06 Dec Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Stem Cells
Inflammatory bowel disease is a term for a group of digestive tract diseases. Many people are affected by this disease, but some worse than others. It is estimated that over one million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease. Diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease can be a long and grueling process. There is currently no cure for the disease. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms, but not always at fixing the underlying problem. Fortunately, stem cell therapy has shown a lot of promise in helping those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
The two main types of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is a condition that leads to inflammation of the large intestine and causes sores as well. Chron’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract. Part of the reason inflammatory bowel disease is so difficult to treat is that the exact cause is unknown. However, there are a few factors that seem to play a part in the disease. For example, immune function, genetics, various bacteria and viruses, and environmental factors can all play a part.
Most people diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease are under 30 years old. In addition, those living in urban and industrialized areas, along with those who have family with the disease are at a higher risk. There are many symptoms that point to inflammatory bowel disease. However, not all patients have all the symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms include difficult bowel movements, nausea, a feeling that the bowels are not empty, mucus in stool, stomach cramps, night sweats, and weight loss. Oftentimes, inflammatory bowel disease sufferers will go through periods of flare-ups and periods of remission. Typically, the goal of treatment is to keep patients in the remission period as long as possible.
Inflammatory bowel disease can have many complications, some of which can be life-threatening. Some of these complications include bowel obstruction, colon cancer, tears in the anus, or malnutrition, to name a few. Current treatments focus on treating the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. These include anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, immune suppressors, and various biological therapies. Fortunately, stem cell therapy has shown a lot of potential in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Stem cells work by harnessing the body’s ability to heal itself. As a result, stem cell therapy focuses on treating the underlying condition and replacing damaged tissue and cells with new tissue and cells. This shows promise for long term results.
Many people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease experience a lot of discomfort throughout their lives. Inflammatory bowel disease can produce mild symptoms in some people, to severe symptoms in others. Many medications in the past only dealt with treating the symptoms during flare-up periods. However, this did not lead to any form of a cure. Fortunately, stem cell therapy has been shown to be effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease. There is now hope that through stem cell therapy, one day, physicians may have a cure for their patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.