Stem Cell Therapy for Peripheral and Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Neuropathy is a condition where one’s nerves experience damage which may present as weakness, numbness, burning and pain in either the hands or feet. The pain may be unbearable at times, with the issue being that there is no easy fix for diabetic neuropathy pain relief.
Diabetic Neuropathy occurs in some form in up to half of those with diabetes. The problem with neuropathy is that it does not affect just one peripheral nerve, it is diffuse and causes dysfunction in nerves throughout the legs and feet. In addition, diabetic neuropathy is also detrimental to the blood vessels in the legs and feet.
Stem Cell Therapy for diabetic neuropathy is a new treatment that is showing significant promise in small studies. One of the main problems up until now has been there are no treatments for diabetic neuropathy which can actually modify the condition.
Most current treatments, such as pain medications and lidocaine patches, are effective at pain relief, however, they act as a band aid and not any sort of cure. Narcotics may lead to addiction, constipation and other complications. Stem Cell therapy for peripheral neuropathy aims to reduce pain and improve blood flow to nerves by placing adult stem cells, growth factors and platelets into the areas of damage.
These stem cells then have the potential to promote repair of the damaged peripheral nerves and blood vessels, as they can differentiate into the cells necessary to build the proper new structures necessary.
The stem cells are obtained from consenting donors after a scheduled c-section. No harm occurs to the baby or mother. The tissue is processed at a lab where safety standards actually exceed the FDA, and no significant adverse events have occurred. The umbilical cord tissue contains millions of regenerative cells including exosomes, growth factors, microRNA, stem cells, secretomes and more.
Along with injecting the stem cells, the regenerative medicine doctor may also include PRP therapy into the area. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy includes a simple blood draw from a patient’s arm, with the blood being spun in a centrifuge rapidly for 15 minutes. At that point the blood separates into multiple layers, and the layer with the concentrated platelets and growth factors is then used to promote additional repair of the diabetic neuropathy.
The entire process is completed as an outpatient usually in one setting. However, multiple treatment sessions may be necessary depending on the severity of the diabetic neuropathy. Risks of the procedure are low, however, they will be discussed by your doctor prior to the treatment.