Stem cell therapy treatments have been used in cancer treatments for many years, but promising research shows it has the potential to be a treatment option for damaged organs and tissues too.
If you’re wondering if stem cell therapy might be an option for you, it’s important to understand where stem cells come from and what types of treatment options are available.
Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about stem cell therapy.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are essentially the body’s raw material and have the ability to generate other cells with specialized functions.
Stem cells divide in the body and form more cells called daughter cells. These cells then form cells that have specific functions such as:
- Brain cells
- Heart muscle cells
- Bone cells
- Blood cells
Stem cells come from human embryos, umbilical cord blood, and skin, brain, or bone marrow tissue in adults and children.
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they can become any type of cell. However, adult stem cells can’t become different types of cells. For example, blood cells can only become new blood cells.
In the United States, adult stem cells are the only type of stem cells that have FDA approval for medical use.
Overview of Stem Cell Therapy
In stem cell therapy, hematopoietic or blood cell-forming stem cells found in the bone marrow are used to treat diseases. Every type of blood cell in the marrow starts out as a stem cell, so they have the ability to make other blood cells mature and function the same way.
These types of cells are used in bone marrow transplants to help people with blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
Stem cells can also treat Fanconi anemia, which is a blood disorder that causes the bone marrow to fail.
Recent stem cell research suggests stem cell treatments will be able to target conditions like type 1 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and spinal cord injuries in the near future.
Stem Cell Therapy in Regenerative Medicine
Stem cell therapy also shows the potential to treat arthritis of the knee. Stem cells are typically collected from fat tissue or blood and can be injected directly into the knee joint either during surgery or as an injection.
Stem cell treatment is also becoming popular as a pain relief option for chronic pain issues such as:
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Neck pain
- Ankle and foot pain
Stem cell treatment clinics also use this technology to eliminate hair loss and baldness, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation. To learn more, you can read about the services offered at the National Stem Cell Clinic in Houston located here.
Talk to Your Doctor About Stem Cell Therapy
If you’re interested in stem cell therapy for a condition you have, it’s important to talk to your doctor to learn more about this procedure’s risks and benefits.
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