Crohn’s Disease Treatment Breakthrough: The Healing Promise of Hyperbaric Oxygen

by Dr. Kilcup | Dec 13, 2023 | Articles, crohn's disease, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Crohn's Disease Treatment, Hyperbaric Oxygen

Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the digestive tract, presents unique challenges for patients seeking effective treatment. In recent years, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has emerged as a promising approach to managing Crohn’s symptoms and promoting healing.

Crohn’s Disease Treatment | What Causes Crohn’s?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. It leads to a range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and inflammation. While the exact cause of Crohn’s disease remains unclear, researchers believe it results from a combination of factors. See below:

  1. Genetics: Family history of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) increases the risk.
  2. Immune system dysfunction: An abnormal immune response may target the digestive tract.
  3. Environmental factors: Certain environmental factors, such as diet and smoking, may play a role.
  4. Microbiome imbalance: Changes in the gut microbiota could contribute to inflammation.
  5. Previous infections: Gastrointestinal infections may trigger an abnormal immune response.

Crohn’s Disease Treatment | Functional Medicine for Crohn’s

Functional Medicine seeks to uncover the root causes behind health issues, and Crohn’s disease is no different. Instead of just treating symptoms, Functional Medicine asks the crucial question: WHY did the problem occur? Through specialized testing, Functional Medicine aims to unravel the mysteries behind conditions like Crohn’s, understanding the specific factors contributing to the issue. As Crohn’s and other gastrointestinal problems can stem from various sources, these tests pinpoint the underlying problems, allowing for targeted treatments. Treatment strategies may involve dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, detoxification, or the addition of supplements to restore balance and support natural healing processes.

Unlike HBOT, patients can conveniently access functional medicine remotely. Individuals receive tests and treatments directly, and healthcare appointments take place over the phone or through video calls. This approach provides a straightforward and accessible path to holistic healing for Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal concerns.

Crohn’s Disease Treatment | What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

HBOT is a medical treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. This process increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. Overall, this promotes the delivery of oxygen to tissues and stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. HBOT is proven to treat many conditions, including non-healing wounds, osteoporosis, and migraines.

Crohn’s Disease Treatment | HBOT for Crohn’s

Studies have indicated that HBOT can have several positive effects on individuals with Crohn’s Disease. One notable benefit is its anti-inflammatory properties. In both human and animal studies, HBOT has demonstrated the ability to lower markers of inflammation, providing relief to patients who often experience chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Additionally, HBOT has shown promise in promoting mucosal healing in the colon, a critical factor in managing Crohn’s Disease. The colonic lining’s ability to heal is crucial for reducing symptoms and preventing the recurrence of flare-ups.

One of the challenges in Crohn’s Disease treatment is its often refractory nature, with some patients not responding well to standard medical treatments. Researchers have explored HBOT as an adjunctive therapy, revealing higher rates of clinical remission and a reduction in the need for second-line therapies during hospitalization for moderate to severe flares.

Patients undergoing HBOT have reported reduced abdominal pain and improved overall quality of life. This symptomatic relief is particularly significant for individuals dealing with the daily challenges of Crohn’s Disease.

In a particular study, patients with Crohn’s disease experiencing persistent perianal fistulas received 40 sessions of HBOT when conventional treatments proved ineffective. Results revealed substantial improvements in disease activity and inflammation markers after 16 weeks, and these positive effects endured up to the 60-week follow-up. The disease entered an inactive state in numerous patients, showcasing sustained clinical responses and remissions.

HBOT for Crohn’s: Other Connections

Crohn’s and Stomach Ulcers

In one such case, a patient with Crohn’s who, despite trying prednisolone, sulfasalazine, and an elemental diet, was still unhealed and suffering. However, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) brought complete healing to their rectal ulcer, as confirmed by endoscopic examination. As well, the patient enjoyed clinical remission for a continuous seven months at the time of publication. Read more about HBOT and Stomach Ulcers.

Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis

Additionally, HBOT has shown promising outcomes in healing Ulcerative Colitis (UC), a condition closely associated with Crohn’s disease. Individuals with UC often experience chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to various complications. HBOT, involving the inhalation of pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, effectively reducing markers of inflammation in both human and animal studies. Read more on HBOT and Ulcerative Colitis.

Crohn’s and Stem Cells

Stem cells play a big role in combating Crohn’s and other diseases. On that, it is amazing how HBOT stimulates stem cell growth, differentiation, and mobilization from the bone marrow. As well, HBOT has proved to be more effective than getting stem cells therapy alone, indicating its potential to reduce inflammation in Crohn’s patients through enhanced stem cell mobilization. Read more about HBOT and Stem Cells.

You Can Start Today!

While the field of HBOT for Crohn’s Disease is still evolving, the existing evidence suggests that this therapy is valuable in treatment. As with any medical intervention, it is essential for individuals considering HBOT for Crohn’s Disease to consult with healthcare professionals.

Our office, located in Phoenix, Arizona, is equipped with state of the art hard-shell HBOT chambers that are capable of reaching the pressure levels needed to treat Crohn’s. If you live in the area, we would love to help you! Please fill out our new patient form below

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long do the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy last?

The duration of the effects of HBOT can vary based on the individual’s condition and the specific goals of the therapy. In some cases, the effects of HBOT may be immediate and short-lived, while in other cases, multiple sessions of HBOT may be required to achieve longer-lasting benefits.

How often should you do hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

The frequency of HBOT sessions can vary depending on the individual’s condition, treatment goals, and the recommendation of a healthcare professional. Typically, HBOT is administered as a series of sessions. It ranges from a few to several sessions over a specified period.

How quickly does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

The speed at which HBOT works can vary depending on the individual’s condition and the specific goals of the therapy. Some individuals may experience immediate improvements or relief of symptoms after a few sessions of HBOT, while others may require multiple sessions over a longer period of time to see noticeable effects. The timeframe for experiencing the benefits of HBOT can be different for each person, and it is best to consult with a healthcare professional experienced in HBOT to get a better understanding of the expected timeline.

How can I find an HBOT chamber near me?

We are located in Phoenix, Arizona, but if you live far away I recommend reading my article on finding the right clinic for you.

Darrell Kilcup, DC, CFMP

Hi there! I’m Dr. Kilcup. You know that health problem you’ve been dealing with – the one that doctors can’t seem to solve, that’s stealing way too much of your time, energy and joy? I can help you get to the bottom that. I am passionate about using the best of science and nutrition to find and fix root causes of health issues. Start your journey towards healing and relief today.

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5.0 16 reviews
I am so happy and grateful to have found Dr. Kilcup!! He is extremely patient, kind and compassionate, and takes the time to really listen and educate about the practices and treatments. I am seeing him for treatment for multiple things (hyperbaric oxygen, chiropractic care, functional medicine) and he has surpassed any other previous doctors and specialists I’ve seen before. I highly recommend working with him and his staff!
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Taylor Wray Avatar
Taylor Wray
4 months ago
The office staff is very friendly and helpful, the chamber is very effective for health benefits. Have been trying out the red light therapy as well. I highly recommend this place.
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Brandon M Avatar
Brandon M
5 months ago
What a great experience, I’ve never done anything like this before. I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful. Can’t say enough good stuff about this place. I totally recommend trying it out. my adventure continues….
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Wade Jagmin
5 months ago
I have just done my second treatment and I felt pretty good. I didn’t really notice a difference after the first treatment but could tell I felt pretty good after todays. I have a lot going on health wise and look forward to how these treatments and Dr Kilcup will get me back on track.
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Ronny Heeb
5 months ago
Dr Kilcup and his staff are very knowledgeable and kind. They have state of the art equipment to aid in healing my chronic autoimmune disease. Thank you Functional Medicine Center!
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Cherie Shaw
5 months ago