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Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Has anyone used Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment for HVC related liver and other intestinal damage?

I'm on a transplant list with a MELD of 15.  I never opted for Interferon. Late in the game when HVC was discovered and I have the most resistant genotype.  It was highly recommended by my primary heptologist, but one of the country's most respected infectious disease specialists told me last year I would just have been injecting side effects.

It's my second time on the list in 2 years.  Most docs wonder why I look, feel and am doing so good.

Alternative medicine is the only answer I have for them.

Based on how I feel after a few sessions in the HBOT chamber, I'll probably be removed from the list again.  I haven't felt this good in 4 years.

Just wondering if anyone else has tried it.
39 Responses
212705 tn?1221620650
I vaguely heard of this treatment many years ago. When I did hear of it, I don't believe it was available in the US. I think it was Canada. Where are you located? Please explain further about this oxygen tx. What exactly is involved?
217229 tn?1192762404
" I would just have been injecting side effects."

LMAO! - Oh my that's the truth now.

OK - so do tell about this treatment. I haven't heard of it anywhere before --- but give some details. I'd like to know.

Avatar universal
sorry to hear of your advanced liver disease. why did your Dr's say it was useless to treat with the SOC? i've read that even if you don't clear the virus, interferon can help slow down the progress of fibrosis. i always am concerned when people pin their hopes on all these "alternative" remedy's. the only thing that has been proven to work thus far is interferon/ribaviron. it's sad to see people waste their $$ only to have their hopes dashed down the road. have you had full blood workup and a liver biopsy lately? this will give a better picture of you liver damage. also, you can't go by how you feel with this disease. that's why they call it the silent killer. their are no symptoms untill it's too late. good luck.
148588 tn?1465778809
"I haven't felt this good in 4 years."

You can get the same feeling by hyperventilating and you won't need the HBOT chamber.
206807 tn?1331936184
That was uncalled for
Avatar universal
I appreciate the comments of all the alternative med naysayers, but I'm not an uninformed consumer and I don't have unreasonable expectations for outcome.  I throw stuff up against the wall and hopes that it sticks.

Over 4 years I've narrowed down everything I've tried to a few that are most effective, all recommended by a "reborn" MD with 30 years as Gen Practioner.  Milk Thistle is at the top of the short list (and it was recommended to me, along with Alpha Lopoic Acid, by one of the heptologists that I've seen in recent years.)

I'm also on the transplant list for the second time.  The first time, I had lesions on my liver that they worried were pre-cancerous.  My quackery cleared those up in a few months and I was removed.  Last summer I had a staff infection that was 2-3 weeks aware from killing me.  They put me on the list again because of that.  2 yrs ago my viral load was over 2 mil.  Recently, it's 750k.

Further, I'm not going to take a drug for 48 weeks with significant side effects whose effectness with my genotype 1 is something less than 50% with an unacceptable probability of remission.  (Rough estimates, based on a variety of sources.)

Let's be rational.  We all know oxygen heals.  That's why bandaids have holes.  We also know that someone with an enlarged spleen, portal hypertension and cirrhosis is probably getting a compromised flow of blood.  What it is? 204 bodily functions controlled by the liver.  

HBOT simply has you breathing pure oxygen under (in my case) 1.5 times atmospheric pressure.  It's seems stupidly simple.  The pressure pushes highly oxygenated blood into areas that your comprised system can't get enough oxygen to.

The problem I'm having with HBOT is in keeping my optimism in check.  It increases with each session.  After just the first week, my energy level has returned to pre-diagnoses levels and admominal discomfort has disappeared.  Exactly 9 days ago, I couldn't get out of bed for 36 hours straight.

This is not about ridding my body of HVC.  I doubt HBOT will do that.  But I am confindent that it will deliver big benefits in terms of energy, abdominal pain and discomfort and even brain function.  It's already happening.

I don't care if I carry HVC for ever as long as I can control the damage.  An forever simply means until they find a better treatment.

