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How HBOT Promotes Colonic Stem Cell Growth in Healing Ulcerative Colitis


Introduction

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic condition that makes up part of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), alongside Crohn’s disease (CD). It involves chronic inflammation of the bowel tissue accompanied by colonic mucosal ulcers. Some of the symptoms of the condition are inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, formation of sores, and diarrhea. In dire cases, patients may also experience rectal bleeding which is sometimes treated through surgeries. HBOT comprises exposure to 100% pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. The special chamber constitutes atmospheric pressures higher than regular atmospheric pressure. HBOT makes up one of the many forms of therapies that are used as treatment for ulcerative colitis.

How HBOT Works

HBOT has the effect of enabling healing of the mucosal membrane both at the colon and intestines as well as reduction of inflammation. It also creates an enabling environment where bacterial flora can thrive and function optimally. The microbiota can maintain homeostasis thus limiting resurgence of UC. According to peer-reviewed studies, the increased supply of oxygen aids in stem cell activation in the injured areas. The wounds can recover as inflammation is kept on the low. Once the gastrointestinal tract heals, mucosal excretion can go back to normal.

Oxygen homeostasis, the key player in the recovery of UC, is regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). The latter determines how the wounds along the tract heat, from cell migration, survival, and finally division. Constant supply of oxygen via HBOT ensures that HIF-1 is always in the right amounts. Monitoring ensures that it is not released in excess as well. The precise regimen for the HBOT is determined by how their condition responds to this form of adjunct therapy. The systemic immune system can thrive since the pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations are lowered. HBOT can temporarily cut short the cytokines responsible for inflammation. Growth factors and nutrients are also supplied to the injured colon and intestine tissues to enhance their regeneration. In the long run, HBOT can improve the quality of life alongside protecting the bowel from further progression of the condition. It is also preferred over other forms of medication as it has minimal side effects even after prolonged use. Also, the recurrence rate of UC is lower when HBOT is combined with other forms of non-medical care. Increased oxygen content in the tissues reduces hypoxia. Also, bodies of patients being treated via HBOT are responsive to this form of alternative treatment years after being introduced to it. Certain types of drugs used as treatment for UC end up being ineffective and hence unusable after a couple of years.

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