What Exactly is a Stem Cell?

What is steam cellWhen you hear someone say “stem cell” you may automatically think of a cutting edge, innovative therapy that assists in treatment of chronic health conditions, and you are right. However, stem cells are most definitely not a cure all for health diseases, but they are able to help. Stem cells are known for their incredible ability to constantly divide and renew themselves within the body over long periods of time; no other cells has this natural ability to differentiate into new types of cells. Typically, when stem cells divide they become unspecialized cells, meaning that they do not perform any particular function within the body. However, stem cells do house the ability to develop into specialized cells through a long process called differentiation, which further allows them to perform more specific tasks to help combat any number of health conditions that may be present in the affected individual.

Furthermore, if an individual has a condition such as diabetes or heart disease, the process of differentiation will allow stem cells to begin their journey within the body by taking on specific tasks that will help fight the symptoms of these health issues from progressing and/or worsening. Diabetes and heart disease are two conditions that are highly prominent within the population, affecting millions of individuals. Therefore, if stem cell therapy can be used to combat such health issues that stem from these conditions, there will be a great decrease in things such as the costs related to these health conditions, inpatient hospital stays, and frequent readmissions into the hospital due to the health conditions. In addition, stem cells not only assist in helping the body with more prominent health issues, they can also regenerate within the body to compensate for the loss cells from normal wear and tear or from injury.

Another great thing about stem cells is that they can be banked by individuals to use in the future. Of course, the best time in life to bank stem cells is in the younger years, because at that time stem cells are the most efficient and able to develop themselves into virtually any type of cell. If individuals have stem cells banked, they can use them and their specialized abilities in their older years to assist with a vast array of detrimental health conditions they may experience in the future. Basically, banking stem cells is a way individuals can be quite proactive about their health and longevity of their life in the future.

Ultimately, stem cells and the research that is ongoing about their functions is quite incredible, and has the potential to further increase the lifespan of the population as time goes on. In the future and with continuous advancements in the healthcare industry, stem cell therapy and transplants, also known as regenerative medicine, will likely be more of a go-to treatment option and used more widely to aid individuals to fight their health issues and get the most out of their lives.

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