Stem Cell Treatments
Before one decides on stem cell therapy they should research the treatment they are considering, then research some more. Stem cell treatments are exciting and show much promise in the healthcare world, but it is not a magic cure for everything. In fact, many conditions are not considered viable conditions for the procedure at the present time, but overly optimistic and wishful patients suffering from many diseases are desperate to find a magic cure. Match this with clinics (mostly in other countries) looking to make a fortune at the expense of naive patients and it makes for a terrible outcome. To fully understand, one must first understand what stem cells are and what they aren’t.
Stem cells are new, immature cells the body creates to enable the body to grow, repair, and heal. These cells are able to convert into almost any type of cell, determined by the bodies need. They can be put into many categories, but for our purpose to simplify things they are divided into two main types, adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are stem cells of a grown person, and embryonic stem cells are cells of an undeveloped embryo that has yet to develop into a person as we know one to be. Stem cells being used in the US are adult stem cells taken from the fat or bone marrow of the patient being treated. This can be very painful and has limitations due to the amount that is able to be extracted. The viability of the cells can also be questioned due to the health and age of the patient. Many patients are over 60 years old and have less viable stem cells than that of a healthy 25 year old. The other treatment being used in the US is amniotic stem cell therapy. In this treatment, stem cells are extracted from the amniotic fluid donated by healthy cesarian child births. The amount of stem cells are typically much higher, and it is much less invasive for the patient. Both stem cell treatments have benefits and draw backs, but amniotic stem cells have shown to have higher value in treating specific conditions.
Fully understanding that stem cells have limitations, and they can only do so much is crucial to getting expected results. Degenerative joint conditions have been very successful treatments if the patient exhibits mild to moderate osteo-arthritis. Some soft tissue conditions such as tendonitis and bursitis have been treated successfully along with mild tears in tenons and ligaments with stem cell therapy. Many professional athletes are getting stem cells during surgery to improve healing, and dermatologists are utilizing stem cells to rejuvenate the skin. More serious and systemic conditions such as ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus, stroke, and many more are yet to be determined successful.
Another key to positive results is proper placement of the cells into the damaged area so they can interact with damaged or degenerative cells. Ultrasonic imaging and x-rays are typically used during the injection at most recommended clinics to ensure the cells are placed properly.
Many countries around the world are experimenting using stem cells for a wide range of things, but the laws in the U.S. are much more strict. Many people are traveling abroad to get stem cell injections for many conditions not treated in the U.S. It’s too often not beneficial and many times un-safe to travel to undeveloped countries for medical services.
The future is now and stem cell therapy has changed my life a few moths ago. I was skeptic, but I was also looking for an answer rather than getting a knee replacement. As technology improves the cost of the procedure has come down significantly, so I decided to get the injection. It was relatively painless and I felt some improvement within 48 hours. After two weeks there was a noticeable improvement in my range of motion and much less pain. It has been 3 months, and I am very happy with the results and very glad I went ahead with the procedure. But I didn’t have unreal expectations.