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The Restorative Power of Stem Cells

by Ann Huycke While there has been a lot of buzz about innovative stem cell therapy, many people have questions. Maintaining, regenerating and healing tissue We all have stem cells in our body, or else we would die

by Ann Huycke

While there has been a lot of buzz about innovative stem cell therapy, many people have questions.

Maintaining, regenerating and healing tissue
We all have stem cells in our body, or else we would die within hours. The primary purpose of stem cells is to maintain, regenerate and heal tissue. This critical process continues throughout life and provides replacements for exhausted, toxic or damaged cells.

At birth, a newborn’s stem cells can make millions of new stem cells, continuing throughout their lifespan. But as we age, we have less ability to make new stem cells. At age 60, the stem cells may only be able to make 200 new stem cells [per what time period?].

There are two types of stem cells—autologous, which come from an individual’s own body, and non-autologous, which come from a different person’s body.

Some stem cell centers harvest the fat stores or bone marrow of the person needing the stem cells. These are autologous stem cells. A doctor might extract the stem cells from the bone marrow of a patient and re-inject these same cells intravenously in a knee or shoulder. This type of transfer of cells has very little chance of rejection. However, current information suggests that adult stem cells can only form the same kind of stem cells, not different ones.

Stem cells can also be collected from an embryo source. This type of stem cell comes from a test-tube fertilized embryo and is used for research purposes. This is a non-autologous tissue, and there can be problems with rejection of this foreign stem cell if there is blood group incompatibility.

Mesenchymal stem cells come from the placenta of a live birth C-section baby. These placentas, which would typically be discarded, are instead gathered by a cord bank, tested for communicable diseases, and then stored until they are shipped to a clinic. Although these cells are non-autologous, they are popular for infusion because they don’t have rejection issues. Metta Health Care only uses mesenchymal stem cells, which are shipped to the office from a reputable stem cell clinic within the U.S.

Fanning the fires of inflammation
Stem cells can be used to treat tissues or organs that are not functioning properly. Most disease is caused by inflammation, and stem cells are a natural immunosuppressant that can quiet down an over-reactive immune system. Stem cells can also help repair damage or disease caused by the interrupted delivery of nutrients, such as heart attacks.

Stem cells work immediately and long-term
Patients can often feel an immediate improvement, which is caused by the release of healing fluids from inside the stem cells. But the main healing will occur over a period of two to four months as the stem cells grow, divide and repair.

Currently, stem cell therapy is in its early stages. It has been proven effective in helping treat blood diseases and bone marrow. Other medical conditions stem cells may be able to help include joint and tissue injuries, herniated and bulging discs, diabetes, organ damage, including heart and lung damage, autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases including but not limited to amotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s, macular degeneration and traumatic brain injuries.

Preparation for stem cell therapy
Optimize the diet for several weeks before receiving stem cells. This allows the cells to be attracted to the disease-causing inflammation that needs treatment. Patients might consider following an elimination diet for three weeks before stem cell therapy and avoid inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts.

Using stem cells for health maintenance
Inflammation causes us to age and eventually die. It causes disease and discomfort. Stem cells can bring down inflammation and is therefore a youth-enhancing strategy. Some people choose to do stem cells for health maintenance, getting an infusion every six to 12 months.

Ann Huycke, M.D., has been practicing natural and alternative medicine in Boise for more than 30 years. Her clinic, Metta Health Care, located at 4501 N. Alamosa St., in Boise, offers a variety of treatment and diagnostic options, including stem cell therapy, bioidentical hormones, breast thermography early cancer detection screening, restorative IV, and more.

For more information about Huycke’s talk regarding stem cell therapy ay 6:30 p.m., Apr. 23, at Timberline High School, 701 E. Boise Ave. in Boise, visit MettaHealthCare.com. The talk is scheduled through BoiseLearns.org.

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