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Hyperbaric without extra oxygen

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Andrew, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    A friend of mine with ME uses a hyperbaric chamber with no extra oxygen. He says it makes all the difference for him. He also told me that some of the members of our support group use it with positive results. Have any of you heard about this?

    I'm asking specifically about doing this with no extra oxygen.
     
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  2. NotThisGuy

    NotThisGuy Senior Member

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    did he try it with oxygen and it had no effect / made him worse and now without oxygen it works?
     
  3. ryan31337

    ryan31337 Senior Member

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    The concentration of oxygen in your blood will increase when breathing air (21% O2) at greater than 1 atmosphere of pressure. So I imagine there is still some effect from the same mechanism, just perhaps reduced when compared to breathing 100% O2?
     
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  4. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    @Andrew my understanding is that people have success both ways and the right combo varies with the individual
     
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  5. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    I'll find out more and post it to this thread..
     
  6. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    There was a study done on HBOT traumatic brain injury patients at the VA in New Orleans about 3-4 years ago. The test group got extra oxygen, while the control group did not..I was told the study was stopped early after both groups showed improvements. Apparently, just the pressure can pus oxysmgen better into the cells.

    My experience with various oxygen modalities is the greater the oxygen inyltensity, the greater the impact. More is not always better, but its choosing the right amount for your needs.

    The soft sided 1.3 Atm HBOT I use has an external oxygen concentrator and I use a small mask to better inhale the oxygen.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=oxy...6bYDw&start=80&sa=N#mhpiv=2&spf=1505628062693
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    When you breathe air at the normal pressure of 1 atmosphere, and with the normal atmospheric oxygen concentration of 21%, most of the oxygen that gets into the blood is bound to the hemoglobin on the red blood cells. Only around 1.5% of the oxygen that the blood carries is dissolved in the blood plasma itself (dissolved in the water component of the plasma). Ref: 1 2

    As the pressure and oxygen concentration are increased, Henry’s law (a law of physics) tells you that more oxygen will get dissolved in the blood plasma. The increased pressure and concentration forces more oxygen to dissolve into the water component of the blood.

    However, even at increased pressures and oxygen concentrations, the amount of oxygen bound to hemoglobin stays around the same, because in people with normal healthy lung function, the hemoglobin is already almost 100% saturated with oxygen, and cannot carry any more.

    In hyperbaric oxygen therapy, it is the increased amount of oxygen that gets dissolved directly in the water of the blood that provides the therapeutic effect, because the theory is that oxygen dissolved in the blood can get into the nooks and crannies of the tissues more easily that the oxygen bound to red blood cells. For example, in constricted micro-capillaries, red blood cells may have trouble flowing along these resulting in poor oxygen delivery; but the oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma will be able to deliver oxygen even where red blood cells cannot pass. So in HBOT, it is the increased amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma that is the crucial factor.



    Henry’s law tells you that at equilibrium conditions, the amount of oxygen that dissolves in the plasma is directly proportional to the air pressure, and also at the same time, directly proportional to the percentage oxygen concentration in the air.

    So for example, if you increase the pressure from the normal 1 atmosphere up to 3 atmospheres, you will get 3 / 1 = 3 times the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma.

    Likewise, if you increase the oxygen concentration in the air your breathe from the normal 21% up to 100%, you will get 100 / 21 = 4.8 times the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma.

    And if you do both at the same time, increasing the pressure to 3 atmospheres and the oxygen concentration to 100%, you will get 3/1 x 100/21 = 14.3 times the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma.


    EDIT: there is a small error in the above calculation: the figure of 14.3 times should really be 20 times. See this later post for an explanation. However, the figure of 4.8 times is correct.



    So to answer your question: if you were to use a mild hyperbaric chamber at 1.3 atmospheres without any additional oxygen, you would only get 1.3 times the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma, which is a pretty small increase.

    If you use the same mild hyperbaric chamber while breathing 100% oxygen, you will get a total of 1.3/1 x 100/21 = 6.2 times the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma.

    And as mentioned just above, if you breathe 100% oxygen at normal atmospheric pressure (without using a hyperbaric chamber), you will get 4.8 times the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma, which is only slightly less than when using a soft hyperbaric chamber with 100% oxygen.




    So it seems to me that given the choice of a mild hyperbaric chamber with no extra oxygen, or a supply of 100% oxygen with no hyperbaric chamber, the latter will give you much better results (ie, will dissolve more oxygen in your blood).

    In fact, I am unclear why people go to the expense of buying an expensive mild hyperbaric chamber (which cost at least $6000), when breathing oxygen from a $300 oxygen concentration machine at normal pressures seems by my calculation to result in almost as much oxygen getting dissolved in the blood.

    Perhaps my fellow physicists on the forum, like @cigana, can check my above calculations and logic; but from what I can see, you may be better off just breathing 100% oxygen via a face mask using a relatively inexpensive oxygen concentration machine, rather than contemplating the huge investment in a mild hyperbaric chamber.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  8. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Sounds about right in terms of oxygen concentration.
    I wonder though if you need to exceed a concentration threshold in order to see therapeutic effects, which is why only expensive HBOT machines work (i.e. high pressure and high concentration combined)?
    I also wonder if oxygen pushed in through the skin could be playing a role?
    The size of the bubbles will also change with pressure, not sure if this plays a role...
     
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  9. boohealth

    boohealth Senior Member

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    The oxygen level in a portable chamber at full pressure is about 28%, so its higher than regular air. This will increase the amount of oxygen in the plasma. In addition, pressure shifts the nervous system to a parasympathetic mode, which is healing. Adding in oxygen with a concentrator and leaky mask can raise the 02 to about 60% tops.
     
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  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    That's certainly a possibility. Though if you look at an interesting HBOT thread recently started by @Jesse2233, it talks about a Lyme patient who made a fully recovery after a year and a half of daily 1 hour HBOT sessions using a mild HBOT chamber, which run at pressures of around 1.3 atmospheres. Borrelia are more-or-less anaerobic, so oxygen may be very toxic to these bacteria.

    So I am wondering whether breathing pure oxygen from an oxygen concentrator machine would be just as effective for treating Lyme. If so, it would make this interesting and potentially effective Lyme treatment far more accessible, because you can get cheap oxygen concentrators for around $300 on eBay. And with such machines, you could breath pure oxygen using a face mask for a few hours a day, while doing other things like reading, watching TV or working at a computer. So that longer treatment time of a few hours should help increase the efficacy.

    Although it would be prudent to look at the possibilities of oxygen toxicity, as breathing pure oxygen for extended periods may have toxic effects.



    My understanding is that most HBOT chambers don't use pure oxygen in the chamber; rather they pump ordinary air into the chamber to increase the pressure, and then give breathing masks to the occupants from which they will breath pure oxygen. The reason for this is that pure oxygen at high pressures is a major fire risk: that was tragically illustrated by the case of the three Apollo astronauts who died within seconds when a fire broke out from a tiny electrical spark in their Apollo capsule that had been pressurized with pure oxygen.
     
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  11. boohealth

    boohealth Senior Member

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    No, oxygen at room pressure will not treat lyme, as it is in the tissues and connective tissue.
    The mild portables are very effective in many cases.
     
  12. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Can you provide some science to back up your statement (that pure oxygen at normal pressures will not work)?
     
  13. boohealth

    boohealth Senior Member

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    No time. Please educate yourself on borrelia. Thanks!
     
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Then I have no time for you either. You probably did not even read my post on Henry's law above.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  15. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    @Hip My understanding is that the pathogen fighting properties of HBOT are but one of many mechanisms by which it helps a variety of conditions

    HBOT:
    • Improves mitochondrial function (1) (2)
    • Increases blood flow to the brain and other organs (3) (4)
    • Awakens sleeping neurons and helps heal neurological damage (5) (6)
    • Has anti-viral and anti-bacterial affects (7) (8)
    • Reduces the effects of autoimmunity (9) (10)

    • Studies on the use of HBOT for fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, and Lyme (11) (12) (13) (14)
     
  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    The very interesting thing, @Jesse2233, that I noticed while performing the calculations in my long post above is that just breathing 100% oxygen on its own will increase dissolved oxygen in the blood by 4.8 times, whereas if you use a soft HBOT chamber and breathe 100% oxygen in combination, that will increase dissolved oxygen only factionally more, by 6.2 times.

    So it seems to me that a soft HBOT chamber might be redundant, because just breathing pure 100% oxygen gets almost as much oxygen dissolved in the blood, by my calculation.

    I have written to a couple of experts on HBOT to ask them about this, because maybe my calculations are missing something. But if I am right, then Lyme patients, or any other patients wanting to try mild HBOT, could more easily and much more cheaply just use pure oxygen breathing instead of using a chamber. Oxygen concentrator machines that supply over 90% oxygen cost around $300 (these machines extract oxygen from the air; they do not use an oxygen tank).
     
