Manage episode 195026338 series 1910375
Scott Sherr MD lives in the San Francisco Bay area where he works both as a hospital medicine physician as well as operates his own independent hyperbaric oxygen consultation practice. He is also Director of integrative Hyperbaric Medicine and Health Optimization with Hyperbaric Medical Solutions.
What is hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT)
Bottom line....it's high pressure oxygen. Originally used to treat underwater injuries ("the bends" or "decompression illness"). Nowadays, Hyperbaric oxygen also refers to a treatment in which the entire body is exposed to 100% oxygen under increased pressure. Using pressure allows for more dramatic delivery of oxygen to the entire body. Bottom line "it heals wounds."
How HBOT Works:
The basic mechanisms of how HBOT works:
- reverse hypoxia (low oxygen state)
- reduce inflammation
- fight infection
- stimulate stem cell release
- increase mitochondrial (energy) function.
There are only about 14 FDA Approved uses for HBOT. Most of what insurance pays for are wounds, diabetic ulcers, infections, and radiation therapy treatments.
Investigational uses (non-FDA approved) for HBOT are Alzheimer's, Traumatic Brain Injury, post-stroke neurologic injury, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, some chronic pain syndromes, and several others.
We discuss synergies between HBOT and ketogenic diet (like a modified Atkins diet) or exogenous diet (min 18:30) and some of Dr Sherr's experiences with patients. These appear to cause changes at the level of genetic expression.
We talk about "leaky brain or a broken blood brain barrier" and how HBOT may be used to address issues with a "broken" blood brain barrier.
Typical use of HBOT is with a "hard chamber." Hard chambers are regulated and physicians running these places need to be certified in its use. "Soft chambers" or Mild HBOT may actually be more appropriate for cognitive impairment, but are not as regulated. Soft chambers are more widely available than larger hard chambers.
What are the side effects of HBOT?
- ear barotrauma (completely preventable)
- myopia (vision changes)
- cataracts get worse
- increased insulin sensitivity (so diabetics run risk of low blood sugar)
How much does HBOT cost?
Cost $120-$420/treatment depending on what type of chamber and where you are. People would likely need successive treatments - eg several "dives" per week for 4 weeks in some cases. So that can add up, but benefits may be worth it for some. Need to consult an expert.
Towards the last 15 minutes of the interview we talk about considerations when making a decision if this is right for you and what complications may be involved.
Connect with Dr Sherr and learn more at