03 Jan What Are Stem Cell Injections And What Conditions Do They Treat?
Stem cell treatments are quickly emerging as research demonstrates their regenerative properties. But what about stem cell injections? How are they different from stem cell infusions? What conditions do they treat, and how can you know it’s the right treatment for you? Read on to learn more.
What are stem cell injections?
Stem cells are considered “master cells” of the body, as they can divide into a range of highly specialized cells necessary for body function. Stem cells are the only cells in the body able to generate cells like brain cells, heart muscle cells, and more. Stem cells remain in the body throughout life to supply cells essential for repair and healing.
Stem cell therapy uses lab-grown stem cells to help address health concerns. They are designed to create specific specialized cells to promote repair and healing from illnesses, injuries, or chronic conditions. Stem cell injections are one form of stem cell therapy in which cells are injected into a specific part of the body. An alternative stem cell therapy is stem cell IV therapy.
Where do stem cells used in therapies come from?
Stem cell therapies are developed from a few different types of cells, including:
- Embryonic stem cells: Embryonic stem cells are harvested from an embryo of 150-200 cells that has not yet implanted in the uterus. Embryonic stem cells are considered the most potent, as they can transform into more specialized cell types than stem cells from an adult.
- Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs): MSCs are sourced from the stroma, a connective tissue encasing inner organs and tissues. These cells create new bone, fat, and cartilage cells, making them a valuable treatment for a wide range of health concerns.
- Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS): iPS are grown from both adult and embryonic tissue. Sample cells are extracted and prompted to reproduce without specializing in a controlled culture, called a stem-cell line. Embryonic stem cells have traditionally been considered easier to grow for therapeutic purposes, however scientists have made significant progress in recent years with growing adult stem cells.
The study of stem cells offers valuable insights. Watching stem cells mature allows researchers to gain a better understanding of how diseases and other health conditions develop. Additionally, stem cells can be used to test new drugs for quality and safety prior to use in human trials.
What conditions do stem cell injections treat?
Stem cell therapies can be effective in addressing a number of health issues. Fueling the body with stem cells capable of performing the same functions as damaged tissues helps with repair and healing.
Examples of this include:
Encourages tissue regeneration: Stem cells help stimulate repair and regeneration of cartilage, connective tissues, and bone damaged by illness, injury, or chronic conditions.
Stem cell injections promote regeneration at all three levels:
- Molecular: includes the “building blocks” of the body, such as carbohydrates, fats, and DNA
- Cellular: includes cell structures necessary for the growth and reproduction of cells in the body, like neurons or axons
- Tissue: includes blood, bone, skin, and muscle cells
Stem cells have shown to be effective in advancing healing for people with knee conditions, especially for recovery after surgery. Studies also show that stem cells can stimulate dental pulp and bone regeneration with few adverse effects.
Supports healthy metabolic function: Stem cell therapy helps optimize metabolism, which can help you build healthy muscle tone, boost energy, and achieve healthy weight loss goals.
Promotes brain health: Stem cell therapy can help stop disease progression for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s Disease. It also can aid recovery from stroke or dementia.
Are there any side effects to stem cell injections?
Stem cell therapy side effects vary depending on the type of treatment and how they are delivered.
The risks of stem cell therapy include:
- Risk of infection at injection site: This is a risk with both stem cell injections and stem cell IV therapy. This risk is greatly reduced when therapies are administered properly by a licensed and trained medical professional.
- Stem cell contamination: Improperly handled or stored stem cells can cause infections. Embryonic stem cells that become contaminated can also cause irregular specialized cell production or growth. Contaminated stem cells are also more likely to be rejected by the body, as the immune system attacks the cells, mistaking them for invaders. Improperly handled stem cell treatments may also fail to function.
Stem cell injections vs. stem cell IV therapy
Stem cell injections
In general, stem cell injections are usually utilized for targeted therapies in specific areas to help accelerate repair and healing. Stem cell IV therapy delivers stem cells directly to the bloodstream, ensuring their distribution throughout the body. This is especially beneficial to relieve symptoms of conditions affecting the body overall.
Stem cell injections should be avoided by people who have rheumatoid arthritis. This is because injections directly into joint tissue can trigger synovial fibroblasts to develop. These cells contribute to damage of cartilage and joint tissue and contribute to joint inflammation.
Stem cell IVs
Stem cell IV therapy has its own risks as well, including vein damage, blood clots, or air embolism. Like risk of infection at injection site, this risk is significantly mitigated with proper hygiene and efficient administration by a healthcare professional.
Stem cell IV therapy can also contribute to the development of cancer in certain people. While stem cell therapy does not cause cancer, it can suppress the immune system’s response to cancerous cells. This means treatments can make it easier for cancerous growths to manifest in those who are at high risk.
Can stem cell injections aid recovery from Covid-19?
Stem cell therapy has emerged as a treatment for Covid-19 to help severe symptoms and hopefully avoid hospitalization. However, it is stem cell IV therapy that has been studied for this purpose, not stem cell injections.
Stem cell IV therapy has been shown to:
- Reduce inflammatory response
- Increase lung function
- Repair and protect lung tissue from future damage
- Relieve pulmonary fibrosis (scarred lung tissue)
A study showed that all patients were clear of symptoms 2-4 days after treatment was administered, and lung function had improved significantly.
Are there other treatment options for Covid-19?
If stem cell therapy is not the right choice for you and you need treatment to address Covid-19 concerns, consider getting antibody treatments. EVUSHELD is a preventative monoclonal antibody therapy designed to offer long-lasting protection against Covid-19.
This monoclonal antibody IV treatment offers support to the immune system for those who have tested positive for Covid-19. This treatment reduces the likelihood of hospitalization due to severe symptoms and shortens recovery time. It is especially valuable for those at high risk of hospitalization who have been infected
Why do people object to stem cell injections?
There is much controversy over stem cell research. Ethical concerns surrounding stem cell therapy include:
- Mixing of human and animal DNA: The study of stem cells often involves inserting human cells into animals, which causes some to worry that this could result in a partially human organism. This has led the U.S. to restrict federally-funded research to embryonic stem cell lines that were created prior to August 2001.
- Use of embryonic stem cells: Harvesting stem cells requires destroying a human blastocyst, which prevents a fertilized egg from developing. These ethical concerns have led scientists to advance research into adult stem cells, like mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
How can I make sure stem cell injections are right for me?
Stem cell therapy is a powerful treatment that is not appropriate for everyone. You should make sure you vet your stem cell therapy provider thoroughly before moving forward with treatment. Your provider should be a licensed and trained health care practice with training in stem cell therapy. You should also find out which lab provides treatments and vet them as well.
Although there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved stem cell therapy treatments at this time, you can still check to make sure that the lab processing the treatment is FDA approved. A lab should also be following current good manufacturing practice (cGMP), which are quality guidelines to ensure safety.
A responsible stem cell therapy provider will conduct a full health assessment of your family health history, personal health history, and the issues you are trying to address with stem cell therapy.
Get Stem Cell IV Therapy At Home With Concierge MD
If you want to experience the benefits of stem cell therapy, contact Concierge MD. We are a licensed, mobile healthcare provider of a wide range of services, including intravenous stem cell therapy. Our health experts will conduct a consultation and determine if stem cell therapy is the right choice for you. Once treatment is prescribed, a registered nurse (RN) will come to your home to administer treatment.
During the treatment session, our RN will remain onsite to monitor progress and ensure comfort. Follow up questions can be addressed through our telehealth services, allowing you to get answers without having to schedule an appointment in person.
Concierge MD is proud to offer high quality health care in the comfort and privacy of your home. Reach out to make an appointment with us today!