WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
In the wake of groundbreaking new research and media reports, stem cells have been at the top of the worldwide medical community’s mind in recent years. However, it isn’t just the medical community that can’t stop thinking about stem cells. This month alone, people ran over a quarter million searches related to stem cells, and that’s just within the United States! So, what are stem cells?
Here’s a helpful analogy:
Think back to when you were little, and you first learned about caterpillars becoming butterflies within a cocoon, a stage of their lives we call chrysalis. It was so fascinating to learn that one creature could become another that was still somewhat the same, yet completely different, changing from a creature that crawls into one that flies and can pollinate.
Now, imagine that you just found out one special type of caterpillar could become different kinds of butterflies after chrysalis instead of just one. In that case, we might even see butterflies that have been extinct for ages born again in our lifetime. Wouldn’t that be incredible?
In a way, that’s what your stem cells do every day. Stem cells can become many kinds of cells throughout your body. Take your skin for example: there is a layer of cells that happen to contain stem cells beneath your skin, and right now these stem cells are actively producing new skin cells to replace old ones.
When you get a cut, these specialized stem cells could help you repair it, then help heal your scars. If you lose blood, other stem cells create new blood cells to replace the ones you lost. If the cut damaged hair follicles, stem cells might cause new hair to grow there again.
Stem cells are the body’s building blocks, and an incredibly powerful tool for science.
What Are Stem Cells Used For?
In the medical world, stem cells are used as part of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy with the hope of potentially treating a variety of conditions, injuries, and diseases. They have been applied to treat musculoskeletal diseases like arthritis, sports and joint injuries, heart conditions, degenerative eye diseases, neurological conditions, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, and even as aesthetic treatments for alopecia or to look more youthful.
The number of things stem cell therapy can be used for is incredible and continues to amaze us every day. It seems like every month someone discovers a new way to use stem cells or a new condition they might be able to treat. Through stem cell therapy, there are a lot of potential options that could create incredible benefits for patients.
Why Do People Get Stem Cell Therapy?
Often, patients are in pain or discomfort, have inflammation or nerve damage, or are suffering from some other injury, condition, or illness. Many turn to stem cell therapy because conventional methods of treatment have failed them or been ineffective, or they want the most cutting-edge treatments available. Other patients lead busy or active lives and can’t afford to wait a long time to recover, and stem cell therapy allows them to walk out of the office the same day and return to work the next day.
In extreme cases, some patients even pursue it as an alternative to surgery, or to assist the healing process after another procedure. Whatever their reasons, the goal is the same: people want to recover quickly and conveniently in a natural way, and stem cells are your body’s natural method of recovery.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
Stem cells can be found in many places in the body, including fat, bone marrow, and peripheral blood. It is believed that they often reside in a specific part of each of these, which makes it easy for doctors to reliably collect stem cells from readily accessible and available tissues like the fat of most patients.
What Are The Different Types of Stem Cells?
There are many types of stem cells that are categorized in different ways. Here are just two that hold great promise for cell-based therapies.
Adult Stem Cells (ASCs)
- What they are: Undifferentiated, multipotent cells. These are stem cells that are not set on which kind of cell they’ll become just yet, so they could become many different types of cells. For instance, glial cells or neurons.
- Where they’re from: Juveniles and adults.
- What they’re used for: Replenishing dying cells and regenerating damaged tissue.
- How they work: Capable of infinitely self-dividing, even a few cells from one organ can potentially grow into the entire organ.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
- What they are: A type of adult stem cell, these are multipotent and can become many types of different cell.
- Where they’re from: Adipose (fat) tissue, Wharton’s jelly and cord blood, amniotic fluid, molar cells, and bone marrow.
- What they’re used for: Potentially treating autoimmune diseases, other diseases and conditions, and use in other clinical applications.
- How they work: Like other adult stem cells, they can self-divide to replicate to higher numbers and, when re-introduced to the body, can become many other types of cells.
Where Should I Get Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is available at stem cell therapy clinics, which attempt to help patients by injecting stem cells into their bodies, either by IV or directly to the source they intend to treat.
How Do I Contact A Stem Cell Therapy Clinic?
Reach out to an excellent clinic that follows high quality standards and has safe practices. If you’re in need of a suggestion, try Dynamic Stem Cell Therapy employs an incredible staff and a compassionate, world-class doctor that can help you find the right path for your personalized treatment. Book a free consultation or contact us today, and we’ll help you discover if stem cell therapy could be right for you.