Episode #42: PRP and Regenerative Medicine with Dr. Robyn Develle

December 13, 2019

Show Notes:

Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey everybody, what's going on? Dr. Chad Woolner here and Dr. Buddy Allen. And this is episode 42 of the health fundamentals podcast. And on today's episode, we're going to be talking PRP and regenerative medicine with dr Robin devel. So let's get started.

Speaker 2: (00:15)
You're listening to the health fundamentals podcast. I'm Dr Chad Woolner and I'm dr buddy Allen. And this show was about giving you the simple but powerful cutting edge tools you need to change your health and your life. So sit back and enjoy the show as we show you the path to your best life down to a science.

Speaker 1: (00:34)
So on today's episode we have our special guest, none other than dr Robin devel. Dr Robin devel is amazing for a number of reasons, but first and foremost, she is our medical director and nurse practitioner at align integrated medical. And so I'm quite frankly, I'm surprised it's taken us this long to have you on the podcast. So thanks for being here with us. Thanks for having me. Yeah. So, um, we're really excited to dive into this topic. You know, we, one of our first episodes of the podcast, we talked a little bit about STEM cell therapy. Um, but um, we're excited because now we can dive a little bit deeper into some of the other realms of regenerative medicine, some of the things we do with the clinic, but then also diving a little bit deeper into your experience. Um, dr Robin, I don't want to steal her thunder, I'll let her kind of go into it, but she's got a really diverse background, uh, in terms of her clinical experience. And uh, and so I guess a good maybe starting place for us is kind of maybe give them a kind of a quick snapshot of your, your whole experience, kind of what got you into where you're at today, what, what got you where you're at today?

Speaker 3: (01:39)
Sure. Well, I started out as a chiropractor and after a while I realized there's a lot more people I want to be able to reach with holistic medicine and lifestyle changes. And so after being in practice about five or six years, I decided to go back to be a nurse practitioner. And when I got out, I had this fantastic opportunity to work in a clinic for st Luke's. And so most recently I've been working in wound wound care and I've worked at, uh, acute care hospitals as well, working with really, really sick people. So I went from working with generally really, really healthy people to the S really other end of the spectrum. Yeah, exactly. And so, um, I've gotten to see a lot of, a lot of the spectrum of how people are in their healthcare.

Speaker 1: (02:28)
Right? So you've seen, you know, the best of the best, the worst of the worst and pretty much everything in between. Yeah. Um, and, and that's what's really interesting, you know, is that what Robin has brought to our team, uh, has been, uh, an incredible amount of experience. Um, because so much of what she sees and learns in her experience has direct application, if for no other reason than to help serve as a warning signal to people in terms of like, this is where things go when you don't take care of. Because, you know, we were talking just before the podcast, a significant number percentage of the people that you deal with are people where it's chronic conditions brought about as a result of lifestyle choices. You know?

Speaker 3: (03:11)
That's exactly right. As a matter of fact, I get people from time to time in my clinic who have literally 10 to 15 large significant comorbidities I've talking to heart disease and kidney disease and diabetes, and they've gotten so far down the spectrum and then they hear these commercials about, Oh, tumeric is a great thing and it'll help inflammation, right? And so they go off, they go to some store and they buy a bottle of American. They think that they're, everything's going to be cured and they can get off their medications. And you know, so there's this spectrum where we have to help people, but sometimes people go a little too far, the illness spectrum, and it's hard to get them back.

Speaker 1: (03:50)
Right. And it's interesting that you bring up that example, you know, because I think to a large extent, that's what's happened either intentionally or unintentionally with the world of regenerative medicine. You know, that that's, it's become this very popular, uh, concept and idea that I think a lot of people have, have clung to and have maybe, perhaps incorrectly viewed as this savior of, of this thing that will, uh, basically undo decades of self-abuse basically of, of poor lifestyle choices that I can just do that one magic bullet. And that's gonna undo all that and it's going to, it's going to fix everything. And I think that has been a huge disservice, uh, to people because I think it's, it's served as a very loud and clear wake up call to them, yet again that, that, that's, that's not what regenerative medicine is really all about.

