Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Community
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Oxygen therapy

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any experience of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (breathing in oxygen whilst in a pressurised chamber, like divers) to relieve the symptoms of ME.

My local MS centre lists ME as a condition that could possibly benefit from such a treatment, but I can find no medical evidence and my OT is reticent.

Any information on experiences, good and bad would be appreciated. Thanks

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Hi Zebra68,

I have not had any experience of this but I can remember reading about it many years ago.

Talking about oxygen, has anyone been told that they breathe too shallowly? A clinical psychologist once told me that many people with ME breathe too shallowly. May be a future post.

Lottie

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I don't have experience with this either but I wonder if you've been found to be hypoxic? I was having intermittent hypoxia (worse when moving around than when sitting). But even when a patient has hypoxia, the correct form of treatment varies based on the source of the problem. Giving oxygen isn't always effective, depending on the cause.

Some CFS/ME and POTS patients have been found to have chronic low blood volume. I seem to fall into this category. I'm taking fludrocortisone to treat my low blood volume and I am finding it to be helpful. It doesn't work for everyone though, because there are a couple of mechanisms that can trigger low blood volume and this drug only treats one of them.

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Thanks for your reply. I don't think I get hypoxia. I did wonder for a time as I have episodes of feeling light headed. After various checks, it was discovered that it was actually my heart rate falling, rather than blood pressure or oxygen content.

The theory behind oxygen therapy is that by breathing oxygen under pressure, it increases the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood. This promotes healing and slow down the damage caused by disease. It is supposed to really help with brain fog and pain levels, both of which have worsened a lot since my last severe crash when I ended up in hospital.

There is evidence that it works well for MS patients and other autoimmune diseases. But no studies, as far as I can find, have been done on ME, surprise surprise. I'm considering trying it out, but it's not cheap.

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Hi Zebra68, I heRd of a colleague today, who has weekly treatment in Canterbury with hyperbaric chamber and oxygen and she is now pain free after 20 years. Hope this helps pinkjen49

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I did try HBOT, but i only managed one session back in September. It caused a major relapse and problems with my breathing, so much so, that its taken these last 6 months to see some sort of recovery. I went from having spent the preceeding 9 months crawling back from severe ME to mildly moderate, back to severe ME again within days of the treatment . My mobility and cognitive abilities have been affected and I'm finding it much harder to recover this time, as i do every time i relapse.

For me, the risks of repeating the experience are too great. But as with everything, it's horses for courses.

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