neurological conditions treated by HBOT

Treating Dysautonomia with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

A healthy functioning brain is necessary for a healthy autonomic nervous system to maintain proper blood flow to our brain and body systems, which can be improved through hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Dysautonomia refers to a group of medical conditions that impact the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls involuntary functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion. It maintains proper blood circulation to the areas of our brain and body when and where we need it. We only have 5-6 Liters of blood, which is not enough to be everywhere at once. If you stood up and didn’t have a functioning ANS, all of your blood would pool in your legs and gut and wouldn’t reach your brain.

Common conditions

  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Postural Hypotension
  • Orthostatic Intolerance
  • Vasovagal Syncope
  • Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST)
  • Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy
  • Baroreflex Failure
  • Familial Dysautonomia
  • Pure Autonomic Failure
  • Multiple System Atrophy

Common symptoms

Dysautonomia can cause a wide range of symptoms, but common symptoms include:

  • Brain Fog
  • Dizziness
  • Dizziness Upon Standing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Cold Hands, Feet or Limbs
  • Anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Gastro-Intestinal Disturbance
  • Chronic Pain



How can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help with Dysautonomia?

The ANS resides primarily in your brain stem, but receives inputs from multiple areas of our brain and through sensors in our blood vessels, heart, and lungs, known as mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors, which sense changes in blood volume so that we can pump more or less blood depending on need. A healthy functioning brain is necessary for a healthy autonomic nervous system to maintain proper blood flow to our brain and body systems, which can be improved through hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy specifically works on the autonomic nervous system by exercising this system and balancing our sympathetic and parasympathetic systems to ensure we’re able to handle stress better, reducing fight/flight activity, reducing anxiety, and ultimately providing adequate, long-term blood flow to our brain.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be helpful due to its ability to improve brain tissue function and signaling within the autonomic nervous system through:

  • providing abundant levels of plasma-rich oxygen to our brain tissue for healing
  • reducing neuro-inflammation throughout our brain and body
  • stimulating release of growth factors such as trophic factor to enhance neuroplasticity for the repair and regeneration of brain cells and their connections (synapses).
  • stimulating growth of new blood vessels to supply the brain with greater circulation and oxygen to promote brain repair and regeneration by releasing greater amounts of vascular endothelial growth factor
  • balancing our fight or flight and relaxation and digestion systems by strengthening the health of our autonomic nervous system, which impacts blood flow within our brain that may lead to cardiovascular changes (commonly elevated heart rate), dizziness, headaches, slow processing, memory changes, temperature changes, easily stressed or overwhelmed, and many other symptoms.
  • increasing stem cell production for healing
  • improving detoxification
  • enhancing cerebrospinal fluid flow

Other benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a quickly evolving science and the full benefits are continually being discovered. HBOT increases the amount of oxygen in our bloodstream and increases circulation to deliver abundant amounts of oxygen to the brain, supersaturating our tissue with energy needed for healing, growth, and repair. This creates a healthier environment for our brain to work and control our autonomic nervous system. Because of this, the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be found in all parts of the body and in a wide range of ways. Some benefits can include:

  • Faster healing from trauma
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased stem cell release
  • Improved brain health
  • Detoxification
  • Improved autonomic nervous system function
  • …and many more

Learn more about the many benefits of HBOT and how it works.

Supporting Research

  • It has been suggested that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) enhances neurogenesis which accordingly may improve functional outcome after CNS injury (Mu et al.).
  • Abounding evidence has shown that HBOT promotes neurogenesis (Mu et al.).
  • In a review of available treatments for acquired brain injury (ABI), including TBI, HBOT was suggested with strong levels of evidence among non-pharmacological interventions of ABI. Furthermore, HBOT positively improved mortality with level 1 evidence (Meyer et al.).
  • We conclude that the hyperbaric oxygenation conditions used in this study effectively repress hypertension (Nagatomo et al.).
  • HBOT remains among the safest therapies used today (Heyboer et al.).


  1. Hishikawa K, Nakaki T, Suzuki H, Saruta T, Kato R. New method of investigating functional roles of pressure-sensitive mechanoreceptor in human endothelial cells. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1992;20 Suppl 12:S66-7. doi: 10.1097/00005344-199204002-00020. PMID: 1282990.
  2. Nagatomo F, Fujino H, Takeda I, Ishihara A. Effects of hyperbaric oxygenation on blood pressure levels of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2010 May;32(3):193-7. doi: 10.3109/10641960903254521. Erratum in: Clin Exp Hypertens. 2010;32(5):318. PMID: 20504127.
  3. Meyer MJ. et al. Acute management of acquired brain injury part I: an evidence-based review of non-pharmacological interventions. Brain Inj. 2010;24(5):694–705. doi: 10.3109/02699051003692118.
  4. Heyboer M 3rd, Sharma D, Santiago W, McCulloch N. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Side Effects Defined and Quantified. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2017 Jun 1;6(6):210-224. doi: 10.1089/wound.2016.0718. PMID: 28616361; PMCID: PMC5467109.
  5. Ylikoski J, Lehtimäki J, Pääkkönen R, Mäkitie A. Prevention and Treatment of Life-Threatening COVID-19 May Be Possible with Oxygen Treatment. Life (Basel). 2022 May 19;12(5):754. doi: 10.3390/life12050754. PMID: 35629421; PMCID: PMC9142938.

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