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#134843 - 02/13/09 06:15 AM AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ????
Auzivision Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 34
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
While preparing for a vacation in Austria and doing some research on Bad Gastein, I found out about facility (Gasteiner Heilstollen Hospital) that specializes in radon treatments.

They claim to have much success treating AS. I figure since I’m going to be there anyways, I might as well give it a try.

Has anyone else heard of Radon therapy?

Following a few links I could find on the topic:
http://www.gasteiner-heilstollen.com/en/index.php?page=med_infos_engl.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Gastein
http://articles.latimes.com/2007/may/28/health/he-climate28
http://ard.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/62/3/276
http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.1999.5.479
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2477672

I couldn’t find any related information on this site using the search function.

Anyone here ever try this?

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#134868 - 02/13/09 07:51 AM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: Auzivision]
jan2003 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 08/25/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Iowa

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#134880 - 02/13/09 09:28 AM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: jan2003]
Auzivision Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 34
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Thanks for the links and a lead on an additional AS forums

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#134896 - 02/13/09 01:32 PM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: Auzivision]
Banana Online
Registered Visitor

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 6028
Loc: New York
Thanks for the links. It seems to have helped two and not helped one and thats a large forum.

Thanks Jan, for the links, I've been wondering.

Anna
_________________________
Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.

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#134906 - 02/13/09 04:06 PM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: Banana]
Mark D Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 10/02/03
Posts: 1801
Loc: Austin, TX
Yes, radon therapy is very popular in the German speaking world. I myself am helped a lot by hot springs, which I enjoy where I live in Japan. In Europe, there are also hot springs or "mineral waters" as they are often called. I personally don't think the minerals or radon in the water is as helpful as the relaxing waters themselves. I suppose if you are one of those people who prefers cold water therapy to hot water therapy, then this might not be for you, but it definitely helps me feel better (as does a good swim. And on the whole, getting exercise by swimming is probably the best).
_________________________
DXed with AS 30 years ago

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#135111 - 02/16/09 08:32 AM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: Mark D]
Auzivision Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 34
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Honestly, I'm surprised by the limited number of posts related to this topic on AS forums. The number of data points I've been able to accumulate so far is rather limited. I'm meeting with my Rheumatologist next week to discuss further.

As far a swimming, I find it to be a great source of relief. Although, until I found Enbrel… I had no hope of swimming… now I swim more than a mile per week on average.

Hot tubs and spas have always been a great source of temporary relief. At one point, that’s all I had. I’ve had AS since my early 20’s, but wasn’t diagnosed until 10 years ago. That means I had roughly 10 to 12 years living on Advil and soaking in hot water, 5 years with NSAIDs and hot Tub, and now 5 years with Enbrel, limited NSAIDs… 3 years ago I sold the hot tub and joined a healthspa and started swimming.

I feel pretty darn good compared to what it used to be like, but not 100% pain free and somewhat limited range of motion.

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#135118 - 02/16/09 10:02 AM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: Auzivision]
lurkerkat Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 144
So how much do they charge to have you inhale the second leading cause of lung cancer (http://www.cancer.gov/cancerTopics/factsheet/Risk/radon)? Maybe I should turn off the ventilation system in my basement I use to pump out radon, turn up the heat and charge people to experience the healing powers of my basement?

Reading their page... it's absolute bunk. Treating an autoimmune disease by stimulating the immune system. Increasing the amount of cytokines which are responsible for the inflammatory response.

Exposing yourself to a carcinogen to cause cell damage, to stimulate your inflammatory response is most likely not going to do anything to help out with AS.

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#135121 - 02/16/09 10:42 AM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: lurkerkat]
drizzit Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 1824
I disagree lukerkat

Actually there are also anti-inflammatory cytokines like IL 10 and IL 22 that can be activated by stimulating the immune system. That stimulation is not always a bad thing as these cytokines will reduce inflammation when active. There is a current drug trial for a crohn's that is using a drug that stimulates IL 10 and IL 22 by simulating a natural protein found in the body. It will reduce IL 23 and pro-inflammatory cytokines with anti-inflammatory cytokines. early results are very promising. The body and the immune system has ways to shut down inflammation. The trick is to stimulate the right part of the system

Radiation has long been used to treat AS. In Germany it totally put AS in remission and was very effective in the 50's, but they had to stop using it due to increased leukemia that was too big a risk.

The science is sound here but the risk is the big question. Basement Radon cancer rates are calculated over a lifetime of exposure while in the mines the exposure is much less and probably not real dangerous. Low level radiation is not well studied and its effects on the body are not well understood.

There is a radon mine here in Montana as well. I have not gone as I, like you, fear the consequences, but I think the benefits are real and the science is sound. I am just not sure it is worth the risk and that risk is not well defined.


Edited by drizzit (02/16/09 10:51 AM)

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#135122 - 02/16/09 12:50 PM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: drizzit]
Auzivision Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 34
Loc: Indianapolis, USA
Lukerkat,

How much have you researched this topic? Sounds like you had the same reaction I did when first learning about it. I have a friend that makes a living on testing houses for Radon, so I’m at least somewhat aware of the topic of Radon.

It’s a fact that Radon is everywhere to certain degree. It’s also been proven that long-term exposure to elevated levels of Radon is not good. The key is all the EPA studies have been based on long term exposure, and to my knowledge nothing has been studies in the US about short term exposure.

There are many things in life we are exposed to that are not good for us. The Sun and X-rays are a couple good examples. Too much sun is no good and too little sun is also not good. AS patients periodically have X-ray exams to monitor progression. So if one is willing to expose themselves to X-rays or CAT scans, why wouldn’t one consider Radon?

What gets me is these operations have been in existence for over 50 years and are accepted forms of treatment in Germany, Austria and several other European nations. In many cases, there insurance will pay for these treatments.

There are several mines in the US that have been in operation for 50 years as well that are nearly as sophisticated as the clinical/hospital like settings available in Europe.

A couple compelling questions to ponder:

If they have been doing this for 50 years, wouldn’t there be some evidence or a lawsuit somewhere if these exposures were truly dangerous? If people were dying because of this, you’d think somebody would be saying something by now.

How is it a multimillion dollar operation exist in Bad Gastein? This is not a small abandoned mine in the middle of Montana.

Why is it even though there are so many success stories in Europe, there is not any credible studies being conducted in the USA? Or maybe there are/have and I haven’t found them yet.

Anyhow, I am dead set on giving this a try and I’d love to hear, see, read what other that have experienced. I certainly feel this is a subject worth discussing especially coming from those with firsthand knowledge on this topic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon_therapy

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#135128 - 02/16/09 02:51 PM Re: AS Radon Therapy in Bad Gastein, Austia ???? [Re: Auzivision]
Banana Online
Registered Visitor

Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 6028
Loc: New York
Lurker Kat, I'm with you. The house I grew up in, played pool and ping pong and contained the only TV was in a basement, that now requires ventilation to remove the radon. They didn't even know about it until my mother went to sell the house and it showed up in inspection. I know I have an excess radon, does everyone else?

Also, I've been receiving google news items about CAT Scans, that it is too much radiation that people need to do what they can to limit the the use of them. That in an effort to make money, doctors are installing them in their practices and prescribe them instead of MRIs. So when they advertise as the same as a CAT scan as if that is safe, I must say "hello, CAT scans are not safe".

I need to hear from more than two people that it worked. AS comes and goes anyway, what does it mean that two feel better?

Anna
_________________________
Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.

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