The immune system is divided into two major entities, depending on the type of action it exerts; the innate immune system and the specific immune system.
The innate immune system, which you can think of as the first responder to foreign pathogens that try to penetrate the body. This system is also referred to as non-specific immunity because it does not differentiate between different aggressors. The main components of the innate immune system include mechanical barriers (e.g., skin, acidic environment of the stomach, cilia found in the respiratory tract) and immune cells (e.g., macrophages, natural killers, neutrophils, basophils).
The specific immune system, which implements unique immune cells and antibodies to specifically target germs. For instance, when you get infected with the stomach flu, the immune system will produce specific cells and antibodies to the proteins found on the surface of that virus. As a result, it will be ready for the next aggressive episode since it has the necessary information to target the virus.
These two entities work to complement one another to keep us alive, with thousands of foreign pathogens destroyed every day. Now that you’re familiar with the immune system, let’s see how stem cell therapy may help in these cases.
What is an autoimmune disease?
An autoimmune disease is an inflammatory and immune reaction to self-antigens. In other words, the body will attack proteins found on harmless substances, such as blood cells, neurons, and pancreatic cells. Some examples of autoimmune diseases include lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Autoimmune diseases are poorly understood, hence the absence of any curative treatment. Most therapeutic approaches focus on long-term medical management that includes taking chemotherapeutic drugs, corticosteroids, and immunomodulators. Moreover, some severe cases may require surgical interventions.
How does stem cell therapy help with autoimmune disease?
Stem cells have been extensively researched for their beneficial effects on several maladies, including the ones that get triggered by a defective immune system. The way that stem cells give this result is by repairing the damaged tissues and regulating the action of immune cells. Consequently, the cells will be less likely to attack self-antigens anymore, tempering down the symptoms of the condition.
Mesenchymal stem cells are a preferred type of cell that avoid ethical issues with extracting these cells and the efficacy they showed over the past few years. Researchers reported that MSCs focus most of their action on T regulatory cells that control the reaction of the specific immune system to foreign pathogens. If this line of cells is not well-regulated, the immune system will overreact to most antigens, resulting in the classic self-inflicted damage.
There are no cures for Autoimmune conditions, and some do find relief from traditional methods. However, there are risks and side effects to consider. Hopefully, a natural alternative option like stem cell therapy can provide additional options for those seeking treatment for autoimmune conditions. Contact us today for a free consultation!