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Regenerative Medicine with Adult Stem Cells

Stem cells are found throughout the body and play a crucial role in health and recovery from injury. They are our own built-in repair systems that regenerate cells damaged by disease, injury and everyday wear-and-tear of body tissues. Extensive clinical research has shown that it is possible to use adult stem cells extracted from a patient’s own body to effectively regenerate many body tissues. 

Stem Cells for Elite Athletes and for Us 

Regenerative medicine using stem cells is perhaps best known for the results achieved in orthopedic and sports medicine where elite athletes across a wide spectrum of professional sports are treated for joint problems and other associated injuries. These same procedures are now being used in offices as well to treat the everyday conditions people commonly suffer from, such as arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems. 

Beyond orthopedic medicine, the opportunity for stem cells extends to treatments for a variety of medical conditions, including autoimmune, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and others. Some of the conditions which may be benefitted by stem cell therapy are those for which there may be limited help from existing drug therapy or other currently available treatments. Improvement usng stem cell therapy has been reported treating Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, COPD, dementia and Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, chronic Lyme disease, Epstein Barr, and other autoimmune diseases.

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work? 

Adult stem cells can be extracted from a person’s bone marrow during a simple in-office procedure. These type of stem cells are called autologous stem cells as they are from the person’s own body; there is no possibility of rejection of the cells or any allergic reaction to them. 

After their extraction from the bone marrow and then injection back into the body, stem cells are dispersed into the adjacent tissues. Autologous adult stem cells use cell division to replicate themselves, and differentiate into different types of regenerative cells to repair different types of diseased body tissues. They also have a “paracrine” effect, causing the secretion of many essential growth and other tissue-healing factors. Stem cells have also been shown to promote the growth of blood vessels to facilitate tissue formation, and repair of cells and body tissues. 

Are There Any Side Effects or Dangers with Stem Cell Therapy? 

The side effects reported with adult stem cell therapy are only those associated with having the minor office procedure of the extraction of stem cells from bone marrow and receiving a stem cell injection. These minor side effects may include soreness and irritation at an injection site, a small bruise, or short-term nausea or headache. The stem cells themselves, taken from patients’ own bodies, have not been reported to have negative side effects by their action. Modern stem cell therapy is a treatment with potentially positive benefits for those suffering from conditions for which they have not yet found other effective and safe treatments.

Henry Sobo, MD, a Stamford-based medical doctor practicing internal medicine, also has a license as a homeopathic physician. He is a board-certified member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and a diplomate candidate of the American College for Advancement in Medicine. Connect at DrSobo.com. See ad, page 27. 

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