Scientific rationale for the speleotherapy method
On the basis of the Republican Hospital of Speleotherapy in 2000 and 2005 scientific studies were carried out aimed at developing various methods of treatment and modes of speleotherapy, taking into account the characteristics of the layer (halite, sylvinite) and the duration of the course of speleotherapy.
Thus, staying in the environment of rock-salt layer (halite) was more effective in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and non-allergic form of bronchial asthma (BA). More pronounced therapeutic effect in patients with allergic form of AD, pollinosis and allergic rhinitis was achieved during treatment in potassium (sylvinite) bed.
After the end of the course of speleotherapy a reliable increase in the parameters of respiratory function (RRF) was established in the patients. According to the data of associate professor Lapteeva E.A., Head of Pulmonology and Phthisiology Department of the BelMAPO, a statistically significant increase in the index of PEF1 (forced expiratory volume in the first second) in patients with controlled AD, mostly of allergic form, was registered at the end of the second week of speleotherapy and amounted to 19.3±8.4%.
On the following days there was no significant increase in the indices. In a partially controlled course of AD, the VEF indices increased more slowly.
In patients with a controlled mixed form of BA and COPD, a statistically significant increase in the main index of SPER1 was noted by the end of the 3rd week of speleotherapy and amounted to 11.9±4.4% and 16.7±4.7%, respectively.
Analysis of the results of the study of some indicators of humoral immunity also revealed significant dynamics of the latter. Thus, patients with allergic asthma showed a significant decrease in immunoglobulin levels (Ig A, M, G) by the end of the 2nd week of speleotherapy, while patients with mixed BA and COPD showed a decrease in the levels of major classes of Ig by the end of the 3rd week of speleotherapy. The revealed dynamics of immunoglobulin levels indicates the stabilization of protective mechanisms at lower functional values and the removal of tension from the immune system.
Thus, the tendencies and interrelations revealed in the process of speleotherapy in the conditions of the State Institution “Republican Speleotherapy Hospital” of Soligorsk allowed today to work out and introduce differentiated regimens of speleotherapy depending on the form and severity of the disease.
In 2011 we analyzed the effectiveness of speleotherapy in children with bronchial asthma on the basis of the Republican Hospital of Speleotherapy.
We analyzed medical records on the results of treatment of 90 patients with bronchial asthma: 63 boys and 27 girls, whose average age was 14,1±0,19 years. The disease was diagnosed in 51 patients (56,7% of the total number of the examined patients) of mild persistent form, and 39 patients (43,3%) had moderate bronchial asthma. The mean age of manifestation of the disease was 6.6±0.3 years, and the duration of the disease at the time of treatment was 7.5±0.3 years. Concomitant allergic diseases (mostly allergic rhinitis, pollinosis) were seen in 57 children (63.3%), 33 (36.7%) patients had no concomitant allergic pathology. In 71 patients (78.9%) asthma was virus-induced, in 19 cases no relationship of asthma exacerbations with acute respiratory infections was revealed. All patients admitted for treatment underwent laboratory tests, spirography before treatment and after a course of speleotherapy.
Before caving therapy the parameters of external respiration function (ERF) in boys and girls did not differ significantly by sex, but were characterized by a significant decrease from the age-standard initial parameters. After completing a course of speleotherapy practically all parameters of BHR were found to significantly increase their values, reaching normal values. It should be particularly noted that the index, reflecting the state of patency of small bronchi and being a highly informative sign of bronchial obstruction in asthma, against the background of speleotherapy in patients increased by 27% in comparison with the initial indexes. A more significant improvement in the bronchial permeability indices against the background of speleotherapy was noted in boys. For example, the value of the index characterizing the permeability of the small bronchi, in boys increased by 31% from the baseline values.
The analysis of the results of treatment of children with bronchial asthma in the conditions of the Republican caving hospital (Soligorsk) illustrates a significant improvement of external respiratory function in this contingent of patients.