orange mattress with fresh sheets, obviously.
Me in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy machine
The front of the control box for the HBOT machine. If I recall correctly, it was made in 1996 by a Ukrainian aviation company, but they are no longer manufactured here. They can talk to you while you’re inside using the phone. One of the knobs is air conditioning, although I still got hot in it occasionally. I think they were just too afraid to cool it off.
Update September 27th, 2016
I finished 14 session of HBOT, and there was a considerable positive improvement. I’m certainly not “cured”, but I’m really happy with the cost/benefit ratio. I did 14 sessions, every week day with breaks on weekends for 3 weeks. By the 3rd session they had me up to 2.1 atmospheres for 1 hour, and I did that for every session thereafter.
After the 5th session, I felt immense clarity and almost euphoria for a couple hours following the treatment. My treatments were done at the main military hospital in Kyiv, which is right next to the Kyiv Fortress, where there’s a beautiful view overlooking the city and the stadium. I sat there for almost an hour enjoying the view and relaxing in this calm energy I felt from inside of me. It was as if my brain was working the way it was designed to, and I just sat in awe, feeling so relieved of the burden of Lyme.
I didn’t feel this clarity after every session, sometimes I felt more as if the pathogens in me were dying and my body was taxed with cleaning up the mess. I realized that hyperbaric oxygen therapy was a tool, and I should take full advantage of it. I increased my doses of biofilm busters (Serrapeptase, Cistus Tincture), EDTA, Chlorella, Cilantro, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, Niacin, Samento, minerals, and other weapons you’ll commonly find in a Lyme warrior’s toolkit. HBOT helped my body recover more quickly from the dying masses of bugs caused by these tools, as well as help clean up from the toxins released more quickly. The doctors recommended I do 10 sessions for a good boost, and after 10 I wanted more, the older man recommended 14 for a really solid boost. I suppose there are only minor incremental benefits after 14 sessions, so I decided to take a break. I miss it, (it also helped me keep a good sleep schedule), but I still feel like I’m seeing the benefits of the therapy. The practitioners there claimed I would still be seeing the affects for up to 10 months after the therapy finished, but my Russian wasn’t good enough to understand why exactly.
I started sleeping better as a result of the therapy. Interestingly enough, they asked my how my sleep was after about 5 treatments, so it must be a known/commonly seen benefit. I normally had to get up to use the restroom 1-3 times in the night, but while I was being treated, it happened quite often that I wouldn’t have to get up in the night at all! This was certainly appreciated, since my sleep is so delicate, I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. And since sleep is critical to getting better (that’s when your brain detoxifies), I think this will have benefits that will be hard to measure.
I also noticed I started having more frequent bowel movements. This is great, because any Lyme patient is extremely toxic, and most toxins are excreted through the intestines. I’m not sure how or why I started to have movements more frequently, but my hypothesis is that the oxygen killed off some of the dysbiotic anaerobic bacteria in my guts, and gave the good bacteria a boost, which helped move things along better. I would be interesting in hearing other theories or research.
Overall, if you have Lyme or any other chronic disease, I highly recommend trying Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. It’s super cheap in Ukraine, but if you can afford it wherever you are, it’s definitely worth trying.