Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Anemia
Anemia generally refers to the decreased numbers of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the body but can be also be defined as the lower oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
If the onset is slow then the symptoms may be vague and simply overlooked. Some symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, & shortness of breath.
However, with runners, the symptoms may have sudden, serious & have profound effects on the body. Symptoms may include confusion, fainting, and increased thirst, enlargement of the spleen, chest pain, heart palpitations, tachycardia (increased heart rate) & generalized weakness. Serious runners training for marathons can simply push themselves too hard, & not recognize the symptoms. The same symptoms can affect runners going from a lower elevation to a higher elevation; this is altitude sickness & is due to the decreased oxygen percentages at altitude. If left untreated, severe anemia can result in death.
Microtrauma occurs every time a runner takes a step, destroying RBCs with every collision of the foot to the ground. This is one of the reasons why good running shoes are so important. RBC destruction is termed as hemolytic anemia. Hemolytic anemia occurs during vigorous training, a runner may experience what is described as “running into the wall”, this happens when the runner simply has destroyed some many RBCs, that the brain and body can’t cope with the anemia & the body will start shutting down to preserve vital organs & tissues. When anemia is severe, there is a decreased supply of oxygen to the vital organs & tissues. Severe anemia must be taken seriously!
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is an effective treatment for anemia. The first thing that happens is that HBOT can saturate the remaining RBCs with oxygen. Then the plasma (the liquid portion of the blood) that does not usually carry oxygen is saturated with oxygen, therefore supplying the vital organs & tissues with oxygen. Then HBOT stimulates the production of RBCs (hemopoiesis) in the long bones replacing the destroyed RBCs.
HBOT can also preserve a life where blood transfusions are restricted by religious beliefs. HBOT can be utilized to put a champion back on the path of winning, treating altitude sickness or even saving a life. There was a reason why Lance Armstrong was never caught doping. Now can you image, stacking the odds in your favor? Please feel free to call our clinic if you have any questions as what we can do for you.
Dr. Skaggs is a member of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association (IHMA) & was recently appointed to the Executive Board of Directors. This organization is on the cutting edge of research, establishing treatment protocols, indications for treatment while establishing safety for the public & the industry.