Speaker 1: (04:43)
In spite of the fact that some clever marketers have, have positioned it that way, that it's this magic bullet that all you need to do is just get this one injection. And then regenerative medicine is amazing. But one of, I'll never forget a story and I'm pretty sure it was, it was in college that I had heard it. Um, you know, people have this, we have this crazy trust that if something goes wrong, my doc's gonna fix it. Right. And there was a, there was a, I believe it was an instructor, he was saying, my dad, he was talking about his own father. Um, he said he drank a ton, he smoked and, and here I am, uh, getting out of chiropractic school saying, you got to stop this, it's going to kill you. It's bad. Right. And his, his dad was like, whatever. He says, if I have a heart attack, he's like, I'll just, you know, have heart surgery and I'll be fine. And literally the exact thing happens, right. His dad, you know, 10 years down the road has this massive heart attack and his life is completely changed. Yeah. They did do heart surgery and they did fix it, but he was not even close. And he was, and he came back to his son and he's like, I can't even tell you how bad I wish I would have listened because here I thought that, yeah, they're just going to do surgery and fix it. You know? So what my back blows

Speaker 3: (05:58)
out. Yeah. They'll just do a surgery and fix it. Right. And, and, and again, I think there is this, um, incorrect, uh, belief that, you know, it's like, yeah, if something's wrong, I can go have surgery and my shoulder can get put back together. But guess what? You know what if we can, if you have a little bit of an injury and we do do regenerative medicine, we can fix those things before they ever become this horrible thing where now, Oh, the only option is we've got to replace your entire joint. And it's almost become cliche. The phrase, uh, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And I think it's even more than that. I think an ounce of prevention is probably worth 10 tons of cure. Um, right. But it's true. It is true. And I think when you look at somebody who does regenerative, uh, functional medicine, you really have to make sure they're not practicing exactly like a doctor would.

Speaker 3: (06:49)
But on the other end of the spectrum, because I've heard people and had people come to me that say, yeah, I went to this function medicine doctor and they told me I just need to be on this supplement for the rest of my life and I cure everything. Well, that's no different than a medical doctor prescribing something that's prescription. It's the same thing. So you really do, there is some personal responsibility that needs to happen. You really do have to start taking care of yourself as a patient and um, and look at the entire spectrum of your life, not just the, the supplement panacea or the prescription pill panacea. Right. And it's interesting you bring that up. I think that's a good segue into, when you look at from a mile up, let's just say, when you look at all the best evidence regarding regenerative medicine, whether we're talking STEM cell therapy, uh, PRP, platelet rich plasma or amniotic products or things like that, most all the research in general says these things work great, but they work the best when it, when part of a complete picture, instead of it being, you know, this just do this thing and it magically, it's just going to fix everything.

Speaker 3: (07:51)
But rather they say, and this is the way we've always tried to describe it to our patients, is, uh, you know, it's a catalyst. That's what it should be viewed as. This is an opportunity. It's, it, it provides a window of opportunity for us to then really begin kind of an unwinding, the, the, uh, the, the ball of thread, so to speak, over the years. So, uh, in terms of PRP, for those who are listening or watching, um, can you kind of describe maybe in layman's terms what's the, let's start with PRP and then maybe the difference between that and say STEM cell therapy and or amniotic therapies. So PRP is platelet rich plasma. And so what that means is they take a person's blood, they spin it down in a centrifuge, and that separates the red blood cells at the bottom and white blood cells with, from the plasma at the top.

