Guidelines for a Stem Cell Patient
Many so-called experts and clinics doing stem cell therapy gloss over or ignore altogether factors in people’s diets, lifestyles and even genetic pedigree that might reduce their response to treatment with adult (non-embryonic) stem cells, e.g., stem cell rich bone marrow or bone marrow derived stem cells, fat tissue derived stem cells, umbilical cord blood derived stem cells, etc. In some ways this can be likened to a farmer sowing seeds in a field littered with broken glass, rocks, and all manner of rubbish. And just as he or she could hardly expect a bumper crop from such soil, doctors and patients who ignore this should not be too surprised when post-stem cell treatment responses are far less than expected.
Of course, critics will argue that we just don’t know enough about how players such as diet, certain lifestyle practices, genetics and other factors impact stem cell proliferation, mobilization, engraftment and subsequent activity. Strictly speaking this is true; that is, there are many unknowns and poorly understood bodily influences on therapeutically administered stem cells. But this is not to say that doctors are totally in the dark or that they lack justification to act on what they do know or have good cause to suspect can hinder as well as encourage stem cell activity.
Just as a farmer must prepare the soil to ensure that the seeds he sows take hold and produce strong healthy crops, so too must physicians involved in stem cell medicine do what they can to prep patient’s bodies to encourage injected stem cells to seek out target organs and tissues, engraft and begin working optimally. Here are some steps that characterize this process:
Eradicate Secondary Infections and Inflammation Prior to Stem Cell Therapy
Many published studies have shown that stem cells tend to home in on areas of inflammation and low oxygen that typically characterize injured and diseased organs and tissues. It follows that if a person has infections and inflammation present in parts of their bodies other than in the target organ or system, infused stem cells are apt to seek out this “biological fire.” The diversion of stem cells away from the desired organ or tissues can diminish their repair or restoration.
Reduce High Levels of Toxic Heavy Metals
Heavy metals have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of cells and also adversely impact nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As a result many doctors involved in stem cell medicine insist that patients be tested to determine if unacceptable levels of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic are present in their tissues. When one or more is, specific metal chelating treatments are prescribed to reduce these.
Doctors experienced in diagnosing heavy metals typically rely on tests such as:
Eradicate Bacterial Overgrowth in the Gut
Leaky gut syndrome (intestinal permeability) and gut dysbiosis (overgrowth of “bad” bacteria and/or fungi in the gut) should be treated to prevent noxious chemicals called “endotoxins” from entering or otherwise influencing the body and bringing about conditions that might interfere with the activity of injected or infused stem cells. Persons considering having stem cell therapy who are likely to have either of the aforementioned conditions should consult a physician regarding the diagnosis and treatment of them. Physicians knowledgeable in this area of medicine typically have their patients take a comprehensive digestive stool analysis test.
In addition, the urine organic acids test is a good indicator of how the gut is affecting the patient’s metabolism and is considered a premier test for persons set to do stem cell therapy who have neurologic challenges or issues.
Increase the Number of Endogenous (self) Stem Cells in Circulation
Many doctors involved in doing stem cell therapy believe it a good idea for patients to mobilize stem cells from their own bone marrow and other tissues prior to a stem cell treatment. It is argued that this is a prudent way to put as many stem cells on-the-job to affect bodily repair and restoration as possible. These strategically marshaled stem cells should complement the action of infused ones.
How does one mobilize one’s own stem cells? There are FDA approved drugs as well as natural compounds that have been shown to accomplish this. Two that StemCell.MD recommends is Stemgevity™ and Stem Cell Mobilizer. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and intermittent hypoxia has also been shown to mobilize stem cells (Click to access information on a leading private clinic that offers HBOT and intermittent hypoxia therapy.)
Post Stem Cell Treatment Care:
Following a stem cell treatment, there are certain things a person should do to help ensure an optimal response. The measures that follow below may require the input and assistance of a physician, therapist, family friends, or caregivers.
Reduce or Avoid Stress
Stem cell patients are advised to reduce emotional and physical stress as much as possible. Why? In-a-word, stress sends signals to adrenal glands to pump out hormones called “glucocorticoids” that promote the production of excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate and aspartate. These compounds can in certain instances damage and even destroy new neurons, and it is for this reason many doctors work with patients to reduce the likelihood they will have newly introduced stem cells adversely affected by them. The stress reducing methods and agents typically recommended include yoga and meditation, use of relaxation inducing audiovisual materials, nonpharmaceutical nervines (tranquilizers) such as standardized Valerian Root extract, and massage.
Click this link to access a pre- and post- stem cell therapy regimen that includes additional information on stress management and especially reduction.
Avoid Sugar Rich Foods
Most stem cell therapists recommend that patients steer clear of foods and beverages high in sugar, as this can cause blood sugar levels to increase and then drop. This can trigger a stress response that may hinder or otherwise negatively impact newly introduced stem cells.
Click this link to access a stem cell specific standard diet.
Stem cell medicine doctors typically recommend that patients eschew tobacco in any form period. However, for patients who do “indulge” most stem cell using physicians recommend abstinence for at least six months following treatment with either allogenic (non-self or donor) stem cells or autologous (from self) stem cells. Tobacco contains a multitude of cell and neuron toxic compounds such as nicotine and tar, and in many instances is also laden with toxic heavy metals (which contributes to the production of cell damaging free radicals).
Due to the fact alcohol inhibits the production of nerve growth factor, is toxic to new neurons, and damages newly growing blood vessels, most physicians and researchers who are involved in stem cell medicine counsel patients to avoid drinking alcohol in any form for at least six months following a stem cell treatment.
Specific dietary & supplement guidelines
- Beans, lentils (If needed, beans can be brought to a boil, rinsed and cooked in fresh water to eliminate the factor that causes gas and bloating).
- Garbanzo beans (hummus)
- Chicken breast (baked)
- Turkey breast (baked)
- Eggs (with yolks is fine)
- Protein powders such as whey
- Salmon (Wild Alaskan) – should have less mercury content than other salmon sources
- Milk (organic, low fat), goat milk and goat cheese (preferred)
- Yogurt (plain, organic)
- Cheese whey
- Natural grains – gluten free
VEGETABLES (NO RAW VEGETABLES FOR 3 WEEKS, NO ONIONS)
- Fresh celery (no brown spots – shows oxidation)
- Kelp, brown seaweeds
- Lettuce (all types)
- Red bell peppers
- Tomatoes (If not allergic)
- Dandelion greens
- Potatoes (Bake or boil)
FRUITS (Avoid if you have diabetes)
- Goji berry
- Red Apples
- Red grapes
- Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, krill oil, chia seeds, flaxseed etc.
- Olives, extra virgin olive oil
- Butter (Organic and in small amounts)
- Coconut oil
- NO hard stick margarine (Contains trans fatty acids)
HERBS AND SPICES
Avoid black pepper, ginger & garlic
- Cayenne Pepper
- Curry (curcumin/turmeric)
- Cinnamon (in moderation)
Those with brain injuries and disorders should avoid nut consumption. The arginine in them can increase inflammation in brain disorders and injuries and in autoimmune disorders such as arthritis and infections. For those with cardiovascular disease only, nuts and seeds help support blood vessel expansion. L-arginine also supports the thymus gland for improved immune function.
Drink 6-8 ounces of natural spring water, at least 3 times daily. Green tea (non caffeinated) too.
ANTIOXIDANT SUPPLEMENTS THAT CAN SUPPORT STEM CELL FUNCTION
- N-acetyl cysteine
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Alpha lipoic acid