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The efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the management of chronic fatigue syndrome

  [ 2 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ]
By S. Akarsu et al. • • June 3, 2013

The efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the management of chronic fatigue syndrome

By S. Akarsu et al.


Objective: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a chronic disease with social components that ensue secondary to the incapacity of the person to fulfill work, social and family responsibilities. Currently, there is no consensus regarding its treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy in CFS.

Design: Sixteen patients included in the study were diagnosed with CFS according to the Fukuda criteria. Patients received 15 treatment sessions of HBO2 therapy over a period of three consecutive weeks (five days per week). The outcome measures (visual analog fatigue scale (VAFS). Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Fatigue Quality of Life Score (FQLS) were assessed before the treatment and after completion of the 15 sessions.

Results: HBO2 therapy was well tolerated, with no complications. After treatment, patients' scores were found to have improved with respect to VAFS, FSS and FQLS (all p<0.005).

Conclusions: We may infer that HBO2 therapy decreases the severity of symptoms and increases the life quality of CFS patients. It may be a new treatment modality for the management of CFS. However, further studies with larger sample sizes and control groups are definitely awaited.

Source: Undersea Hyperb Med. 2013 Mar-Apr;40(2):197-200. Akarsu S, Tekin L, Ay H, Carli AB, Tok F, Simsek K, Kiralp MZ.Gülhane Military Medical Academy Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Istanbul, Turkey.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Posted by: IanH
Jun 3, 2013
This study has no placebo group. It would not have been hard to include one as patients would not know whether they are breathing extra O2 or not. You cannot compare pre-treatment verbal reports with post-treatment verbal reports, they are totally unreliable especially in this disease. It is a shame, because it would have been useful to know, given that there is some evidence that ME/CFS involves poor blood perfusion and low blood volume with consequent accumulation of lactic acid.
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Hyperbaric Oxygen Helps with CF, Lyme, and Autoimmune
Posted by: mryanone
Nov 26, 2013
As a longstanding member of the hyperbaric community, I see firsthand the results that folks with Lyme and CFS (and neuropathy and RSD) are seeing. There have not been enough studies for any person - doctor or individual - to empirically state that hbot works or doesn't. There just hasn't been enough money put into the studies. Why not? Because no one company owns a patent on it, and it's only in the interest of the patient that it be done - i.e. It's not like a drug, where the drug companies will spend millions of dollars on promoting it.

So, based on experience, it's a travesty to NOT look into HBOT for Lyme and the symptoms that come with autoimmune conditions and chronic fatigue.

I look at where our hyperbaric users are coming from, and they're coming from MDs in integrative medicine offices. It works! I hear all the time, "I feel better than I did when before I started getting sick," and "You guys should tell more people."
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