Speaker 3: (08:43)
And the plasma at the top is rich in protein. And so you're just using that top portion of the protein. And when you use that in the body, it attracts your body's own STEM cells. It helps modulate inflammation. Um, it kind of acts as a, as, um, it will attract your body's own STEM cells and ability to heal, right? So it's a catalyst. When you look at amnionic products, that is something from outside your body that is derived from, uh, scheduled C-sections. It's processed down, and then it's made into a form that you can either inject or topically apply to a wound. And, and they refer to those again as STEM cell magnets, right? Where it's injected into the area. It attracts your body's own kind of, it kind of begins the healing cascade, you know, where all of a sudden the body starts to heal itself.

Speaker 3: (09:36)
And then lastly, STEM cells, STEM cells in this house, which are the actual STEM cells and they are used in the same way and they, they generate into whatever STEM cells your body needs. And that's based on all the different signaling molecules and growth factors that your, your body's cells produce. And it tells them what kind of salvation become. Yeah. And in terms of STEM cells, there's been kind of this ongoing debate for a while in terms of which is best, what they call autologous STEM cells, which is your body's own STEM cells. You extract them and then process them and then re-inject them in or STEM cells that are derived from, uh, uh, is it, is it, uh, um, umbilical cord STEM cells, cord STEM cells, cord blood, things like that. Right. Um, any updates on that in terms of the, the debate where that's at?

Speaker 3: (10:26)
Well you've heard, so I'm still hearing, well, if they're frozen or if they're alive, there's problems with counting them. So how do you know how many STEM cells are getting? Um, I, I S they're still super expensive. There's cord banks all over the place that are pitching their products as the best. And honestly, there's, I haven't done enough research to know exactly what's the best and whatever, but I just know there's so many competing companies out there that I would be super careful. You're not getting any of them. We, uh, I think we do a pretty good job at our clinic of trying to stay on top of the research and trying to sift through what's just really good marketing and looks and sounds good. Um, and so for us, you know, and that, and that's, I think something that I hope those watching or listening can kind of clean too, is that when you come into our clinic, we don't have a set agenda.

Speaker 3: (11:21)
You know, from a financial standpoint, it would make perfect sense for us that everybody coming through, we're just going to pitch STEM cell because that's the most expensive. And we're going to make the most money that way. But that's not what we do. Instead, I think to the contrary, typically we focus a little bit more on let, let's, let's start at the lowest end, see what that does, see if we can get, just get you better that way. The, the, uh, the most affordable option, you know, and then move from there. But, but again, it just depends on everybody's situation, you know? But I think also one of the important things that I like about working with you guys is that there is such an emphasis on we have to fix the core of the problem. Yes. So if the door hinges off and you're still creating that grinding on the floor, it doesn't matter how many times you replaced the floor, it's going to come back.

Speaker 3: (12:04)
You've got to fix the hinge, right? Yep. Or even put WD 40 on the hands, you know what I mean? At the end of the day. And that was the thing that was kind of the precursor to a lot of the um, uh, regenerative medicine products was, uh, the highly ironic acid products, which is basically a joint lubricant for lack of a better way of, of putting it. And that showed some pretty promising results at the beginning. And I think to a certain extent can be helpful in that it helps by some time. Um, but, but the, what you just brought up, there is such a critical piece of the puzzle that we try and help people understand. And that leads to a really good question that we can kind of talk about is one of the most common questions that people are going to ask with this is what can I expect in terms of how quickly will I see results?

Speaker 3: (12:47)
So let's talk about that. And then the second follow up question to that is how long is it going to last? You know, so let's start first with the first question. You know, if somebody comes into you tomorrow, we find that they're a good candidate. You say, yeah, you're going to be a good candidate for PRP or amniotic or whatever. What can I expect in terms of how soon can I see results? Well, that is partly individual. So it depends on how a person heals overall in general, what their general health picture is. Because even medications that they're on for other things may interfere or other health conditions like hyperthyroid or whatever may interfere. But in general, you've got to expect that your body has to produce these cells and that doesn't happen overnight. Right? So, you know, it may take a few weeks to even begin to notice anything and then maybe a month or more to start really feeling like there's a difference.

