About 60% of American adults are dealing with a chronic disease, according to the CDC, and about 40% have more than one chronic disease to deal with. By their nature, chronic diseases are ongoing and, for the most part, incurable. When treatments do exist, they often fall short of effective symptom relief, leaving millions of people looking for solutions.
While medicines and invasive therapies have been the mainstays of treatment for people with chronic disease, today stem cell therapy offers an alternative. At Laguna Beach Aesthetics, Adrienne O’Connell, DO, offers advanced stem cell therapy for a wide array of medical conditions, helping patients in Laguna Beach, California, play a more proactive role in their health and wellness. If you’ve been wondering if stem cell therapy might be right for you, here’s what you should know.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are like the “blank slates” of the cell world. Unlike other cells that are specialized (for instance, skin cells or muscle cells), stem cells have the ability to become many other types of cells, which makes them indispensable in treating many chronic medical conditions. Pluripotent stem cells is a term that’s often used to describe this ability to differentiate (change) into different types of cells.
Early stem cell studies relied on donated embryos to extract embryonic stem cells. But today, doctors and scientists are able to extract these cells from many other tissues, including fat tissue and bone marrow. During stem cell therapy, cells are extracted from your body and purified, then reinjected into your body. Once in your bloodstream, the cells are attracted to damaged areas, traveling to those sites and becoming the new tissue the body needs to heal and repair itself.
During stem cell therapy at Laguna Beach Aesthetics, Dr. O’Connell extracts stem cells from your fat or bone marrow and processes them. Then she injects them back into your body in a treatment that takes under an hour to complete. Most patients notice beneficial effects in a few weeks, once the cells transform into new cells and healing takes place.
That’s stem cell therapy in a nutshell. Now, what kinds of ailments can stem cell therapy treat?
Benefits of stem cell therapy: 8 conditions
Stem cell therapy can be very helpful in managing long-term, chronic conditions, including conditions that cause pain and other symptoms. While therapy can be used on its own, it’s often used in combination with other therapies for optimal effects. Here are eight conditions where stem cell therapy may prove beneficial:
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects our joints. Stem cell therapy can help by repairing damaged joint cartilage and by reducing inflammation that occurs in and around the joint.
Stem cell transplants can be used to treat leukemia and lymphoma, replacing cells that have been damaged by the disease.
Stem cells may be used to repair nerve damage that occurs in Parkinson’s disease, and novel research shows the therapy may help replace dopamine-producing brain cells destroyed by the disease.
Cardiac regeneration using stem cell therapy is being used to help patients who’ve had heart attacks, patients with heart failure, and even patients with large and small vessel disease. In each case, the goal of treatment is to allow the stem cells to repair and replace damaged tissue in the heart and the blood vessels.
Stem cells are being used to help repair neurological damage that occurs in MS, and studies show they’re also able to travel directly to brain lesions and improve brain cell health. Stem cells alo help control unusual immune system activity, which plays a significant role in MS.
Stem cells may help replace missing or damaged beta cells, special cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes involve problems with beta cells (either there are not enough — or any — beta cells or the cells don’t function properly). Stem cell therapy might be helpful in patients with either type.
Stem cells can be very helpful in modulating inflammatory responses, including inflammation thought to be associated with fibromyalgia. They can also help repair and regenerate damaged nerve cells that can “misfire,” sending pain signals when there is no painful stimulus.
Because stem cells have the ability to transform into many other types of cells, including kidney tissue, they’re being used to treat both acute and chronic kidney injury and kidney disease. The goal is to replace damaged cells and cells that have already been lost due to tissue damage.
This list is not exhaustive. Depending on your medical history and your symptoms, Dr. O’Connell might recommend stem cell therapy for other medical conditions, as well.
Find out if stem cell therapy can help you
Stem cell therapy plays a leading role in regenerative medicine, a subspecialty of medical care that focuses on helping your body heal itself naturally. If you’d like to learn more about stem cell therapy and whether it could help you enjoy better health, call Laguna Beach Aesthetics at 949-339-1571 or use our online booking tool and schedule an appointment today.