The condition comes with countless other symptoms, including:
It’s estimated that CFS/ME affects a quarter of a million people in the UK alone. It’s more common in women than men and usually develops between the ages of 20 and 40. One in four CFS sufferers has severe symptoms, namely significantly reduced mobility and brain fog.
Unfortunately, CFS is shrouded in mystery. There is no known cause and it’s usually quite difficult to diagnose and treat. However, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is proving highly effective for improving health and wellbeing for those with CFS.
How to manage a mystery illness
While there is no known cure for chronic fatigue/ME, complementary therapies like Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy are available to help alleviate the symptoms. Treatment plans vary because of a lack of medical and scientific understanding of the illness, and because all patients’ symptoms and responses to treatment are different. However, scientists and medical practitioners are seeing positive results in an increasing number of cases where Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is used to improve symptoms and enhance wellbeing for those with CFS.
So, what is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy? Essentially, it’s a pain-free, non-invasive way of giving your body more oxygen than it can get from the air.
Why is more oxygen good for you?
It’s simple really. Oxygen is vital for life. That means it’s vital for wellness, fitness and recovery too. More of it simply enhances our body’s fundamental processes. In a HBOT session, patients enter a private, purpose-built chamber and breathe in pure oxygen at 2 times the normal atmospheric pressure. The hyperbaric chamber increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, allowing it to absorb 10-15 times more oxygen than normal.
Administering extra oxygen through HBOT is known to reduce swelling and inflammation, improve blood flow, boost energy and enhance the immune system. The sports world has already embraced HBOT. Hyperbaric chambers are used by prominent sports stars like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo to recover quicker from injuries, boost their endurance and performance, and improve their resilience to exhaustion.
It follows that HBOT can be an effective remedy for chronic fatigue sufferers, too.
But does HBOT really relieve the symptoms of CFS/ME?
As mentioned earlier, no treatment for CFS/ME works for absolutely everyone. However, more and more chronic fatigue sufferers are experiencing positive results with HBOT, and there is scientific evidence to support its use in CFS cases.
An uncontrolled 2013 study by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) saw 16 CFS patients receive 15 HBOT sessions over three consecutive weeks. Three fatigue and quality of life measures were assessed before and after the 15 sessions, and patients’ scores were higher on all measures after the HBOT. This led the UHMS to infer that HBOT decreases symptom severity and improves quality of life for CFS sufferers.
Even better evidence of HBOT’s effectiveness comes in the form of a controlled clinical trial carried out by the Sagol Centre for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research in 2015. The trial explored the use of HBOT in fibromyalgia cases. CFS/ME and fibromyalgia are similar in a lot of ways, and many patients are diagnosed with both. The illnesses share a number of symptoms, namely chronic pain, and overlap diagnostically.
The trial found that HBOT significantly reduces pain and improves physical functioning and quality of life. Most intriguing was the fact that HBOT ‘rectified’ certain brain areas believed to be abnormal in fibromyalgia patients. It decreased activity in the pain-processing parts of the brain, and increased activity in the pain-inhibiting parts.
Hyperbaric hope for chronic fatigue sufferers
The number of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy sessions you require will depend on your individual symptoms and needs, which will be decided upon during your initial consultation.
For more information about how HBOT can help with chronic fatigue, contact us on0203 823 1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, book a consultation with Robert Pender, our very own world-renowned hyperbaric expert.