Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Oxygen Concentrators

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by David Jackson, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    Hey hey;

    I’ve had a look though previous posts about oxygen concentrators on PR, but would like to as a few specific questions, as I’ve been thinking about trying some oxygen therapy. For the record, no one has suggested it to me, it’s just something that I thought might be a good idea to try, as oxygen is one of the most commonly used things in hospitals. Plus, I want to see if it will make me live forever, like they say it will ;)

    Essentially, I know very little about oxygen therapy, but I read that it can do lots of good stuff for the body. Getting a concentrator sounds like an easier way to go than lots of trips to a hyperbaric chamber. I’m thinking of hiring one for a month and using it to see if I notice any benefit, and if I feel a positive change, look at buying one… that’s about as far as my understanding on the topic goes.

    Can anyone relate their experience or knowledge of oxygen concentrators?

    Is there anything I need to know about them, like should I consult my doctor first or anything?

    How long do you need to use them for per day?

    If I hire a 5L per minute one, will I notice any benefits, do you think? Or do I need a larger one than that?

    Are there any dangers? I don’t want to spontaneously combust…

    Any information would be much appreciated :)
     
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  2. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    I have been using a 5 L per minute oxygen concentrator which I got from EBay for around £320 for 3 years now. Actually the first one stopped working last year so this is my second one!

    It makes a huge difference to me. Dr M at Breakspear recommended I breathe oxygen for up to an hour, 3 times daily but these days I tend to use it for a maximum of 30 minutes after breakfast and lunch and after my walk in the afternoon. I can feel it putting back some energy into my body every time I use it.

    Especially after breakfast I can feel like death on some days but after using the concentrator I can get up and do a few light jobs like watering a few pots in the garden or hoovering the carpets without ill effects.

    I should add that I did have the basic autonomic testing done at Breakspear which showed I had less than 50% of oxygen in my cells to that of a normal person. Nothing wrong with my lungs they are excellent but its cellular hypoxia. I remember Dr Bell wrote a good little book about this.

    Personally if I were you I would go ahead and hire one for a month and see if it works for you.

    The times when I have noticed the benefits are much less is when I have an infection that needs treating and then I still can feel horrendous even with breathing the oxygen. From my experience of unbalanced hormones I can also say that if one had untreated imbalances then it wouldn't work for that either, everything needs to be in place for oxygen therapy to really help.

    Pam
     
  3. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    Oxygen in the blood is - for healthy people - usually quite high.
    At the moment for me, it's sitting around 97%, for example.
    You simply can't bump it up more than a percent or so, even if you take pure oxygen.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002MEUFKW
    If it's lower than 95% or so, you may want to get that investigated, if you're not living at altitude.
    If you have severe respiratory issues, or are living on the side of everest, it's a concern.

    If you have normally oxygenated blood (healthy heart/lungs, and are living near sea level) I'm not aware of any studies saying it'd benefit (for example) people with ME/CFS in any way.
    I also note improperly maintained O2 concentrators can blow fungus or bacteria or other nasties into your lungs.
    (primarily from the hydrator)
    (I say this as someone with a concentrator, bought for the purposes of setting things on fire. I tried it, it did not help me at all other than to very slightly reduce symptoms of a severe asthma attack)


    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23682549 - I note.
    This is a _terrible_ study design.
    You almost can't get a more 'real' looking treatment that's going to change perception of the illness and self-reporting on questionaires, and no objective outcomes were reported.

    Blood oxygen saturation does not fall in CFS during a fatigue state.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
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  4. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    I did Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment some years ago, about 12 sessions in all. It did nothing for me.
    If you have the resources than I suppose it doesn't hurt to try though.
     
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  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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    The scientific consensus seems to be that oxygen therapies won't help at all with forms of hypoxia where arterial oxygen is normal (with the possible exception of carbon monoxide poisoning).

    I'd assume your 50% deficit was in your venous gases, since you're still alive, which suggests hypoperfusion from stagnant hypoxia rather than any lack of oxygen absorption. Basically it means your body already takes up oxygen as well as it can, so adding more won't help with blood getting too de-oxygenated before it can make it make it back to the lungs.

    Stagnant hypoxia is due to heart problems or other circulatory issues. In our case, it's probably tied in to OI/autonomic dysfunction. The only way to improve stagnant hypoxia is by treating the underlying problem.

    I don't think oxygen is a good thing to try without a medical indication that it's likely to be beneficial. It can make some conditions worse, rather than better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  6. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    I take Oxygen from a concentrator with my cPAP machine, I sleep 8 to 12 hours a night, some times less. More on the nights I exercise! Or sometimes the night afterwards. With days of exercise, seems like my body has trouble settling down and falling asleep, I stay "wired".

    My sleep specialists only prescribed 1L/min, but my specialist I see for my CFS and Fibromyalgia has said 4L/min, but recently dropped it to 3 as a compromise with my sleep Dr.

    GG
     
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  7. Butydoc

    Butydoc President

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    Hi David,

    I don't believe an oxygen concentrator would be of any benefit unless your arterial oxygen saturation was low. Room air has an O2 concentration of 21 percent. For most people with normal lungs, their arterial saturation is usually above 97%. Adding additional O2 doesn't generally increase their O2 content of their blood. The content is the total of dissolved and hemoglobin bound O2. The amount of dissolved O2 is small as compared to that which is bound to hemoglobin. HBO therapy increases the dissolved O2 in the blood by increasing the atmospheric pressure which can increase the amount of O2 available to the tissues.

