Neuropathy affects approximately 30 million Americans at any given time. Sadly, if you have diabetes you will likely have neuropathy as well. Nearly 60% of people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. This condition can adversely affect a patient’s quality of life and take someone who was completely healthy and render them helpless. It is important that the medical community focus on this condition and develop more therapies for it. Stem cells are becoming a promising treatment option for patients with neuropathy.
First it may be helpful to understand what neuropathy is before we talk about how stem cells are a potential treatment option.
What is Neuropathy?
When a patient suffers from neuropathy the nerves outside of their brain and spinal cord become damaged. There are a wide variety of causes from diabetes to alcoholism. Currently, there is no cure for neuropathy. Once diagnosed patient symptoms slowly get worse as nerves become more damaged.
The condition can severely decrease a patient’s quality of life. Nerve malfunction can be incredibly painful for patients. Paralysis, sensitivity to heat, lack of coordination, and numbness are just a few of the symptoms that patients experience when diagnosed with neuropathy.
Typical treatment options include physical therapy, medication, and surgery. These methods may show results in the short term, but nerves will continue to deteriorate as time goes on. Thankfully, patients who suffer from neuropathy now have a new treatment option with stem cell therapy.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells are quickly becoming a viable treatment option for patients with neuropathy. Nerve damage can be treated with stem cell therapy. Stem cells are generally injected into the problem area where nerves are the most damaged. This way the stem cells can repair the nerves in that area.
Mesenchymal stem cells will release neuroprotective and neuroregenerative factors into the body. These mechanisms will encourage the body to activate its natural healing processes. Damaged nerves can actually regenerate when stem cells are introduced to the problem area. This can greatly improve nerve functionality in the spinal cord and brain.
There are a few different ways stem cells can be harvested. Generally, some of the most powerful stem cells are Wharton’s Jelly mesenchymal stem cells. Wharton’s Jelly generally has the most active stem cells compared to other stem cell sources, such as bone marrow.
A small study has showcased how effective stem cells can be in treating neuropathy. 10 female patients received a stem cell injection in order to treat the pain resulting from neuropathy. More than 50% of the patients reported that their pain had decreased after 6 months and that they used less antineuropathic medication. That is extremely promising for patients with neuropathy.
More progress needs to be made before a legitimate stem cell therapy can be developed for neuropathy. More studies are currently underway to find the best delivery method, dosage of stem cells, stem cell source, and more. It must be noted that some patients who suffer from neuropathy have been hoodwinked by fraudulent stem cell centers. They are looking to make a quick buck off of vulnerable patients who are just seeking medical treatment for their condition.
Stem cells have an unfortunate history in the United States. They have come under intense scrutiny from both the general public and government bodies largely because most people do not understand them. They believe that stem cells are extremely dangerous, which can be true in some circumstances. But when in the right hands, stem cells have incredible healing properties for neuropathy. Regulators have also been slow to squash the illegitimate stem cell operations, which is another reason that public trust in stem cells has been low.
As someone looking to treat neuropathy with stem cells, you need to be aware of stem cell treatment centers that will not help your condition. Many supposed stem cell treatment centers will actually administer stem cell products with no living cells. There are several other red flags that you can look for when choosing a stem cell treatment facility. Let’s dive into the most obvious
Identifying the Good Guys
You can tell the difference between the legitimate stem cell centers and the fraudsters by looking out for some key aspects.
1) They do not focus on stem cell treatments. There are many chiropractors around the US that offer stem cell treatments. This should be a huge red flag for a number of different reasons. They do not understand the mechanisms behind stem cells and should not be
2) Their stem cell treatments are the same for multiple procedures and diseases. Stem cell experts understand that all stem cell treatments are not the same. Legitimate stem cell treatment centers treat each patient differently and will create a treatment plan that is unique to them. A shady stem cell center will use one blanket treatment for a variety of different patients.
3) Where do they source their stem cells. If they are not sourced from a legitimate vendor then there is a real chance that there are no living cells in finished product. You will be paying a hefty sum just to be treated with a product that has no chance of working.
Speak with your medical professional about treatment options for your neuropathy. Your neuropathy will not fix itself on its own. A stem cell expert can help you deal with your neuropathy and improve your quality of life.