The debilitating condition known as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one that no one should be forced to live with on a day-to-day basis. Macquarie Stem Cells provides locals in Sydney with rheumatoid arthritis treatment that uses stem cell therapy in order to provide pain relief and alleviate symptoms. Learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and how it can be treated.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that typically results in the sufferer experiencing inflammation in the smaller joints of the body, particularly the hands and the feet. This inflammation presents itself as swelling and pain in the joints – usually in the morning. A definitive cause of the condition has not yet been found; continued research in the field will hopefully bring more conclusive findings in the near future, though it is believed at this stage that some people might be more susceptible to developing the condition due to genetic factors.
Being an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis will attack the body’s healthy tissue rather than fight off any infection. It begins by working its way through the lining of the joints, which is known as the synovial membrane. This direct targeting of the joint lining results in inflammation which displays itself as rheumatoid arthritis in the hands, the feet and other areas of the body. The appearance of swelling tends to occur when the joints produce too much synovial fluid in order to counteract the inflammation.
Risk Factors of Developing RA
Research so far has indicated that these are the most common risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis:
- Sex – Women are more likely to develop RA than men are.
- Age – People between the ages of 40 and 60 are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis
- Heredity factors – If people in your family have suffered from the condition, your risk might increase.
- Smoking – This not only increases your risk of developing RA, especially if you’re genetically predisposed to it, but it can also increase the severity of symptoms.
- Obesity – People who are overweight or obese are more likely to be at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis
The Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
In addition to the already mentioned inflammation and pain in the joints of the hands and the feet, there are numerous other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that could manifest. These can include:
- Joint stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning
- Constant fatigue
- Interrupted sleeping patterns as a result of the pain
- Muscle weakness
- Symptoms reminiscent of the flu (e.g. temperature, sweats)
- Lack of full range of motion
It’s entirely possible to have different symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis present themselves on different days, and the severity can vary from person to person. If you think you’re presenting any signs or symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, please make an appointment with your doctor.
The link between Stem Cells & Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
The cells used for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment can work as follows;
- Target and fight off inflammation (reduce the pain you have)
- Repair damaged tissue (cartilage & blood vessels)
- Differentiate to the matching tissue type (eg: muscle, tendon, ligament & cartilage)
- Increase the productivity of synovial fluid (increase lubrication of your joints)
- Place the immune system in a state of tolerogenesis
(Paz Rodriguez et al., 2012) (Wu et al., 2013) (Gibbs et al., 2015) (Jo et al., 2014) (Michalek, 2015)
The Stromal/ Stem Cells can pause/stop the immune system attack (known as a state of Tolerogenesis)
The word tolerogenesis is derived from the concept of tolerance. An example is the body’s ability to tolerate a very large foreign body when pregnant. If the mother loses her tolerance she will immediately abort the baby. With auto-immune disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis the body thinks that some cells are foreign and attempts to destroy them. At this time the body is not tolerating these cells. (P.Nancy, 2012)
Stromal cells appear to have a strong ability to stop the attack and restore a state of tolerogenesis. During this time the stromal cells will then repair (cartilage) cells that are damaged, target the inflammation in the joints causing issues such as pain and loss of function. (Paz Rodriguez et al., 2012)
Similarly to osteoarthritis cases we have seen these cells increase the productivity and effectiveness of the synovial fluid with in the joints thus allowing for better lubrication.
In combination this will give a reduction in pain and stiffness allowing increased function. (Michalek, 2015)
RESULTS POST TREATMENT
Every patient will have a different response to the rheumatoid arthritis treatment; keeping in mind a very small number of patients will not have any response to their own cells… Majority of responding patients will notice significant improvements to the items listed below;
- Reduction of pain & inflammation throughout the body and joints.
- Increase in mobility of the joints
- Reduction to your body’s C-reactive proteins (can be monitored via blood tests)
- Reduction to your body’s rheumatoid factors (can be monitored via blood tests)
- Deformation of joints to decrease or stop in progression depending on response