Congratulations for stepping outside the box and exploring the science of regenerative medicine. There is no disputing stem cell therapy is one of the fastest growing fields of alternative medicine on the planet with exponential growth in the last decade. We are astonished daily by the expanding use and positive outcomes experienced by our patients. With weekly advances in the field of cellular biology it can be difficult to weed through all the information and separate the fact from the hype. We have put together a list of commonly asked questions from our patients to help you. If you have additional questions on how stem cells work or if you are a candidate for regenerative medicine, please contact us today and schedule your free, no obligation consultation. You can simply fill out our Confidential Candidate Application or for faster service, please call us at 805 702-2500
What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative Medicine is simple the process of restoring living, functional tissue to repair tissue or organ damage and function lost due to injury, aging or congenital condition.
How does it work?
Your body is in a constant state of degeneration and regeneration. Every second millions of new stem cells are replacing your old and dying cells. As we age our bodies’ ability to manufacture new stem cells decreases with a substantially drop off after age 40. Regenerative medicine helps by either stimulating your own stem cell production or adding more stem cells to help your body repair damaged tissue.
What are different types of regenerative medicine.
Prolotherapy is the injection of a dextrose (sugar) solution into an area to create some inflammation to stimulate your bodies natural repair response. This is most effective in smaller connective tissue injuries.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is the injection of your own blood plasma to stimulate healing and new tissue growth. The procedure is also simple. A few vials of your own blood are drawn and centrifuged to separate the plasma from the blood cells. The plasma which contains several growth factors is then re-injected into the area requiring healing. Common areas are knees, shoulders, and other joints. We have also found it to be very effective in treating plantar fasciitis.
What is a stem cell?
A stem cell is basically any cell that can replicate and differentiate. This means when the body signals the cell, it can divide and produce 2 new cells. There are many different kinds of stem cells. Most stem cells are programed through their DNA to become a specific type of cell. For example, a neuronal stem cell will become a nerve cell, a hemopoietic stem cell will mature into a red or white blood cell. Then there are another kind of stem cells, these are called mesenchymal stem cells. They are non-specific and have the ability to assist in new tissue growth and repair. They don’t know what they are going to be when they grow up until the body calls on them.
How do stem cells work?
The Gold Standard in regenerative medicine, science has repeatedly confirmed the 3 major benefits of stem cell is 1. They are highly anti-inflammatory, 2. They aid in the regeneration of new tissue and 3. They modulate and improve immune system function. They also cause angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels which brings vital oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissue.
Why don’t we all still look and feel 20 years old?
The answer lies in our ability to produce new healthy cells as we age. When we are born, to keep up with the demand of our growing bodies, every 1 in 10,000 cells is a stem cell. By the time we are in our teens, the number drops to 1 in 150,000 and by 30, 1 in 300,000 cells is a stem cell. Do you see where this is going? By the time you are 60 or 70 years old about 1 in 1,000,000 cells is a stem cell, and those cells have accumulated environmental toxins and poor nutritional choices that they have been exposed too in the last several decades. They just are not as healthy, and the lower cell count can not keep up with the demand. It also makes them a poor choice for regenerating tissue which brings us to the topic of autologous vs heterologous tissue. Autologous means coming from your body and Heterologous means coming from another body. Some clinics offer only the autologous option however as we just learned your older cells are not the best choice for healing. In our clinic the only the highest quality heterologous stem cells from ethically obtained umbilical cord tissue called Whartons Jelly.
What is an embryonic stem cell?
You may have heard the term “embryonic stem cell.” These are cells from the embryonic stage that have yet to differentiate – as such, they can change into any body part at all. Because they are taken from unborn or unwanted embryos, there has been considerable controversy surrounding their use. Also, while they have been used in some areas of medicine – particularly, outside the United States – they have also been associated with occasional tumor (teratoma) formations. There is work being conducted by several companies to isolate particular lines of embryonic stem cells for future safe treatments, but as of now, they are never be used in a clinical setting. Embryonic stem cells are NOT the same as umbilical derived stem cells.
What is an adult stem cells
Another kind of stem cell is the “Adult Stem cell” This is a stem cell that already resides in one’s body, naturally.
In recent research, much work has been done isolating bone-marrow derived stem cells. These are also known as “mesenchymal stem cells” because they come from the mesodermal section of your body. They have been shown to differentiate into bone and cartilage, and almost all other mesodermal elements, such as fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscle and nerve tissue. Bone marrow stem cells can be extracted and because they are low in numbers, they are usually cultured in order to multiply their numbers for future use. As it turns out, fat is also loaded with mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, it has hundreds if not thousands of times more stem cells compared to bone marrow. Today, we actually have tools that allow us to separate the stem cells from fat. Because most people have adequate fat supplies and the numbers of stem cells are so great, there is no need to culture the cells over a period of days and they can be used right away. OUR CLINIC HAS NEVER ADMINISTERED ADULT STEM CELLS TO OUR PATIENTS because we have found peri-natal tissue to be less invasive and far more effective.
How do know if I am a candidate for regenerative medicine?
Good Question? Even though it’s a minimally invasive and safe procedure, you will still need to be medically cleared before and therapy can be administered. A thorough history and medical exam will give our team of providers the information they need to make the best possible product and follow-up recommendations. You are never too old for stem cell therapy.
Confidential Candidate Application
How many injections are required?
In most cases stem cells require a single injection. Prolotherapy, PRP and other peri-natal tissue injections may require repeated injections.
What kind of results can I expect?
This is the crystal ball question. Every patient has a unique starting point composed of age, overall health, diet, activity level, and extent of the tissue damage.
Are stem cells FDA approved?
While the FDA has yet to approve any stem cell product, they do regulate the biotech company’s policies and procedures for tissue harvesting, testing and preservation. The biotech companies we purchase our products from are all registered with the FDA and have products in IND (the process for submitting a new product for FDA approval.) with promise of one day being approved as a drug. (even though it is not a drug) As a physician’s practice of medicine, the physician and patient are free to consider what course of therapy they may elect to pursue with the understanding we are not providing treatment for a specific condition or disease.