HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
By Roque R. Wicker, CHT, DMT-A
Oxygen is so basic for our everyday life that it is taken for granted. The medical community is beginning to rediscover how important oxygen is to our bodily functions. Research has indicated a link between oxygen and most diseases of the human body.
The air that we breathe consists of 21 percent oxygen and 79 percent Nitrogen. You can go days without food, hours without water, but if you are denied oxygen for only a few minutes you canít survive. Oxygen is crucial to every system in your body.
All physical processes of your body, such as circulation, assimilation, digestion, and elimination ďrunĒ on oxygen. oxygen is the human bodyís battery. As a result, oxygen helps your body produce energy, balance its metabolism, purify itself of wastes, and fight infection.
Your body uses oxygen to rid itself of toxins, including allergic substances. Since anaerobic bacteria, fungi and viruses cannot live in an oxygen rich environment, high blood oxygen levels are our best defense against infectious illness. Unfortunately, if youíre like most everyone, your blood oxygen content is low. Why?
There are many reasons why you donít get enough oxygen in your system, you may have shallow breathing habits. If you havenít learned to breathe properly, you arenít bringing enough air into the lungs and youíre not assimilating it efficiently in order to obtain vital blood oxygen levels.
When blood oxygen content is low, your body is slowed, weakened, and easily fatigued. Your immune system lies prey to infections, accelerated aging, and over time, disease. When a person is suffering from stress or in poor health, it is often reflected in the skin. Proper skin care requires more than just getting a facial. It requires a healthy body, proper diet, exercise and supplemental oxygen.
OXYGEN AND ENERGY
Oxygen is a key component for the production of energy in the body. It operates as part of the aerobic metabolism. This form of energy production is similar to that of a fire. Wood may provide the combustible material, which is combined with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide (CO2), heat, and water.
The body uses a similar process though without the heat. The main transport agent of this cold energy production is ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is an adenosine-derived nucleotide that supplies large amounts of energy to cells for various biochemical processes, including muscle contraction and sugar metabolism, through its hydrolysis to ADP. Without the activity of ATP and ADP, the cells would die.
OXYGEN AND METABOLISM
There are two main pathways to energy production in the body. We have mentioned aerobic metabolism. Aerobic means with oxygen. However, there is an anaerobic metabolism that supports life for very short periods of time. Anaerobic means without oxygen. How can this be so?
In the initial phase of metabolism of glucose there is a release of energy without the presence of oxygen. However, as a waste product this reaction produces lactic acid.
As the process of anaerobic metabolism continues, the concentration of lactic acid continues to increase until it becomes impossible for the cell to function. Therefore, this anaerobic metabolism cannot be expected to provide a long-term solution for oxygen management, but it plays a significant part.
As oxygen delivery to the tissue drops, it reaches a point where anaerobic metabolism increases. This is typically seen in a rise in serum lactate levels, a binding compound used by the body to neutralize the acid. Once oxygen delivery increases, the lactic acid is further metabolized and removed.
This scenario is played daily in athletes. As they vigorously use their muscles there is a buildup of lactate acid and later, during rest, the body removes this acid. This causes the familiar aching muscles experienced by the weekend warrior.
Oxygen is not like other drugs. Once oxygen is inhaled, even from a tank source, it does not accumulate for later use; it is metabolized right away. The fact that oxygen is not stored by the body is why people die quickly when air is cut off; all available oxygen at that point is completely exhausted in about four minutes.
Football players who come off the field for a few whiffs of oxygen on the sidelines are not really benefited in any physiologic sense; by the time they get back in the game, the supplemental oxygen they inhaled has been completely used up.
OXYGEN AND INFECTION
Oxygen is a key component in fighting infections that we are afflicted with. How so? It may help to understand if one remembers how hydrogen peroxide or H2O2 is used to clean a wound. When you pour this on an open wound or sore it immediately foams up. Why? The hydrogen peroxide molecule is not the most stable since it is an unbalanced form of water, or H2O. this second oxygen molecule can be easily released.
When this is done in the presence of bacteria, it literally Ďburnsí up the bacteria in a form of chemical fire. The white blood cells of the body use this similar action.
As white blood cells flow through the circulation and encounter bacteria or other foreign matter, they engulf such like a form of digestion. Once this is encapsulated within the white blood cell it is bathed in superoxidase compounds and destroyed or Ďburnedí up with cold fire.