    Best,
    Gary
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
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  8. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    Do you have a diagnosed sleep condition other than CFS?
     
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  9. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Yes, therefore the cPAP machine :)

    GG
     
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  10. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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  11. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    Well, thank you for all the replies.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I think what most of you are saying is something like, "our blood oxygen saturation is usually pretty good anyway, so adding extra oxygen, say from a concentratior, doesn't really help because the problem isn't there in the first place".

    And probably my blood oxygen levels are good... I've made a large amount of improvement, especially in the last few months. Indeed, it no longer even feels like I have CFS; now it feels more like "not all of my energy has come back yet". Essentially, I now have 5% of the energy levels that a normal person has. Formerly, it was something like 0.1%, or something. I seldom even have any brain fog anymore. So I imagine that my blood oxygen levels are probably fine. The problem is, though, that I don't have enough energy to support myself working or anything yet...

    I guess it just comes down to deciding whether to spend $200 and hire one for a month to see if I notice any benefit from it. If I don't, well, now I know why that is...
     
  12. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    Ah - right. In the context of the thread - if you don't (for example) have sleep aopnea or some other condition that leads to sleep quality problems or low oxygen during sleep, or live at well over 1km altitude, it's unlikely to help much. (and then may require additional machinery like CPAP for sleep aopnea)
    You could if you're concerned by an oxygen monitor like the above, to see if your baseline oxygen is low, but otherwise it's not likely to help.

    And on the topic of ozone, ozone is not oxygen. Oxygen concentrators produce zero ozone.
     
  13. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Er, oxygen is an element in the periodic table. Ozone is made up of 3 oxygen atoms. And the oxygen concentrator makes oxygen gas, which has 2 oxygen atoms.

    I was suggesting that ozone may have a function even though one may not need oxygen gas.
     
  14. RogerBlack

    RogerBlack Senior Member

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    Right, but you quoted ozone posts, in a thread about oxygen concentrators, and oxygen concentrators produce no ozone at all, hence some might be confused.
     
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  15. Eian Mcneely

    Eian Mcneely

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    Well David this is great going, and faster recovery :thumbsup:
     
  16. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    I would like to add something else that is of benefit to me provided I use my oxygen concentrator on about 4 L a minute. When I come back from my walk with my dog I am out of energy. I need to eat , get horizontal and also use my concentrator for at least 20 minutes to get some enough energy back so that I will be able to prepare or cook a meal.

    On a few occasion when a friend has come out with me I have left off using the concentrator until after she has gone. On several occasions when I have not followed my usual routine I have developed quite severe muscle pain in my neck the next day. My neck and shoulders are a particularly weak area of mine.

    It happened only this Thursday and I woke the next day with a strong pain on the right side of my neck into my shoulder. Last year it was so bad it didn't settle for about a week but thankfully this time though it is still slightly painful its nothing like so bad.

    Therefore I am positive breathing oxygen helps my muscles to recover from exercise and as mentioned previously Dr Bell wrote a book called Cellular Hypoxia which seemed to me to explain exactly what I experience.

    Pam
     
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  17. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    Although the post was originally a question about oxygen concentrators, @Learner1, I would like to hear a little more about ozone... is there a device like an oxygen concentrator that you can get for home use that produces ozone instead of O2? Or would you have to go to a special clinic or something to get this kind of therapy?

    I have seen ozone generators that are designed to get rid of bad odors, for use at, say, a gymnasium or something. But I haven't heard of one like an oxygen concentrator that you hook up to yourself in your own home and breath in the ozone... can you please aware me if there is something like this out there?

    @bertiedog, thanks for sharing your experiences. It might well be worth me trialing one for a month. If I were to, how long, in your estimation, would I need to use it for in order to say for sure that it is either giving me benefit or not giving me benefit? And: are there any warnings associated with just sorting it all out by yourself? Are you in any danger of "over-oxygenating" yourself, or something?
     
  18. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Don't think you touch upon it here, perhaps another posting. But seems like a few are saying its a waste.

    Do diabetics who do HBOT treatment have documented low oxygen levels? If not, then how do the justify the treatment be paid for by our 3rd party payees?

    GG
     
  19. bertiedog

    bertiedog Senior Member

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    I noticed a particular benefit the very first time I used one and that was my vision hugely improved. Everything was much sharper and I noticed how bright colours were. That benefit has stayed.

    The energy benefit also happened straight away. I used it for an hour, 3 times daily for probably about 6 months before reducing down to around 30 minutes.

    I honestly cannot imagine any problems from giving it a try. it will either help or it won't. Last year I was without one for nearly a week and I really missed it with way less energy and much heavier legs.

    Good luck.

    Pam
     
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  20. Avena

    Avena

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    I've been using an Kröber O2 for 8 years. 5 liters per minute, 4 hours a day. I started low, 1,5 liter, I think. It has significant effect on my lactic acid symptoms --> helps me relax. To me, it has clear effect on sleep the following night.

    Please note: I have severe ME and doubt that it would have made any difference for anyone less affected. I do not use it on better days and I don't think I would have bothered at all if I was not bedridden.
     

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