Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy & Long Covid
Could hyperbaric oxygen therapy for long covid prove to be a promising way for some to alleviate their frustrating symptoms?
Sometimes referred to as “chronic covid,” long covid can last several days, months, and even years after the initial period of illness. It can create autoimmune and multi-organ complications which can affect the heart, brain, and liver.
It is said that long covid can be the result of the body’s own immune system and its response during the onset of getting sick, or it can also be caused by the virus itself.
Living with long covid and available treatment options
How many people are said to suffer from symptoms related to long covid? At the end of 2022, a reported 7 million people, or 1 in 13 Americans were said to have “long COVID.”
Living with long covid can cause unwanted fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms. Some people consult a physical therapist or other medical professionals to alleviate their symptoms.
Some are trying an alternative approach, which is hyperbaric oxygen therapy for long covid.
What research says about HBOT
While additional research is needed to further clarify the efficacy of HBOT, and how it can be used to improve certain conditions or symptoms, previous studies and trials have indicated that HBOT can be potentially successful in accomplishing the following:
- Increasing oxygen levels in the blood
- Encouraging angiogenesis
- Reducing ICP (Increased intracranial pressure)
- Decreasing apoptosis
- Reducing inflammation
Many of these mentioned above are also related to mitochondrial function, which can also be subsequently negatively impacted by the coronavirus. According to Everyday Health, newer studies are discovering a link between hindered mitochondrial function and long covid.
According to sources, it is possible that a weakened mitochondrial function resulting from environmental factors, such as stress or lack of sleep, may contribute to long covid symptoms in some individuals, as can underperforming mitochondrial function resulting from an already weakened or compromised immune system.
This article states: “…Long-term treatment, on the other hand, improves mitochondrial activity and leads to a decrease in ROS levels, partially due to the effects of HBOT, which increases antioxidant defense mechanisms…”
In addition to improving areas connected to mitochondrial function, hyperbaric oxygen therapy for long covid has also shown it can improve cellular oxygenation levels. The Minnesota Department of Health reports that people who have had COVID-19 can suffer from decreased levels of oxygen in the blood, which can make a person feel extremely unwell and plausibly call for medical attention.
The takeaway: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for long covid
While studies have indicated some promising results, more research is still needed to better understand the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for long covid patients. If you would like to try it for yourself, we suggest giving us a call. Just remember to always consult with your doctor or physician when looking to make any significant health or lifestyle changes of this nature.