Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition. The disease is characterized by widespread inflammation, which is heavily concentrated in the joints.
In this condition, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, resulting in symptoms such as:
- Joint stiffness
- Tender, swollen joints
- Loss of appetite
While there is currently no cure for RA, many patients are prescribed drugs such as slow-acting antirheumatic drugs (SAARDs), hormone drugs, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to control symptoms. After long-term use, the symptoms typically reemerge or persist; moreover, many of these treatments come with a litany of serious side effects. Diminished immunity and osteoporosis are common outcomes of long-term hormone treatments, for example. Plus, these treatments fail to address the underlying mechanisms of the disease.
Stem Cell Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Whereas traditional treatments cannot address the root issue of RA, stem cell therapy has emerged as an optional treatment that can target inflammation and have the potential to replace and repair damaged cells. According to research, Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be administered to specific sites throughout the body, where they transform into differentiated cell types to replace and repair damaged tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells also use cell signaling to minimize inflammation and regulate the immune system to minimize the autoimmune response.
The treatment, which can be administered either intravenously and/or to specific joints, has shown to be safe and effective, according to 2019 research. Even more encouraging is the fact that patients showed decreased levels of serological markers – which trigger inflammatory reactions – following the treatment, even at one- and three-year intervals afterwards. Patients experienced benefits in terms of sleep quality and physical strength.
While stem cell therapy cannot be considered a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, this safe, non-invasive treatment option does appear to have the potential to control inflammation and stabilize immune responses, which can significantly improve quality of life in patients with RA. This is especially true for individuals seeking an alternative to the traditional drugs used to treat the disease, along with their unfavorable side effects.
This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for the joints, also known as stem cell therapy for joints! Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.