In general, IHT contributes to improved immunological status. The occurrence of allergies and inflammatory diseases decreases. This has been observed in continuous exposure to altitude, as well as with IHT.
Studies have been able to show improvements to conditions of an inflammatory nature, such as arthritis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, auto-immune thyroiditis and inflammatory skin diseases. Even the difficult-to-treat and disabling disease rheumatoid arthritis showed a positive response, with seven out of 10 patients receiving IHT showing less inflamed joints, reduced pain and morning stiffness and reduced need for medication. All patients reported improved mood, sleep and appetite and increased physical activity.
Asthma has received particular attention, with several studies showing significant improvement. Observations made in the Netherlands have shown that asthmatics treated in climatic chambers that simulated altitudes of 1500 to 2550 metres improved rapidly, and with 60 to 100 treatments were ‘cured’. This certainly fits with the common observation that asthmatics, despite their obvious fears about altitude, usually have less asthma and do much better at altitude.