With stem cell therapy, the progression of autoimmune diseases can be slowed down and regressed, and even stopped completely. The success rate of the treatment is proportional to the patient's age, the duration of the disease and the patient's condition.
Stem cells have the ability to turn into the cells of damaged organs when they touch the damaged organs, and that being the case, they are used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Treatment is carried out using mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue. The reason for this is that these cells are the youngest cells, whereas cells from one's own body are the age of the donor. We want the youngest cells for the most effective treatment.
The success rate of the treatment is proportional to the patient's age and the duration of the disease. If the disease has severely progressed, stem cell therapy may need to be repeated more than once. 85% success was achieved in the regression, cessation or complete treatment of the disease.
What are Autoimmune Diseases?
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks normal tissues of the body. The immune system normally provides protection against germs, such as bacteria and viruses, and immediately activates the defense cells upon detecting these. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system perceives the body's various tissues and organs, such as joints and skin, as foreign. For example, type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease, attacks pancreatic cells and rheumatoid arthritis joints.
The immune system is designed to protect our body against microbial invaders such as bacteria and viruses. When it works properly, the immune system detects these microbial foreign bodies and sends a defensive force of warrior cells to encircle and kill them. A healthy immune system knows the difference between foreign invaders and the body's own cells, organs and “good” microorganisms.
Most common autoimmune diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system attacking the joints. This attack leads to inflammation in the joints with pain, redness, swelling and increased temperature. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease and tends to begin in 30s.
Lupus is caused by the immune system's perception of many tissues and organs of the body as foreign. It affects a great deal of organs, including the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and heart. Joint pain, weakness and skin rashes are the most common symptoms.
The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, insulin cannot be produced in the body, which leads to high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar damages various organs and tissues such as blood vessels, heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
In Hashimato's disease, the thyroid gland is affected and thyroid hormone production is reduced. Its symptoms include weight gain, intolerance to heat and cold, fatigue, hair loss, and goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland).
Skin cells normally grow and shed when they are no longer needed. Psoriasis causes skin cells to multiply very quickly. Excess skin cells produced create plaque or patchy red rashes on the skin covered with white scales.
In Sjögren syndrome, the immune system attacks joints and lachrymal and salivary glands. The most important symptoms of Sjogren syndrome are joint pain, dry eye and mouth.
Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF)
Familial Mediterranean fever is a genetic autoimmune disease that causes recurrent fever and painful inflammation of the abdomen, lungs and joints. Joint pain, swelling, skin rashes and muscle pain are among other important symptoms. Familial Mediterranean fever is caused by a gene mutation that transmits from parents to children.
Ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disease affecting the spine. Spine bones (vertebrae) adhere to each other, creating movement limitation in the spine. These changes may be mild or severe and result in a hunched posture.
Behçet's disease is an autoimmune rheumatic disease characterized by sores in the mouth or genital region, redness and swelling of the eyes, inflammation of the joints, skin and digestive system problems.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells. Damage to the myelin sheath affects the transmission of messages between the brain and the body. This damage leads to symptoms such as drowsiness, weakness, balance problems and difficulty in walking.
Hypersensitivity to gluten, which is a protein that exists in cereal products such as barley, wheat, and rye, is seen in celiac patients. The immune system, which attacks gluten, also damages the wall of the small intestine and causes inflammation. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting are among the symptoms of this disease.
What are the symptoms of autoimmune diseases?
There are more than 80 known autoimmune diseases and some have very similar symptoms. This makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose whether or not the patient actually has one of these diseases or which one of them they have.
The prominent symptom of an autoimmune disease is inflammation that causes pain, redness, increased temperature, and swelling. Early symptoms of many autoimmune diseases are similar and may include:
Low body temperature
Lack of attention
Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
Swelling of joints and other tissues
In addition, each disease may have its own symptoms as well. For example, Type 1 diabetes leads to excessive thirst, weight loss and urination, inflammatory bowel disease, abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea.
In some autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms gradually worsen or disappear.
Causes of Autoimmune Diseases
The cause of autoimmune diseases is not precisely known, but it is thought to be a common result of genetic and environmental factors. These diseases are more common in women than in men.
Some autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus show familial transmission. Not all family members have the same disease, but there is a predisposition to other autoimmune diseases.
Due to the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases with each passing day, researchers suspect that environmental factors such as infections, exposure to chemicals or solvents may also be a factor. Eating foods with high fat and sugar or processed foods can cause an immune response and cause inflammation and may trigger some autoimmune diseases. According to another theory called hygiene hypothesis, children are not exposed to germs as much as in the past because of vaccines and antiseptics. This results in the immune system overreacting to harmless substances.
Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases
Treatments administered cannot treat autoimmune diseases but can control overactive immune response and reduce inflammation. There are also treatments to alleviate symptoms such as pain, swelling, fatigue, and skin rash. With a special diet and regular exercise, patients feel themselves much better.
Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases with Stem Cells
Stem cells have the ability to turn into the cells of damaged organs when they touch the damaged organs, and that being the case, they are used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. It also treats damaged nerves and muscles in a similar manner. In this way, they may slow the progression of the disease, completely stop it or make it regress. If the disease has severely progressed, treatment may need to be applied more than once. The success rate of the treatment is proportional to the patient's age, the duration of the disease and the patient's condition.
This treatment can be administered at Revival Clinic Bangkok. A simple and painless procedure administered via iv drip.