I am firm believer that someday, UC and Crohn's will be cured via stem cell transplants. (Yes, I said cured.) My GI believes this is where we are headed, too.
When you are pregnant, one of the things that you can do now is bank blood from your baby's umbilical cord. The collect the blood at birth, immediately after delivery. This blood contains stem cells that are an exact match for the baby and are likely an exact match for the parents and siblings. (I'm simplifying things a bit here. To read more, you can go to the ViaCord website. They are one of the companies that do this.)
The only issue is that it is expensive to bank the cord blood. I've been investigating it to decide whether or not to do it and have exchanged several emails with my GI about
it. His advice was that I would be crazy not to do it. He said they have already had success with stem cell transplants in UC and Crohn's patients in the UK (as evidenced by Harpo's link) and that it is very likely these stem cells could benefit me, my child, and any future siblings.
Harpo - Thanks for the link to this article. It reaffirms our decision to spend the money on this. To our future health!
Stem cells from cord blood are not subject to the restrictions the U.S. government has put on them because they do not come from an embryo. So, if you need the transplant and have these banked, they are available to you without any issues.
- Asacol (4 pills, 2x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)