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  17. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    I understand that the increased pressure causes more oxygen to be absorbed into the blood, but I could be wrong. I'm interested in what you hear back from the HBOT experts
     
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  18. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    That's right, but in physics there is this concept of partial pressure, which is used when you deal with mixtures of different gases, as in the case of air, which has a 21% oxygen concentration. When you increase the oxygen concentration from 21% to 100%, you are in fact increasing the partial pressure of oxygen, which in effect increase the oxygen pressure, which in turn dissolves more oxygen in the blood.

    (But it's been over 30 years since I did my physics degree, so to say that I am a little rusty on these things is an understatement!).
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  19. Asklipia

    Asklipia Senior Member

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    All very interesting, but two variables come to mind.
    I wonder if there is a synergy of the pressure effect with the Bohr effect. If CO2 is going up in the blood, oxygen in the blood is relatively less. But tissues get more oxygenated because CO2 is a vasodilator and the big hemoglobin molecules go farther and reach where they could not reach before.
    So increasing saturation of oxygen might be counterproductive, or not?

    And what about thiamin deficiency, which as a result shows up as a loss of oxygen, since veinous blood is more oxygenated than it should be.
     
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  20. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    The Bohr effect only applies to oxygen which is carried by the hemoglobin in red blood cells. It does not actually apply to oxygen which is directly dissolved in the blood.

    In the Bohr effect, carbon dioxide in the blood facilitates the release of oxygen from hemoglobin, making this oxygen available to the tissues. So low CO2 in the blood means less tissue oxygenation, and higher CO2 means more tissue oxygenation.

    The Bohr effect works out very nicely for muscles during physical exercise (or for any other tissues during increased energy demand): when the muscle mitochondria burn glucose or fat to create energy, one of the byproducts is carbon dioxide, which escapes from the mitochondria and enters the blood vessels passing through the muscles. This CO2 entering the bloodstream in turn facilities the release of oxygen from the red blood cells that are traveling through the muscle vasculature, making more oxygen available to the muscle tissues (which is precisely what you want, because the muscles need an increased oxygen supply during exercise in order to generate energy, which is why the Bohr effect works out so nicely).

    The Buteyko breathing method (in which you consciously slow down your breathing rate in order to reduce the amount of CO2 you expel from your lungs, and thus increase blood CO2 levels), is based on the Bohr effect: the idea is that by retaining more CO2 in your blood, you improve tissue oxygenation.

    Also, an alkalizing diet will increase blood CO2 levels (and therefore increase tissue oxygenation), because retaining or expelling of CO2 from the lungs is one of the ways that the body regulates its acid-alkali balance, in order to precisely maintain the optimum pH level (CO2 dissolved in water creates carbonic acid, which acidifies the water, so expelling the CO2 from the water reduces acidity).

    So when the body wants to reduce its acidity, it increases breathing rate and breathing depth in order to expel more CO2 from the lungs; conversely, to increase body acidity, the breathing rate is decreased in order to retain more CO2 in the blood. When you apply an alkalizing force to the body via an alkalizing diet, in order to maintain the same pH level, the body compensates by retaining more CO2 in the blood (among other compensating mechanisms).

    You may like to read my experiments in taking gulps of pure CO2 gas here. CO2 it a potent cerebral vasodilator as well as the driver of the Bohr effect, so I thought breathing CO2 might help ME/CFS symptoms, but the benefits were only mild (perhaps some slight improvements in cognition).

    There is also some research investigating breathing CO2 as a treatment for orthostatic intolerance in ME/CFS patients (in this research, they increase the level of CO2 in the room air, to see if this mitigates orthostatic intolerance).



    But to address your question about HBOT and the Bohr effect: I am not sure if the increased pressure would cause significantly more CO2 to get dissolved in the blood. Increased pressure does dissolve more gases in water, but only the gases that are present and in contact with the water. In HBOT, you usually breath near 100% oxygen from a face mask, so much more oxygen gets dissolved in the blood; but there is no increase in carbon dioxide levels in the HBOT chamber as far as I know.

    Although it is possible that after some time in the chamber, the CO2 from your own breathing will build up in the chamber, and slightly increase ambient CO2 levels that way. But it would depend on the nature of your oxygen supply as well, because you tend to breath oxygen supplied from your face mask in an HBOT chamber.

    So an increased Bohr effect might possibly be a factor in HBOT, but my guess is that if it is, it would not be major one. In a Google search, I can't find any mention of the Bohr effect in the context of HBOT.

    And in any case, as mentioned, the Bohr effect does not apply to the oxygen dissolved in the blood, which is the parameter that HBOT focuses on.
     
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