For those who are curious, start by listening to this interview.   http://wpr.org/webcasting/audioarchives_display.cfm?Code=mlr  Look for the 5/17 interview by Larry Meillor with Dr. Paul Harch.  Then go to Dr. Harch's sight and under the "Info" tab, click "Download video" and watch the Curt Allen vid.  It'll stream if you just click on the photo frame.

Finally, if you want to learn more, read Dr. Harch's just released book:  "The Oxygen Revolution".

Avatar universal
drobie - my only other suggestion is a religious exercise routine. start small and do the best you can.
hyperbaric oxygen chamber - you climb in to this submarine looking chamber and they seal it and increase the pressure. then they add extra oxygen. just the opposite of altitude sickness.
this time, its an overabundance of oxygen squished through your body. sports doctors insist it gives shorter healing times. other doctors use it for serious illness as here. the more time in the chamber the more good effect.
it might be difficult to prove its efficacy with double blind studies. maybe they already have, i dont know. ive never done it but i beleive it works. the scuba people get the same effect going deep under water and it seems like they all said something good about the extra oxygen effect.
Avatar universal
Desrt, I strongly suggest you listen to the interview referenced, ESPECIALLY the part where the woman calls the show and asks about using HBOT for the treatment of HVC and liver damage.

I was on the phone making an appointment immediately after hearing that part...and when I say immediately, I mean I picked up the phone before the interview was over.

146021 tn?1237204887
This tx for hep c has been discussed previously, I'm glad you're feeling better, BUT I'm glad you understand this is not a cure by any means.
"I don't care if I carry HVC for ever as long as I can control the damage."

I don't think viral load is any indication of success, liver enzymes and biopsy results are much more important, and tell the true story of your state of health.

"It was highly recommended by my primary heptologist, but one of the country's most respected infectious disease specialists told me last year I would just have been injecting side effects."
Why would you trust the judgement of an infectious disease specialist more  than a hepatologist?
Just Curious.
148588 tn?1465778809
If I ever have a diving accident, gas gangrene, or one of the dozen other recognized uses for hyperbaric I would certainly consider it as a therapy. The trouble we get into with alternative therapies is automatically assuming that something so miraculous is going to automatically apply to our particular problem - especially if it's a therapy that makes us 'feel' good.
I'm not completely closed off to alternative therapies. I think ingesting CoQ10 to improve gas transfer at the cellular level is a great thing to do for those of us over forty. I even took Chinese herbs with my IFN/riba tx. However...
It'll take more than a caller to a Wisconsin Public Radio show to convince me that this has significant value for hepatitis patients.
Avatar universal
I drove to Nevada for this treatment and because I was on Dr. Zhang's herbs he said you are doing fine and don't need the hot treatment. He wouldn't do it. He wanted me on antiaging medicine. I never went back. It was a very long drive. I wish he would have let me have just one treatment.
Avatar universal
Regarding "the judgement of an infectious disease" doc.  His the best physician I've every encountered, he treated me for an infection cause by portal hypertension and he works closely with GI clinic.

Let me make something clear.  This really isn't about treating HVC here, it's about treating the damage cause by it.

HBOT, in a vast majority of cases, is used as a SUPPLEMENTAL therapy and here's the kicker....NO SIDE EFFECTS.  If it doesn't produce results, no harm done other than money spent.

>>especially if it's a therapy that makes us 'feel' good.

I'm not taking a narcotic and it doesn't produce a high.  I'll stick with a therapy ESPECIALLY if it makes me feel good.  So far...more energy, better appetite and digestion, no pain or adominal discomfort.....gee I think I'll quit while I'm ahead, better yet...I think I'll quit cause it makes me feel so good.

desrt, how long after a treatment did you say my paper bag high should last?  Just curious as to when I'll come crashing down.  

>>liver enzymes and biopsy results are much more important, and tell the true story of your state of health.

I have a complete record of my all my blood work going back 4 years, entered into Excel and graphed.  I tend to watch what's happening.  ;-)

We're all experts here.  And what's our speciality?  What works for each of us.

I just asked a question.  It's been answered.  No one here seems to have experience with HBOT.


