Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), that tend to be hereditary and affect approximately 1 in 100 people mostly adults between 20 and 40. In around 10% of cases, it is not possible for doctors to distinguish between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
Ulcerative colitis affects the rectum and variable amounts of the rest of the colon (the large bowel or intestine). Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus. They usually flare-up with diarrhea and abdominal pain, then settles down again, although it is possible to have a single attack of the condition. In severe cases, perianal wounds are common as well as internal fistulas and fissures with the risk of perforation within skin, bladder, vagina and other parts of bowel. The common denominator is regional inflammation, local low blood supply (ischemia) and low oxygenation usually complicated with a bacterial infection.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy limits the amount of inflammation in the bowels and lowers levels of C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, markers of inflammation in the body. Pain has been alleviated, the patient’s weight improved, and bowel movements returned almost to normal.
The benefit of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
- Increased oxygen delivery to all body tissues and reduced inflammation
- Better oxygenation of the area around the wounds and fistulas triggers a healing response and wound closure
- Reduced pain and intake of pain medications
- Reduced mental and physical stress
- Improving restoration of bowel’s flora
- Improved elimination of toxins and washout of the metabolic products
- Eliminating bacteria and infection as well as increasing the effect of antibiotics
- Enhancing the effect of medication
Studies and reviews:
- Hyperbaric Oxygen for Perianal Crohn’s Disease (pdf)
- Crohn’s Disease And Hyperbaric Oxygen Is There A Link (pdf)
- Systematic Review: The Safety and Efficacy of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment For Inflammatory Bowel Disease-A Systematic Review And Analysis (pdf)
- Efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen in patients with Crohn’s disease: two case reports.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis