Regenerative medicine is arguably one of the most exciting advances happening within the medical field right now. It's completely revolutionising the way doctors look at degenerative diseases and the possibilities for patients suffering from all sorts of associated conditions. I realise this is not necessarily beauty related (although I'm certain there will be a cosmetic application of it somewhere down the line), however it is a topic that's very exciting to me and one I have been monitoring for some time now.
I first heard of regenerative medicine when I was researching treatment options back when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2013 but the only clinics I could find were overseas at the time. However, at the end of last year I was seeing Doctor Joanna Romanowska at Clinic 42 for an unrelated treatment and noticed that they are now a provider of stem cell therapy. I recently opted to undergo stem cell therapy and will be sharing my experience and results in another post very soon, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested!
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Simply put, stem cell therapy utilises your body's own stem cells (or 'starter' cells), which have the ability to seek out damaged tissue and repair or replace it, by morphing into a range of healthy tissues from bone, muscle, collagen, cartilage, veins, and selected organs. The cells are extracted from your own body fat via liposuction, then separated out from the fat, processed into an absorbable solution and then injected back into your system where they are naturally attracted to areas of inflammation.
Adult stem cell therapy has already demonstrated to be particularly effective in improving painful joints, repairing cartilage and ligaments, and painful spinal conditions. There are also many clinical trials with adult stem cells underway right now which point towards an extremely broad and exciting potential for stem cell therapy and the future of medicine.
In fact, a very recent study at Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that a type of stem cell may even be capable of being used to train the immune system to treat or even prevent the development of tumors and many cancers.
Which conditions can be treated?
The potential is hugely far reaching with some conditions having more evidentiary support than others, but the short list includes:
Orthopaedics (treatment of the spine and skeleton, as well as associated muscles and ligaments)
Auto-Immune Diseases (diseases where the body systematically attacks itself, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn's Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis - which I had treatment for)
Nerve Damage (targeting the damaged nerves caused by such conditions as Parkinson's, Cerebral Palsy and MS)
Other conditions (such as diabetes, erectile dysfunction, macular degeneration, and thyroid issues)
Does it work?
Some conditions have shown to be statistically more receptive than others. 80% of patients with osteo-arthritis in knees and hips, for example, show significant improvement after treatment, whereas some other conditions currently show 40%-70% effectiveness. My goal with Stem Cell therapy for ulcerative colitis is to hopefully relieve the pain and symptoms and decrease inflammation.
I'll be checking back with a rundown on my personal experience with stem cell therapy, and the entire process from start to finish, plus my results so far, so keep a look out for that. In the meantime if you'd like to know more about stem cell therapy or if you want to find out how it could potentially help you, you can check out www.stemcelllife.nz