Health Report! Your Monthly
REGENERATIVE MEDICINE Statistics tell us that we’re not living much longer than we did 100 years ago — only about four more years on average. What we’re actually doing is surviving birth better.
For those who might have experienced too much damage or need a little assistance, stem cell therapy comes into play. Stem cells are primordial cells that are unspecialized and therefore have the capacity to change into any healthy cell. Stem cells can migrate to injured tissues and release growth factors, which control the inflammatory response and relieve the resulting pain while the cells work to heal tissue and other cells. In addition, stem cells increase blood flow to an area by forming new blood vessels. Over the last several decades, athletes and entertainers have utilized the services of stem cells to heal damaged joints — knees, ankles, hips, elbows, shoulders, and so on — as well as disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, COPD, and leukemia. (Cedars-Sinai Hospital showed a 100 percent success rate with leukemia at the five-year mark.) There are four legal places to get stem cells: Two are sourced from your own body, and two would come from a donor. In your own body, stem cells can be derived from either bone marrow in your hip or from your belly fat. The challenge with the bone marrow and the belly fat is that, as you get older, so do your stem cells. If you’re diabetic, so are your stem cells. If you have high blood pressure, so do your stem cells. If you’re taking several medications, so are your stem cells. Thus, your body is not the most viable place to derive stem cells.
If you made it through your first year of life 100 years ago, your chance of living to be 100 would be just about as good as it is today. Most of the credit goes to cleaner water and sanitation, more readily available food supplies, and so on. In fact, statistics tell us that because of our modern lifestyles, we’re actually living nine fewer “healthy years” than we did a century ago, leaving us with a net negative five years.
In other words, we’re not dying so much from acute disease but more from chronic and degenerative disease, primarily due to our lifestyles.
Modern medicine is the best the world has ever seen to help with acute crises, from infection to injury, but by its own admission, it has a dismal track record for chronic and lifestyle-caused disorders.
Over the last few decades, an entire new branch of medicine has developed. Called regenerative medicine, it primarily focuses on developing a healthy lifestyle by eating fruits and vegetables,
consuming fewer processed foods (products that come in cans or packages), drinking clean water, and implementing stress reduction techniques, like mindfulness training, autogenic relaxation, biofeedback, and exercise. The lifestyle portion of regenerative medicine has already been successful at reversing Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and more. We offer direction, counseling, and other helpful resources. In fact, the medical director for our office ran the largest natural health care practice in the state of Pennsylvania for over 20 years, and he pairs that knowledge with mine to help our patients improve the quality of their lives.
For this reason, we often use stem cells derived from a donor, called a tissue allograft.
It is also very common nowadays to freeze a sample of a baby’s umbilical cord blood when the mother is pregnant and save it in a tissue bank to be used should the baby ever have a problem. That way, the child’s stem cells can help regenerate their own tissues if needed.
Others who choose not to bank their own cord blood many choose to become donors and be screened throughout their pregnancy
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