Speaker 3: (13:35)
And at first people may be actually be more sore than they, right? They feel sore first cause there's something happening and then they start to feel better. Um, how long it lasts depends on how well you fix the underlying problem and how much you work on it. So whenever you have a joint problem, you have an imbalance problem and all the muscles surrounding the joint. And, um, and maybe there's problems up there or down the spine. Um, so how well you address those and really balance out the muscles and do some physical therapy that's gonna determine how long the relief lasts. You know, our experience at our clinic has been pretty cool because we've seen, you know, I would say on average, uh, the cases that we've worked with within a few weeks, we see pretty significant changes. That was the case with one of our patients, Jim, who came in. He had a bilateral knee problems, pretty significant wear and tear on his knees. Um, he did, uh, the amniotic injections and did phenomenal on, well, he did wonderfully well, but, but his first week he was, he was in a world of hurt. You know, he was just like, man, it really flared up. But that was a good sign. That was, that was a sign that the body's beginning, that inflammatory process to begin that, the healing processes. So, uh, so he, he did, he did quite well with that within, uh, within a few short weeks.

Speaker 1: (14:52)
But, but then the other part of that that you talked about, you know, let's just use as just a hypothetical example. Let's say somebody who is significantly overweight, which is perhaps one of the single greatest risk factors for degeneration of the knees, right? They say that, you know, for every 10 pounds overweight, you aren't, it puts a significant, I don't remember the figures, do you remember what the numbers were? But I mean, it just puts a ton of ton of force on the knees, right? So let's say they come in and they do this, what can they expect in terms of the longterm results? Well, probably not that great if you're not willing to lose some of that weight or all of that weight, you know, um, because you're still gonna have the same stressors that brought you there in the first place, then I think that's the biggest thing.

Speaker 1: (15:33)
You know, we were talking about this before we even started is, you know, the problems that we see that, that are, um, that respond well to regenerative medicine are typically chronic degenerative problems in nature. And if that's the case, chronic degenerative problems don't just spontaneously happen. Um, they'd been, they'd been building over years and years and years. And so this, this idea that, that, and these are problems that need to be addressed. Like you said, you know, if we're, if we're going to really, really fix these issues and so we need to, we need to set correct and realistic expectations. Now that being said, it almost might feel like here amongst this conversation here that we're downplaying these things and that's not that anything but that we want people to understand. These are really powerful, powerful tools that we have available to us, um, at this day and age.

Speaker 1: (16:26)
But, uh, it would be a shame and we'd lose out on a huge opportunity there and maximize that opportunity if we didn't fully address, you know, those underlying issues. Well, you know, one of the things about regenerative medicine that is so beautiful is the fact that it's very natural. All right. You know, there are a lot of things that have been done in medicine for a long time. Different surgeries. I mean, uh, for, for instance, they used to bad sprains. They would cast your ankle for six weeks, you know, they would immobilize it or rice it or I would, there's different things that we thought at the time were the correct things to do or um, going in and cleaning up the, the arthritis in the knee, you know, there's tons of surgery or, uh, studies that say that, that's terrible. Like it, the results are worse by going in and cleaning it up.

Speaker 1: (17:15)
Then actually just leaving it alone so well and they used to just straight up remove the meniscus in the knee. It's just like, let's get rid of it. Let's look preemptively. These, these are like new opportunities to correct something in a very natural way without having to go to the, the extremes of surgery. Because the thing was surgery and the thing with a lot of these metal medications are, the dangerous thing about him is sometimes there's a point of no return. Like once you've cut into those tissues and created more scar tissue, there's no going back. If you fuse a joint, that joint is

Speaker 3: (17:50)
fused forever. But if we can, if we can get these regenerative therapies in soon enough and do the correct rehab and the correct strengthening and, and really kind of work this man, you could, you could really erase a lot of damage that you've done over the course of decades. Yeah, and I could just tell you from all my experience of treating people who've had surgeries and actually being in on some surgeries, there is no way I would ever have a surgery on my knee unless I literally, it was, I was dying and it absolutely had happened. I mean, there's, there's just no way. And um, certainly I would never do anything like that without having conservative therapy first because you're right, once you go the surgery route, um, and it's, sometimes that is the option, but once you go that route, when that's not the only option, you can't undo that.

