Is Stem Cell Therapy For You?
Regenerative Medicine is a newer specialty of medicine focusing on enhancing the body’s ability to regenerative healthy tissue and overcome disease processes. Stem cell therapy is a primary means of promoting regeneration of healthy tissue. Stem cells, by definition, are unspecified cells that can self-renew or duplicate and have the ability to mature into various tissues such as heart, liver, bone, muscle, cartilage, etc. Stem cells may be used alone or in combination with other therapies to successfully renew, rejuvenate and revitalize.
Stem cells may be termed autologous or allogenic based on the source of the cells. Autologous cells are taken from a patient’s body and reintroduced to the same patient’s body. Allogenic are taken from one body and introduced to a different body. Allogenic is not acceptable under the current regulations in the United States, which means that you may not take cells from one individual and use them for another.
There are many questions as to why some things are allowable while others are not. Transferring stem cells from one individual to another is not acceptable under the United States guidelines, because of the risk associated with it. Risks include graft versus host disease, where the recipient of the donated cells would have a negative reaction to them, because they are “foreign” to that body. This is not a risk when an individual’s own stem cells are used.
So how do we obtain stem cells for use?
Adult stem cells can be obtained by a physician harvesting them from the patient. This can be accomplished by extracting a small amount of bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue, then processing the tissue to separate the stem cells to be reintroduced in desired area of the the body. In some cases, cells are obtained via aphaeresis which when blood is withdrawn and the cells are separated from the plasma, then reintroduced into the body. Common means of administration of stem cell therapy include injection, intravenous (IV) or inhalation.
What types of medical conditions can be helped with stem cell therapy?
The possibilities of conditions helped with stem cell therapy are almost limitless, because it is allowing the body to accomplish the healing. Some of the many conditions that can be helped are musculoskeletal conditions effecting joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, bones, ligament, and tendons. Autoimmune conditions such as lupus, RA, dermatomyositis. Neurodegenerative conditions such as MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, neuropathy and nerve injuries.
Wounds, burns, scars, ulcers, heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders - IBS, ulcerative colitis, Chrons’s disease, Erectile dysfunction, inorgasmia, urinary incontinence, complex regional pain syndrome, chronic pelvis pain, and vulvodynia can be helped with stem cell therapy.
Stem cell therapy allows for non-surgical treatment of lines/wrinkles, signs of aging, wounds, scars, burns and hair restoration.
In some common forms of treatment, stem cells are simply injected at a problem site in the body with the assumption that those stem cells are going to grow new healthy tissue. This is a misconception because the stem cells will only remain in that area for a very limited period of time. Within one to two weeks, 99% of those cells will leave the joint. The regeneration of healthy tissue is not directly related to the stem cell, but rather, what the stem cell leaves behind. All stem cells have tiny vesicles or bubbles which transfer from one cell to another and communicate information. These vesicles are called Exosomes. They are critical to the proliferation of healthy cells. Though the stem cells leave the area where they are placed, they leave their exosomes behind and are taken up by neighboring cells passing on the information.
While stem cells are getting all the attention, exosomes are just as important, if not more important, in the development of healthy tissue.
There are a few common “tools” in regenerative medicine. Platelet rich plasma (PRP), placental or amniotic tissue, cord blood, bone marrow concentrate, stromal vascular fraction (fat tissue) and exosomes. There are pros and cons to each of these sources of regenerative cells. Of these tools, only bone marrow and SVF (fat derived tissue) contain mesenchymal stem cells. While cord blood has a small amount of mesenchymal stem cells, it is minimal compared to fat tissue. The other problem with cord blood and amniotic tissue is that they are allogenic, meaning that they are not from the patient’s own body and many forms contain DMSO which can be toxic to the central nervous system. They are from another source, which carries some risk, as previously discussed. Adipose tissue are superior to the other sources of stem cells because they are harvested directly from the patient’s own body, and have the highest number of mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors.
So how can we accomplish the optimal situation to aid one’s body to grow healthy tissue where it previously had not?
Not all treatment surrounding stem cells is the same, nor should it be. Treatment should be based on each individual’s medical condition being addressed, severity of the condition, and consideration of other medical conditions of the patient.
Some treatment is done once and the patient can accomplish good results. Often there is more than one treatment involved in order to accomplish successful outcomes. Each patient and each problem must be evaluated on an individual basis, and treatment must be selected appropriately to accomplish a desired outcome.
Aging is inevitable. It is normal for tissue and organ function to decline over time in the human body. It is normal for the regenerative capacity of tissue to decline over time. Regenerative medicine and cellular therapy allows a human body to naturally heal. It is a treatment which stimulates healthy cell growth, thereby correcting medical conditions and replacing damaged tissue.
This is a very exciting time in medicine, where we can finally treat medical conditions rather than just manage the symptoms and watch them progress!
Your health is in your hands….don’t miss an opportunity to be proactive in regaining your health!!
Schedule your consultation with us today to find out if stem cell therapy can help you.