There is so much hype surrounding stem cell treatments. It is shown and blown out of proportion by the media and countless medical journals. Although they certainly have their uses, the knowledge that we have about them is still limited- at least, to the extent of their use in the treatment of various diseases.
Many health “clinics” capitalize on this craze and many people who are hoping to be cured make use of this experimental procedure. In this article, I will go about the 5 things you need to know about stem cell treatments so that you can be educated first before you decide if having this treatment is the best option for you.
- There is Only a Handful of Proven and Effective Treatments
Stem cells are used primarily to fix what ails us. These specialized cells help repair degenerative tissue as well as other parts of our body that were damaged by cancer and other diseases.
At the time of writing, the list of diseases that were successfully treated by stem cell therapy is quite limited as it only shows effective treatment of leukemia, stroke, and some other physical ailments.
In fact, injuries that affect the skin, bone, and the corneal region of the eye were successfully treated using stem cells by grafting some tissue and with the help of the cells, the healing process starts immediately.
- Different Stem Cells for Different Purposes
There are many sources of stem cells and the cells that were extracted from them have different functions. For instance, if the stem cells were derived from the bone marrow, it is used only to treat any disease that is related to blood like Leukemia and Lymphoma.
Although embryonic stem cells or cells that came from 3-5 days’ old embryos can be “programmed” to be just about any cell of the body, it still needs further testing and research to truly validate the claim.
- Autologous Stem Cells are NOT Safe by Default
There are plenty of ways you can extract stem cells from the body. You can either extract them from a suitable donor or you can extract it directly from the patient’s body.
It was assumed that if you harvest the cells directly from the patient that the cells would be completely compatible right from the get-go, but this just isn’t the case all of the time.
You see, once you extract something from the body and it is then introduced later, the process could contaminate the cells, thus inducing other diseases.
Furthermore, once it has been contaminated, the body might see it as a pathogen and thus, the immune system’s attention will be called to fight it.
This is important to note because some people believe it to be true that using one’s own stem cells is safe by default, which is just not the case.
- The ‘Success’ of the Treatments Are Used as a Marketing Tool
What is one way to gain customers? Well, that is to use one customer’s testimonial as fact. Do note that although there are successful stem cell treatments, it should be used only on a case-to-case basis.
What I mean is that not everyone who undergoes such treatments can have the same results. The use of stem cells still requires further research and testing and claiming that it works for everybody is just a scam clinics use to lure you in and get your money.
- Studies that Were Proven May Not Work on Humans
There is one study where scientists used stem cells in the treatment of premature ovarian failure in female rats. Although it was successful in that the treated rats were able to bear an offspring, it was only one study and should be replicated again and again until it is deemed successful.
And, take note that the study only involved animals, specifically female rats. What was deemed effective to them might not have a substantial impact on us, humans. Therefore, take every study you see about stem cell treatment with a grain of salt.
Stem cell therapy has shown some promise, but it is still a premature science that requires further testing and research. Do not believe in the hype and do not believe everything at face value. Do your own research and see if stem cell treatments are indeed for you.