Speaker 3: (18:43)
And so sometimes the best treatment for somebody, maybe it is a chronic problem that has been there for a years and you can't absolutely fix the underlying problem. You may at least be able to do a maintenance and keep it from getting worse or at least slow down the progression of some disease. Right. So, um, I think even if you can't 100% fix the underlying issue, a lot of times you can get people relief and um, and help them by just slowing down the process. No, that's huge. And the thing I would like maybe it kind of be in, in kind of closing here to, to really, uh, hone in on is the experience that you've had, uh, working with, uh, the, a lot of wound patients and things like that has really shown you, you know, kind of the, the dark side of it is the fact that this is what happens when you don't take care of, of, of things.

Speaker 3: (19:35)
But I would see the flip side that you've seen as well that can really, I think this will pull in on a positive note, is the miraculous nature of the body's ability to heal itself. You've seen some pretty miraculous things as well by a combination of using some of these regenerative technologies as well as some and as well as just the body's own innate capability of being able to, uh, be, be a regenerative in nature itself. Right. Even in some of these people that I've talked about that have multiple comorbidities that are very serious and they may have gone through a back surgery or may have been hospitalized for a long time and have deep, uh, pressure ulcers, I've seen pressure also is where I'm looking literally at the bone. I've seen back surgeries that have failed and I'm literally looking at the hardware attached to the bone in the spine and I will tell you it was bright blue and shiny metal and it looked just like a bicycle chain. I mean, that's how clearly I saw it. I could have read the knob because you had x-ray vision because the wounds were that deep and that open. I mean, just shocking. And the thing with the PRP that I saw is it works amazing. We, we do. Um, we have some research that

Speaker 1: (20:48)
we do in our clinic with PRP and we have a PRP available at the acute care hospital and placing that on wounds and watching them change from week to week. And sometimes, you know, every couple of days you're like, Oh my gosh, that has improved. Yeah. Massive improvement. Yeah. Powerful, powerful. And so I, I think the take home that, that I think would be the best way to end this particular episode is this idea that far too often people think that they're a lost cause and so they'll put off, uh, at least investigating or exploring the possibility. And sometimes people just resigned themselves because maybe they've tried certain things. Maybe they've even tried some of these things before. Uh, but I'm confident that you haven't tried what we do at our clinic because we do a very comprehensive approach in what we do. Again, we don't use these things as a, you know, a Hogwarts magic wand or magic bullet, you know, type things.

Speaker 1: (21:42)
We use this as part of a whole comprehensive approach to really helping you not only get relief, you know, in the short term, but in the longterm, helping you function at a higher level so that we can really address some of those root issues. Um, and, and so we're really grateful that we have a dr [inaudible] with us as part of our team. It's been phenomenal. She's, she's such a, uh, an incredible asset to our team. Uh, she's easy to work with. She's, she's got such a phenomenal bedside manner. Nurse practitioners tend to have a really solid reputation. Um, but even in that, amongst the peers, I think she, she's head and shoulders above in those terms. So she's phenomenal. So for those listening and considering, especially those people who, who are maybe local here and they're saying, I wonder if they can help me. Uh, we always say what we say to everybody and that is, we give a definite, maybe let me give a definite, maybe because we don't want to make those kinds of guarantees.

