Stem cell treatment for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a widely misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed chronic condition, commonly characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, concentration issues, and sleep problems, mainly women. The severity of fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from one person to the next and may fluctuate even in a single individual, depending on such factors as time of day or the weather. Because it is a chronic condition, in most cases fibromyalgia symptoms never disappear entirely. The good news is that fibromyalgia isn't progressive or life-threatening, and treatments can help alleviate many symptoms.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia and their severity vary widely, although pain and fatigue are nearly always present. Major symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
Pain. Some fibromyalgia patients report discomfort in one or more specific areas of their body, while others may experience overall pain in their muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Certain areas, such as the back of the head, upper back and neck, elbows, hips, and knees may be particularly sensitive to touch or pressure and are described clinically as tender points. The degree and type of pain can range from aching, tenderness, and throbbing to sharper shooting and stabbing sensations. Intense burning, numbness, and tingling may also be present.
Fatigue. If you've ever been knocked off your feet by a bad case of the flu, you have a general idea of how tired some people with fibromyalgia can feel. Though some fibromyalgia patients experience only mild fatigue, many report feeling completely drained of energy, both physically and mentally, to the point that exhaustion interferes with all daily activities.
Memory problems. Difficulty concentrating and remembering are common cognitive symptoms in people with fibromyalgia.
Sleep disturbances. Research has shown that the deepest stages of sleep in patients with fibromyalgia are constantly interrupted by bursts of brain activity, causing feelings of exhaustion even after a seemingly good night's rest. Other problems such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and teeth grinding (bruxism) are also common among fibromyalgia sufferers.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Symptoms of IBS, including diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating, are present in many people with fibromyalgia.
The greatest potential for stem cells is in their use to treat chronic conditions, which may result in a significant improvement in the quality and length of life for affected patients. Stem cells can be developed into healthy versions of the cells that have been lost or that are not functioning correctly in that particular disease or condition. These stem cells would then serve as renewable sources for the cells and tissue needed for transplantation into patients. The ability to replace defective or damaged cells through stem cell therapy allows the treatment of injuries and various genetic and degenerative conditions. Stem cell treatment repair includes muscular dystrophies, retinal degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and blood disorders such as hemophilia and many other diseases may turn out to be excellent targets as well.
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