Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Lyme Disease
Patient Q & A: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Lyme Disease
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is often sought out as part of the treatment process by patients with Lyme disease. Bacterium associated with Lyme disease is anaerobic—it can’t exist in oxygen. Because HBOT safely increases oxygen levels within the body, it can be used to reduce the harmful bacteria.
Holistic Hyperbaric patient and Lyme disease sufferer Molly (we’re just using her first name to respect her privacy) recently shared her story with us. We’re happy to share it with you here.
A bullseye shaped rash can be a sign of lyme disease
Molly’s Lyme Symptoms
Molly’s symptoms are primarily neurological, and include shooting nerve pain, terrible insomnia, some brain fog, and memory issues.
Why Holistic Hyperbarics?
Molly found Holistic Hyperbarics through a recommendation in an online Lyme forum. Another member recommended Holistic Hyperbarics, noting that Alex was “really great to work with.” Molly reached out and talked to Alex, saying of the experience, “I remember I had a bunch of questions and I was very reassured by your responses, I felt really confident and that you knew what you were doing and also that you were genuinely trying to make a difference in the community, which was important to me.”
Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on Lyme Symptoms
Molly has noticed improvement in her Lyme disease symptoms as a result of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. She says, “my insomnia has gotten a lot better, and I am really encouraged by this, because this has been one of the most difficult symptoms. I’ve tried acupuncture, I’ve tried all kinds of things to deal with it. And I’ve been able to reduce my reliance on sleeping pills, which has made me really happy. And when I was being treated with antibiotics, this was actually the signal that the antibiotics were working, when suddenly I wouldn’t have to take the sleeping pills anymore. And so now, I’m having that same effect now, and so it’s making me feel that the Lyme is definitely being affected by this treatment.”
Herxheimer Response with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Like many patients with Lyme disease, Molly experiences the Herxheimer response with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. While some people have symptoms such as fever, chills, and headache, Molly describes her reaction as an “itchy, kind of prickly feeling. It doesn’t last long, but I’m definitely aware that something has happened inside my body.”
The Holistic Hyperbaric Experience
Alex and her team at Holistic Hyperbarics focus on creating a nurturing, comfortable, and supportive environment for patients. Molly notes: “It’s just been awesome for me, just aesthetically it’s very soothing and relaxing. All the staff that I’ve interacted with have been great, like very sort of service- oriented, taking care of people and also very knowledgeable, calm, confident and then I really do like the aspect of being involved in the community and wanting to make this accessible to people who otherwise couldn’t afford this treatment.”
The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Experience
Making time for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy two or more times per week is definitely a commitment. Molly, however, thinks of it as a self-care decision that helps her in both the short and the long term: “I know that it is going to be real downtime, a real time to relax, no matter how stressful my life has been. And I know that I’m going to come out feeling better than when I came in. And I also know that I am chipping away at the Lyme bacteria. It’s kind of like a feel good now, but it’s also knowing that I’m making progress on my longer-term goal.”
Advice About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Others Lyme Sufferers
When we asked Molly what advice she would give to other people with Lyme disease who are considering Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, she suggested starting slowly and paying close attention to how your body reacts. Molly started by going twice a week, but really started to notice a difference when she started HBOT three times a week. “I think that goes for any new treatment, to kind of ease in and see how your body responds and move up from there. And maybe not to expect instant results, like in my case it took a little while. Basically, I had to go up to the three times. Although, the Herxing started sooner, and we thought maybe we should pull back, and I did pull back a little bit, but then I thought no, that might be a signal to go forward. So just to be really responsive to your body and experiment.”
We’d like to thank Molly for sharing her story with us so we could share it with you!