Can My Own Stem Cells Reverse My MS?: A Story of Fat Extraction and Hope
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Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, incurable, and debilitating disease. MSers face daily numbness, tingling, pain, lack of coordination, and a multitude of other issues.
I am not one to jump on drug therapy, as the side effects can often be many times worse than the disease the drugs are supposedly combating. I fight the fight through nutrition and fitness, battling MS in the gym every day. But as I enter my eighth year as an MSer, I can see and feel the progression taking hold. I am determined to compete one last time in a bodybuilding contest at the age of 55, and the dragging leg, shaking, and inability to grasp the weights without straps will not stop me.
In this quest to beat MS through bodybuilding, I have had the support of so many people and companies. Some like P4P Muscle supply all my bodybuilding supplements and BioTrust Nutrition supplies my supportive health products. These companies provide the nutritional foundation I need to take MS on in the gym and push as hard as I do. But, unfortunately, nothing can stop the MS from doing what it wants to do to my body.
But is there hope in science to reverse MS damage?
I have been building a relationship with a company that has an FDA Registered laboratory based in New Jersey. They currently offer adipose tissue collection, processing, and stem cell storage as a form of bio-insurance. Their research has shown positive results utilizing someone's own fat tissue to extract, process and expand adult stem cells in preparation for a clinical study. They have produced a successful anti-aging product for the skin and are able to differentiate adult stem cells from the fat tissue to other types of cells, leaving hope for future applications using our own stem cells. This company is at the cutting edge of this type of research and procedure.
The great news for people with MS is that now they are working on a trial that may be able to relieve the symptoms and eventually may be able to stop MS. I am the first person to be involved in this trial and will be the first patient to have their MS stem cells in the bank they will be putting into place. They use what is called mesenchymal stem cells which appear to, in studies, produced better results than any other form of stem cell treatment. I do not know much about the science of all this but I do know that the company I am working with, which is publicly traded, has put millions of dollars and years of studies under their belt before proceeding with this new technology.
I am still recovering from the first step in this process, my stem cell extraction, that I underwent on Thursday. Typically the cells are extracted by removing the adipose tissue from the stomach area like a mini liposuction. It is not very invasive and causes only slight discomfort. But, since I am a bodybuilder, I don't carry a lot of extra fat. The doctor could not find enough fat to take from my stomach to extract the stem cells so they had to go in from the lower back and poke their way up both sides to get what they needed.
I was eating hamburgers, French fries and ice cream for weeks but it still didn't put enough fat on me. I didn't even have the "love handles" they were looking for to grab the fat from! So they had to dig deeper up into both sides of my back to my ribs with the suction. I was wide awake with no anesthesia, just some numbing solution and a valium, and yet it was still a pretty easy procedure. Even with all the prodding around my back area, the doctor couldn't get the fat cc's they wanted so it will take an extra month to harvest enough cells from what they did get. This delays the final stage of implanting the healthy cells back into my body until April to hopefully reverse the MS. But the wait is worth it if it stops the disease from progressing and reverses symptoms.
I will keep you informed as I move forward in this new science for MS treatment and will help anyone who wants more information on the stem cell bank get involved. But we have to wait until I am through the process and see the results before I can endorse what I am undergoing. Until then...my advice is to work out, eat healthy, and take supplements, BUT put some fat around that midsection so there is adipose tissue from which to get your stem cells!
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