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If a medical practitioner has mentioned stem cell treatment to you as a potential therapy for a nagging illness or chronic pain condition, you may have some understandable concerns and confusion. This healing technique has only recently come to the fore as an excitingly promising means of helping the human body perform its own natural healing processes. Here are three important things that any potential recipient should know about stem cell treatment.
1. It Can Help Your Body Repair Itself
Your body contains many kinds of specialized cells, from heart cells, blood cells, and bone cells to neurons for conducting nerve signals. All of these specialized cells, however, have one thing in common — they all began as stem cells. Stem cells are completely neutral cells that have not yet become specialized; this means that they have the potential to become any kind of specialized cell. When they encounter a specialized cell, a chemical reaction takes place that turns them into that type of cell. The body uses this technique to regenerate its tissues, repair injuries, and create new tissues. By introducing stem cells where they're needed in the body, stem cell treatment can give this process a welcome boost.
2. It Doesn't Have to Involve Embryos
Many people have strong objections to the use of stem cells taken from embryos. But while embryonic stem cells may be used in research, it's much more common for doctors to use adult stem cells for treatment purposes. Donated umbilical cord blood is one such source of stem cells. Your doctor can even extract stem cells from your own fat or bone marrow. The stem cells are then concentrated into a powerful serum that can be injected directly into an area that needs extra healing assistance.
3. It Can Be Used to Treat a Variety of Conditions
Many aspects of stem cell services are still in the experimental stages, but others have seen some use in the treatment of various types of ailments. The FDA has approved stem cell treatment for immune system and blood disorders. One common (if not technically FDA-sanctioned) application is the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. As the cartilage with a knee joint deteriorates, movement becomes increasingly difficult and painful. Injections of stem cells into the knee appear to support cartilage health, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You might even find that this form of treatment helps you avoid knee surgery.
Stem cell services offer many possibilities to the medical community, just as stem cell treatment could present you with the solution for your own medical challenge. Talk to your doctor about what role stem cell treatment might play in your own health and wellness regimen.Share