Without this, the white blood cells, though effectively attacking the bacterial agents, are not able to break down and destroy the bacteria. But where does the white blood cell get the components to make the superoxidase compounds?
Red blood cells carry the oxygen to fuel the bodyís cells. If a passing white blood cell needs oxygen, a major component of a superoxidase compound, it is able to pull such from a passing red blood cell. This is a very efficient and effective method.
However, if there is severe anemia or a low blood oxygen level (which is usually the case) there is not enough oxygen for the white cells to extract in order to fight off infections.
In the case of severe anemia, there is not enough red blood cells present for white cells to extract oxygen. in essence you have plenty of soldiers (white blood cells) but these have no bullets (superoxidase compound) to destroy the enemy.
In this condition there is an increased possibility for infection to rapidly grow and overwhelm the body. If severe, it can lead to sepsis.
Sepsis itself can further release hormones and other reactionary chemicals into the body that can lead to further problems with oxygen delivery, blood flow, and can result in shock. Thus, it becomes paramount to help the immune system to fight bacterial infections early on, or even before it occurs.
THE OXYGEN SOLUTION
The sad truth is that virtually no one is getting enough oxygen! To live well on this small planet, you need to supplement your diet with oxygen. With high blood oxygen levels, you can fight off illnesses, gain zest for life, and enjoy vibrant energy, strength and endurance.
Where can you find supplemental oxygen? There are different ways to increase oxygen in the body. The question is, which is the best and most effective way.
Not everyone is willing to travel to an ozone machine or have blood removed and oxygenated. Taking Hydrogen peroxide dropperfulls in water or juice is nauseating, and if done ignorantly, can rob your body of useful digestive micro-organisms.
Most people arenít willing to snort it up their noses or take it in other bizarre ways. And most of these procedures involve metabolizing the oxygen within four minutes. None of them involve storing the oxygen.
Now there is an easy way of increasing the oxygen in your body, it does not involve swallowing, or taking it in water or juice, or going to an oxygen bar, this involves what we naturally do to get oxygen- BREATHING!! Yes all you have to do is breathe. It is called Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, hyper means high and baric means pressure.
In hyperbaric therapy, you breathe oxygen at higher pressures equal to breathing oxygen at 33 feet underwater. This is possible by going into a hyperbaric chamber.
Normally used to treat divers with the bends, this treatment is proven to increase oxygen levels unattainable anywhere on earth, it has also been proven to support life without hemoglobin. When breathed at 33 feet, the oxygen saturates the blood and water in your body with oxygen. Oxygen levels go up from 80-100 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) to 1800-2000 mmHg, enough to support life without blood!
In this fashion, the human body can act as a rechargeable battery for oxygen. During the time in the hyperbaric chamber (usually 1 hour) the body recharges itself of oxygen, or pays off its oxygen debt. For that time, the bodyís lactate level improves. While the patient is outside the chamber there is a consumption of the oxygen gains made while in the chamber.
The way it works is simple; itís like trying to dissolve salt in water. When you pour a spoonful of salt into a glass of cold water, all the salt may not dissolve. Simply adding more salt doesnít make the water dissolve more salt because it has reached saturation. But when you pour a spoonful of salt into a glass of hot water, more of the salt will dissolve.
At higher temperatures, more salt dissolves. What temperature does for salt in water, pressure does for oxygen in the blood.
This treatment is used by the athletes in professional football and basketball. Hyperbaric chambers can also be found in the best hospitals around the world. It is used for all types of injuries requiring phenomenal levels of oxygen.
In hospitals it is the primary treatment for the flesh eating disease, burns, infections, osteoporosis, carbon monoxide poisoning, air embolisms, decompression sickness, gas gangrene and many more.
At Green Bay Hyperbarics we have a HYOX HTU2 hyperbaric chamber. We employ them to heal pre and post-surgical procedures, gas gangrene, the flesh eating disease, post-radiation damage, non-healing wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, air embolisms, diving injuries, burns osteomyelitis and osteonecrosis. Currently there is ongoing research in brain injuries and stroke patients in order to improve the patients quality of life.
For more on hyperbaric oxygen therapy you can call us at (920)-499-0670.