Dr. Pradeep Mahajan,
Regenerative Medicine Researcher, StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt Ltd, Navi Mumbai
The COVID-19 pandemic that has rocked the world over the past 2 years is now stabilising. With recovery rates around 98%, better understanding of novel variants, and steady treatment protocols, the world is now breathing a sigh of relief that the worse is probably over. However, many patients have developed new health issues or experience increased severity of pre-existing illnesses after recovering completely from COVID-19. It is disheartening to see people suffer more, either due to long-term effects of the virus itself or the side effects of medicines used to treat COVID. The term ‘post-COVID’ or ‘long-COVID’ has been used often to describe symptoms that patients experience long after they recover from the disease.
The patients are developing various conditions which can be tackled by novel regenerative medicine approach to tackle the same. “We have seen patients reporting with problems such as muscle cramps, joint pain, body ache, low haemoglobin levels, etc., which they did not have before COVID-19. Among the different problems, hip joint pain and difficulty in breathing are quite common,”
The possible explanation for such symptoms is that steroids, anti-viral medications, antibiotics, etc. are prescribed to patients during COVID-19. While these are important, steroid use is known to cause several side effects, one of which is formation of fat deposits and clots ultimately leading to blockage of blood supply. This could be the reason for Avascular Necrosis (AVN), which means that blood supply to a joint is affected and the bone ultimately breaks down. The wrist and hip joints are commonly affected in AVN. Likewise, in several conditions, healing is associated with scar formation. There have been reports of fibrosis (scar tissue formation) in the lungs of patients with COVID after recovery. This could affect the normal functioning of the lungs in the long-term, manifesting as breathing difficulty, especially during exertion, among other problems.
Apart from these, we do not know the effects of the COVID-19 virus on different cells and tissues. How is the virus binding to different cells and affecting normal functioning is yet to be explored. For example, there is no clear explanation for why patients have low haemoglobin levels after COVID. We can speculate that the virus attaches itself to certain receptors (binding points) on red blood cells, which then affects the binding of haemoglobin.
How can such conditions be treated?
Conventionally, once a diagnosis of the post-COVID condition is established, patients are prescribed medicines or are advised surgical treatments, depending on their status. The issue is that more medicines are being used to tackle a problem that was probably caused by a medication in the first place! “We need to look at more effective treatments. We carry our repairing kits in our body,”
“At our centre, we study and implement treatment protocols based on a holistic regenerative approach, using cells, growth factors, peptides, allied therapies, etc. Our aim is to provide natural solutions, by enhancing the healing ability of the body and target the root cause of problems at the molecular level, then focusing on symptom management alone.”
As an example, let me explain regenerative medicine approach for the treatment of post-COVID AVN and lung fibrosis. “In AVN, by using cells and growth factors, new blood vessel formation can be triggered. Also, these molecules get rid of the dead cells from the area and provide a pool of healthy cells, which subsequently divide to form healthy bone tissue. Patients are relieved of pain within a session or two, and gradually regain their movements in the hip (or other affected joints) with physiotherapy and allied rehabilitation protocols.”
Similarly, in lung fibrosis, these biological molecules have been reported to break the scar tissue, improve blood flow, enhance oxygen and other gas exchange, heal the damaged lung tissue, etc., ultimately leading to better breathing ability. Another advantage of this new therapy is its ability to regulate the immune system and fight infection. Thus, the internal balance of the body can be re-established and infections/swelling can be eliminated as well.
“People worry about the effectiveness of such newer therapies. It is important to create awareness about harnessing the innate healing ability of our body. There is science to back our findings. A cell-based approach provides long-term, safe, and effective outcomes, without side effects. The best part is that the disease does not matter—one can have a bone, nerve, infection, or skin-related or any other problem. With the right protocol using these biological molecules and allied therapies, we can target the pathology of the condition, thereby ensuring holistic treatment.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic might be behind us, or at least on its way out, but the symptoms and side effects might linger for a while longer. We can stop these at the start in natural way. We are open to discuss this novel therapy for all post-COVID issues and bring your life back on track,”