Ozone is a highly reactive blue gas with a pungent odor composed of three oxygen atoms. Regular oxygen has only two oxygen atoms in its molecule. Ozone present in smog acts as a respiratory irritant, but the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere about 12 to 20 miles above its surface helps to protect life on it against dangerous radiation from space. This layer also helps to regulate the Earth’s temperature. The ozone layer was showing disturbing signs of depletion from the use of certain kinds of aerosol propellants called CFCs. Since a moratorium was declared on CFCs in the 1980s, the vital ozone layer has been showing signs of recovery.
Ozone has important applications in both industry and medicine. It’s used as a disinfectant for medical instruments and other supplies, and it’s also used to sanitize swimming pools. Its strong scent is sometimes associated with sea air, but when people think they’re inhaling ozone, they’re really just smelling the odor of rotting seaweed. Ozone has been used medically since World War I to disinfect wounds, combat gangrene and treat trench foot. Antibiotics to effectively fight these conditions were not developed until the late 1920s and were not in general use until about the time of World War II.
Ozone in Medicine Today
Ozonotherapy involves administering ozone gas on or into the body. Ozone is thought to promote greater oxygenation in the body’s tissues by reacting with body fluids to form certain proteins and red blood cells. It’s these red blood cells that contain the hemoglobin which carries oxygen throughout the body. Ozonotherapy may also help to fight certain pathogens:
Protozoans are single-celled microscopic creatures sometimes called amebas. Some of them can cause serious diseases like:
- African sleeping sickness
- Chagas disease
Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan that lives in the intestines of domestic cats. Cats are immune to the organism, but they can shed eggs in their feces and pass the infection on to humans. Most of the time, this does little harm. In fact, most adults are immune to the protozoan anyway from past exposure. However, for someone with a weakened immune system and also for a fetus, toxoplasmosis can cause serious illness. Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should avoid exposure to cat feces. Someone else should clean the litter pan, but there is no need to vilify or fear a domestic cat because of toxoplasmosis. The organism can also be transmitted by improperly cooked infected meat.
More About Ozonotherapy Treatment
- Breathing disorders
Ozone must be administered only under medical supervision by professionals trained and experienced in its use. Intravenous ozonotherapy involves mixing ozone with the patient’s blood and then infusing the mixture back into the patient. One study involving the treatment of COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, indicated that the compound may help to increase the quality of life for people with COPD. COPD typically causes the patient to have significant and even extreme difficulty with breathing. When breathing is impaired, it’s likely that the body’s tissues are not receiving optimal levels of oxygen.
The complications of diabetes often include an inability for the body to heal normally. This is why doctors will always ask about this condition before performing surgery or certain other medical procedures. Diabetics are typically poor candidates for cosmetic surgery. Diabetics can also get severe foot ulcers not responsive to standard treatment. Sometimes, these ulcers get so bad they can require removal of large areas of tissue and even amputation. A recent 2019 study revealed positive effects of ozone on diabetic foot ulcers, promoting healing and fighting infection.
- Immune disorders
Ozonotherapy may also help to boost the immune system. One study indicated that ozone may help to lower the viral load in someone with HIV. The viral load directly affects the progression and severity of HIV and AIDS. Although this is not conclusive and more information is needed, ozonotherapy may show great promise in the treatment of HIV.
For More Information
Ozonotherapy requires expertise and careful medical supervision. If you’d like to know more about this treatment, call us at 205-352-9141. We offer safe ozonotherapy and also other integrative treatments. A consultation with one of our experienced physicians will reveal if ozone therapy may be right for you.