212705 tn?1221620650
Just the idea of feeling good makes this chamber attractive at this point. Has anyone tried it during tx?
Avatar universal
BTW, if anyone has a specific questions or is interested or curious as to how my experience goes, you can email me at ***@****.  My next blood work is due in Sep, might I might request a round before that.

Oh yeah, I was put on the transplant list last Oct.  Appts were orignally scheduled every 90 days.  I started taking Modiflan in Feb and my MELD score dropped so they've changed the interval to every 6 months.

I haven't tested our drinking water for Peg Interferon, but that must be what caused the improvement.

I am not recommending HBOT other that to say I think it's worth looking into for anyone who has any kind of internal damage caused by HVC.

Research it and then make your own decision.
148588 tn?1465778809
"If it doesn't produce results, no harm done other than money spent."

"Oxygen toxicity ... is severe hyperoxia caused by breathing oxygen at elevated partial pressures. The high concentration of oxygen damages cells..."

146021 tn?1237204887
Not trying to burst your bubble by my comments, I'm glad it's making you feel better. No, I haven't tried it. Good luck, please let others know how this helps with objective data. I think it'd be wonderful for you to post a comment on how your blood work looks next time around. I think this would be great if it can help others who can't tolerate tx, it's just hard not to be skeptical.
Avatar universal
Mr. Dest,

I haven't found any evidence of negative side effects of medically SUPERVISED HBOT...and I've looked. Accidents have happened, but they happen when someone buys their own chamber and exceeds recommended protocols.

Pray tell, please list all the incidents you are aware of.

I can't be treated with conventional means.  I look elsewhere.  If that offends your big pharma sensiblities, my apologies.

A suggestion:  Watch the PBS special "The New Medicine" and then compile of everything YOU know is not possible in medicine.

148588 tn?1465778809
Sorry if anything I posted in this thread was offensive. As long as you're suggesting this be done under supervision (not at home ala Michael Jackson) we're on the same page. People should be allowed to spend their money as they please. It just raises my hackles if I think someone is trying to sell something or encourage people to avoid the SOC that might save them.
As for my 'big pharma sensibilities', you probably just gave a couple people a chuckle. Read some of my postings about big pharm and HCV patent rights or what I've written about my own experiences combining alternative med with SOC. The one thing I try not to do is make unsubstantiated claims.

148588 tn?1465778809
I'm probably a little slow, but I'm still not clear why you "can't be treated with conventional means" if it was "highly recommended" to do so by your hepatologist. I've seen people treat with literally half their liver gone from cirrhosis - and respond.
Avatar universal
Have been taking to a Russian Doctor who has been treating successfully viral hepatitis with Hyperbaric Oxygen.    Go for it perfectly safe
220090 tn?1379167187
Very interesting post.  I am a scuba diver and I can say that after deep dives, I feel substantially better and often though it might be the effect of the partial pressure of oxygen increasing by a factor of 3 at a 100 foot dive.
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Drobie: I'm on a transplant list with a MELD of 15.  I never opted for Interferon. Late in the game when HVC was discovered and I have the most resistant genotype.  It was highly recommended by my primary heptologist, but one of the country's most respected infectious disease specialists told me last year I would just have been injecting side effects.
How long have you known you had HCV? The above doesn't make sense to me unless the strategy is to transplant first and then treat for HCV because of a late diagnosis. That's because many folks treat with stage 4 liver disease, get cured, and studies suggest that their cirrhosis may start reversing.

As to Hyperbaric Oxygen, frankly I haven't researched it, but not finding any negatives isn't a good reason to spend time, money and resources on a treatment. Worst case is when someone delays needed proven treatments because they opt to do an alternative treatment instead. Not saying you're suggesting this, just an observation.

-- Jim
436292 tn?1204590730
I have been researching HBOT since 96.  I suffered a brain injury in that year, so my interest in HBOT was treatment for that.  In 1998 I found out that I had HVC.  So I delayed my HBOT treatment at that time because several doctors did not know HBOT's effect on Hep C (Dr. Paul Harch included - I had even consulted him).  At that time it was theorized that HBOT might actually stimulate viral production, so Dr. H removed my application from his study.  

I am very glad to see your post and I will start researching the subject again.  I will let you know what I find out.
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