The Power of Stem Cells

Published: 2021-07-28 18:45:06
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Category: Biology

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Stem cell therapy has been a controversial matter in the media for years.Just recently there is evidence stem cell therapy can be a potential treatment for chronic pain. Chronic pain is pain lasting 6 months or longer and is recurrent.An estimated 30.7% of Americans suffer from chronic pain in today’s society(Marie Csete, 2014).At the height of the opioid epidemic, this could be nothing short of a miracle.Stem cell therapy rebuilds where opioids only mask the problem.Whether someone has pain from arthritis, neuropathy, degenerative disc disease, or an injury, stem cell therapy has the potential to be effective in pain relief.This topic is of interest to me because I have family and friends that suffer from chronic pain.
My Grandmother has osteoarthritis and has constant pain on a daily basis.There is no cure for her disease.The only option she has to get some relief is to take pain medication.My Dad has degenerative disc disease in his neck.He has to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs daily or he would be in excruciating pain.I could go on and on with family members and friends that suffer from chronic pain.I am excited to know that there could be an alternative to their treatment that could limit their pain and improve the quality of life at the same time.A cell in biology is the basic unit of life. The two major types of stem cells are embryonic and adult stem cells.Stem cell therapy is of great interest because of their ability to regenerate and replace damaged cells(Slack, 2018).Stem cells can be harvested from the patient or from a donor.They are collected from the patient’s fat tissue, blood, or bone marrow.By itself stem cells do not help they body.The stem cells can transform into a cell that can such as a bone or cartilage cell.Stem cells also have the ability to divide and duplicate.Once the stem cells are harvested, they are injected in to the damaged area and begin regenerate process begins(Gaurav K. Goswami, 2016).In a clinical trial for degenerative disc disease, it only took one injection of the stem cells for half of the patients to have no back pain for two years.
As a result of being pain free, patients were able to increase their activity(Coghlan, 2017).When pain can be alleviated and physical activity increases, the quality of life improves.Stem cells have also shown promise to be effective in neuropathic pain.Diabetes, chemotherapy, radiation, spinal stenosis, and alcoholism are some of the causes of neuropathy.Opioids have not been effective in treating neuropathy and lead to other problems.Once the stem cells are injected intravenous, they find their way to the damaged nerve.It is unclear how this happens, but somehow the cells are drawn to the damaged nerves(Cleveland Clinic, 2016).There are many different uses for stem cell therapy in addition to pain.Stem cells are also known as master cells.They could treat diseases that otherwise have little to no treatment.FDA has warned consumers if they choose to have stem cell therapy, to make sure the treatment they are receiving is FDA approved.The risk of illegal treatment is high and anyone considering stem cell therapy should do so with caution to eliminate harm to themselves(FDA, 2017).Stem cell therapy is in its early stages and there is still a lot of research to be done.There seems to be a lot of promise in the effectiveness of the treatment.With the ability of stem cells being able to repair and regenerate damaged cells, tissue, and bone, could it be safe to say that the body could be its own healer?

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