Radiation Injury and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves breathing 100% oxygen while inside a pressurized chamber. HBOT is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, and wounds that are slow to heal.
Radiation injury, also known as radiation sickness or radiation poisoning, occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of ionizing radiation. This type of radiation can damage cells and tissues, leading to a range of symptoms that may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and skin irritation.
Often post radiation injury comes from the treatment of cancer. Radiation has side-effects and can damage tissue, blood vessels, glands and even bone. Post radiation cystitis is a common side effect that can present more than a decade after treatment.
Post Radiation Cystitis commonly occurs after prostate cancer and HBOT has been shown to be the most effective treatment available to heal from this injury.
There is some evidence that HBOT may be effective in treating radiation injury. One study published in the journal Radiology found that HBOT significantly reduced radiation-induced injury to the intestine in animal models. Another study published in the journal International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics found that HBOT may help to reduce the severity of radiation-induced skin injury in humans.
It is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of HBOT in the treatment of radiation injury. While the treatment is very effective for radiation necrosis, there are some instances of radiation exposure that have not yet been well documented. It is also important to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment.
In summary, HBOT may be a promising treatment option for radiation injury. Continued research helps to fully understand its effectiveness. Meet with a Hyperbaric Clinician to discuss how HBOT can help you heal from radiation and how many treatments may be required.
- Radiology: "Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Reduces Radiation-Induced Injury to the Intestine" (https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiology.235.3.r00ju05244)
- International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics: "Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Radiation-Induced Skin Injury" (https://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(98)00480-4/fulltext)
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