Stem Cell Therapy for COPD– Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease is a characteristic condition, marked with the chronic airway inflammation that is often associated with progressive airflow blockage of the windpipe. Managing such type of severe disorder needs patience and will power. Incidentally COPD is later stage of some common forms of pulmonary disorders like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, allergy, asthma attacks, etc. In majority of the cases, i.e. almost 80-90%, the disorder has a strong link ups with smoking; however, some other factors have as well been found to be contributing to its flare ups, such as:
- Genetic predisposition
- Allergy to environmental pollution, dust, etc.
- Occupational exposure to chemicals and fumes
- Passive smoking
- Frequent lung infections, pneumonia
- Wood smoke and other biomass fuel used for cooking, etc.
Stem Cell Therapy for COPD
COPD is majorly diagnosed in people above the age of 40 years; this may be because initially shortness of breath can never be thought of leading to a severe disorder like COPD; till the time even simple tasks are done with a great difficulty. Cross sectional analyses of people, who have been died with COPD have exhibited swollen airway passages, filled with the mucus along with damaged air sacs; altogether leading to the lack of oxygen and death.
People, with suspected COPD can express one of the following symptoms, like:
- Long lasting cough with mucus
- Shortness of breath, with wheezing sound, while breathing
- Chronic lung infections
- Unplanned loss of weight
COPD flares up with progressively damaged airway passage and alveolar sacs. Flare ups are generally identified as exacerbations and can be one of the major reasons for disability, hospital admission as well as occasional death. It is indeed very important to be aware of the prevention techniques, if in case warning signs of flare ups are being noticed like unusual shortness of breath, yellow/green/brown mucus, runny nose, swollen ankles, unusual chest pain, drowsy feeling etc. It has been generally advised to immediately consult a specialist or rush to the nearest intensive care unit. Although prevention of COPD flare ups can help subside its intensity and manage with the disorder. Some of the important points to be noted, while taking precautions with COPD are:
- Eat healthy and cooked food, exercise regularly and opt for an enough sleep.
- Wash hands properly before and after eating anything, avoid touching parts of your body such as eyes, mouth, nose, etc. Keep distance from sick people.
- Take all the medications, prescribed by practitioner regularly; don’t miss the flu shots and avoid dangerous COPD triggers, such as air pollutions, tobacco smoke, breathing unhealthy air, etc.
Conventional approach for treating COPD is either prescription of pulmonary rehabilitation program or lung transplantation; in case of more severe stage. The rehabilitation program generally includes quitting smoking, improved breathing techniques and energy management; along with proper education and steroidal medications. Although, lung transplantation is generally a costly affair, coupled with other complications, such as opportunistic infection, graft rejection, getting a perfect HLA matched donor, etc.; it is not generally been advised, prompting a need of another definitive approach towards treating COPD patients.
Technology has rather promoted alternative medicines, such as stem cells therapy to offer promising hope for people suffering with COPD. Stem cells are the naive cells of human body, with the capacity to differentiate into multiple cell types of different lineages, if channelized through proper signaling pathways. Accordingly hematopoietic stem cells isolated from autologous bone marrow and mesenchymal stem cells isolated from autologous adipose tissue have been confirmed to have unlimited potential to multiply at the site of injury and secrete different growth factors as well as immune cells to initiate a process of recovery and regeneration. Stem cells therapy has apparently been found to be hopeful for patients, who have been stopped respond to medications or probably wish to reduce their dependency on medications.
Thus with improved scientific support and customized targeted delivery of body’s own stem cells have offered many patients an easy access to breathing, reduced medications and significantly improved quality of life.