Speaker 1: (22:37)
Cause that would just be foolish to say those sorts of things. And so what we do guarantee though is that we can find out if we can help you when you come in. And so, uh, this is an open invitation to people to come in and sit down with dr devel, meet her face to face, knee to knee, whatever you want to call it. Uh, I think the thing that I can guarantee it is I can guarantee you that you will truly feel after speaking with her, that she's really listening to you, which is a great thing. I think most people want that, you know, from, from a doctor. Uh, she'll really listen to you. She'll hear, hear you out. And she'll really, us as a team, we'll go to work to find out if you're a candidate for, for what we do here with some of these regenerative, um, tools, uh, as well as the rest of what we do at our clinic.

Speaker 1: (23:21)
And then from there we can, uh, put together a plan that can help you. So, uh, any final thoughts? Dr. Allen, dr devel. You know, I think we kind of covered things, you know, these, these different, I don't know that the reject, the regenerative therapy to me is exciting because I mean, I've, I've actually experienced it myself on a few different areas. Yeah. Am I shoulder my shoulder? And every time I've a massive difference and a massive improvement. And then again, on the other, the flip side of that, having worked on people and treated people who have had to go the more drastic route of knee surgeries or shoulder surgeries, man, I, I mean, I feel fantastic and I'm like, ah, man, I wish I could have got ahold of you five years ago, right, one year ago. You know what I mean? Like, cause the potential is massive.

Speaker 1: (24:08)
So, um, it's one of those things don't, um, don't go the easy route. The easy route is letting, trying to let someone else do everything for you and to think that, Oh, surgery's just gonna make it better. Or the medicine's gonna make it better. It's Jen, Sharon's converse this. So I'll just do exactly like that is the path of least resistance. And unfortunately when it comes to your health, that is not the proven track record. It really is not. It's not the best way to go. And well the problem with those things, again and I know we're kind of to some extent beating a dead horse, but just understand that the bill will come due later. You bet. And in the longterm the cost is going to far outweigh any of what you thought was beneficial from that. So any other final thoughts there? I can only echo that.

Speaker 1: (24:56)
I have just seen it time and time again. And I guess that's why I said earlier, I so passionately said it would be my last resort because I have seen it and uh, you can't undo it and there is a longterm cost that comes to you. And so it, it just behooves anybody to just try the more conservative thing first. And if that doesn't work, then consider start exploring, start exploring other options. And I would say included in that is something as seemingly simple and easy as a cortisone injection. Uh, cause even with that, there's a huge price to be paid there. You know, the, the research has come back. It's definitive. People understand cortisone deteriorates tissue, it weakens the, the integrity and the structure of muscle tissue, of, of ligament, of cartilage, of all those different areas. And so it's, uh, it's not this simple, uh, you know, easy process seed.

Speaker 1: (25:50)
It'll, it'll come at a, at a very, very steep price. And that's not to say that you can't do it or that even you shouldn't do it, but you shouldn't do it lightly. Um, cause it's, it's pretty potent stuff. So, um, hopefully this has been really valuable for you guys. Hopefully we've given you some really good information regarding, uh, PRP and regenerative medicine. Some things to consider if you know, other people that could benefit from, uh, the information that we shared and for those local, if you know somebody, uh, you yourself or somebody that could benefit from a consultation with dr devel at our team, uh, just reach out to us, uh, at our website. Uh, we're on Facebook, we're just about everybody everywhere online and, uh, and we'd love to meet you in person. And I know dr Vel would love to be able to find out if we could help you. So, and Dr. Bell, again, thanks for being here with us. We appreciate you as always and uh, we'll talk to you guys on the next episode. Have a good one.

Speaker 2: (26:47)
Thanks for listening to the health fundamentals podcast. Be sure to subscribe so that you stay in the loop. And in the note with all of the cutting edge health information that we share, if you know other people that could benefit from this information, please share it with them as well. Also, be sure to give us a review. These really help us to ultimately help more people. Last but not least, if you have questions that you want answered live on the show, or if you have ideas for topics that you would like us to cover, please shoot us an email and let us know at info@thehealthfundamentals.com.

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