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- Rheumatoid Arthritis
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There are scores of different kinds of arthritis. Some are a consequence of another condition, some are related to wear and tear of joints, and some, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are autoimmune.
With any autoimmune disorder, the body’s immune system attacks itself rather than invaders. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the autoimmunity leads to inflammation of the joint lining in hands and feet.
The resulting swelling is painful, to say the least, and can eventually lead to the surrounding bone getting worn away, disabling the joint completely. This rapid wearing is what causes the joint deformity often seen in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
It is a mistake to think of rheumatoid arthritis as a joint-only condition. As an auto-immune condition, it does not just affect a specific area of the body. It affects everything. Skin, eyes, lung, blood vessels, and just about any part of the body can experience impact from the immune system gone haywire. The impact is, quite literally, endless.
The chronic inflammation can lead to various problems throughout the body. There is an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, the potential for serious lung disease, and anemia.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) saturates the entire body in oxygen and pressures higher than we normally experience just standing on solid ground, leading to some fascinating and advantageous results. With rheumatoid arthritis in particular, HBOT provides help in a couple of different ways.
The first is that it decreases pro-inflammatory markers and increases anti-inflammatory markers. Decreasing inflammation has a range of positive consequences, direct and indirect, such as increased blood flow. Given that the symptoms are a result of inflammation, one can imagine the impact this treatment aspect has on its own.
HBOT also has a direct impact on the immune system. You may have read other articles about HBOT increasing immune activity to fight infection and make repairs, but it also smooths out the immune system, bringing it into closer balance and decreasing the severity of the autoimmune attacks.
Indeed, studies checking blood markers for rheumatoid arthritis before and after HBOT treatment showed a decline following treatment. More importantly, the patients reported a decrease in pain and inflammation, and a slowing in the progression of their disease.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be effective on its own and when used in combination with other treatments, be they intravenous therapy, supplements, dietary change and conventional treatments.
Patients at the Nardella Clinic in Calgary may experience a positive, noticeable change after 40-60 treatments. This can, of course, vary from person to person. Either way, patients notice better energy, improved sleep, and better overall health along with a decrease in symptoms. Some even report decreased medications after HBOT treatment.
Increased quality of life is the goal, and HBOT can be a part of the treatment to achieve that goal.
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