Hyperbaric Oxygen & Lyme
Lyme disease, is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks.
Borrelia species can infect any tissue or organ system.
Therefore, multiple symptoms from different body systems are observed with patients with Lyme disease.
Ticks and can spread numerous other infections, which cause similar symptoms: Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia & Mycoplasma.
The common Elisa & Western Blot testing has many pitfalls: many patients with Lyme are seronegative, which means they do not produce antibodies to Borrelia and if they do produce antibodies most conventional reference labs do not test for the full spread of antibodies associated with Lyme disease.
These days our Naturopathic doctors tend to rely on newer "EliSpot" Lyme Disease testing which is suggested to be between 20 and 200 times more sensitive than a conventional ELISA.
Chronic Lyme disease symptoms are often vague and resemble numerous other infectious disease and autoimmune conditions
Chronic Lyme Symptoms:
The effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen on a bacterial infection are well studied: the body’s response to infection involves an oxygen radical based oxidative burst.
Neutrophil function is enhanced by increasing the tissue oxygen levels and elevated oxygen partial pressure may also directly inhibit function of Borrelia bacteria.
Texas A&M University
In the 1990s, a 6-year Texas A&M University pilot program treated patients with "post treatment Lyme disease" (PTLD) or "post-Lyme disease syndrome" (PLDS).
Subjects underwent up to 40 1 hour Hyperbaric Oxygen sessions at a pressure of 2.36 ATA.
Within 3 days of starting Hyperbaric Oxygen, all subjects developed a "Herxheimer reaction" (suggesting either die-off of the Bacteria or an increased immune response occured or both).
Improvement or resolution of symptoms was observed in 37 of 38 subjects within 3 weeks of completing treatment.
Beneficial effect from Hyperbaric treatment was sustained in approximately 70 % of subjects for up to 6 years.
Improved cognitive abilities and concentration and mood were also seen.
Texas A&M Case Reports
Taiwan Case Report
This case report on Hyperbaric Oxygen and Lyme was published Huang et al. (2014)
In April 2003, the then 31-year-old healthy man (who was a frequent hiker) began suffering from intermittent low- and high-grade fever.
From 2004-2007, he developed additional symptoms including: nervous system issues, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system problems.
After two rounds of antibiotics were not successful, the patient commenced HBOT.
30 sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen at 2.5 ATA for 90 minutes were used.
In the first 10 sessions of HBOT, cognitive issues and insomnia resolved.
In the second 10 sessions of HBOT, numbness and eye twitch resolved.
In the final 10 sessions of HBOT, joint pain resolved.
In all, after 30 sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen, most of the patient's symptoms resolved.
A case report also exists where a 40 year old female with unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss was treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen and Doxycycline for acute Lyme disease.
Both resolved with 10 HBOT treatments which implies efficacy of HBOT in acute Lyme and hearing loss.
In summary, it appears that Hyperbaric Oxygen at least in some cases eliminates persistent chronic Lyme Disease symptoms in patients who have already undergone (and failed) antibiotic therapy.
We thought we'd highlight 3 key IV treatments we're seen helpful: IV Alpha Lipoic Acid, IV Glutathione and IV Phospholipids.
The infecting agents in Lyme cause inflammation through various pathways such as IL-1, IL-6, TNFα and NO, creating free radicals and oxidative stress, which damage cell membranes, mitochondria, and nerves.
IV therapy with Alpha Lipoic Acid and Glutathione can quell part of this inflammation especially in the nervous system.
IV Therapy with Phospholipids, which in Edmonton we use Plaquex as our source, can be helpful for mitochondrial and neuronal restoration.
IV Therapy with Lipoic Acid, Plaquex and Phospholipids are often stacked in a Lyme disease patient for recovery.
Our in-house Lyme Disease testing is usually sent to Armin Labs in Germany, our Naturopaths find EliSpot testing is accurate and cost effective.