Hyperbaric oxygen therapy could help fight ulcerative colitis, study says

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has shown promise in treatment for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, according to a study published in Cellular Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment, according to the Mayo Clinic.

During the study, published April 1, researchers put patients with ulcerative colitis in hyperbaric chambers for two hours a day for five consecutive days. While in the chamber, patients rested, listened to music or watched movies as they received pressurized 100 percent oxygen, according to a May 20 Northwestern Medicine news release.

"Within five days, their bleeding was gone," said Parambir Dulai, MD, a gastroenterologist at Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial Hospital and leader of the study. "These patients were the sickest of the sick, and they were just days away from major surgeries to remove their colons."

The study concluded that the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy could improve colitis activity.

To read the study, click here.

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