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Auto Immune Breast Augmentation Connection

Why has it taken me 14 yrs to make this possible link?

diagnosed in dec 1997 w/ gallbladder disease..had it lap. removed…27 yrs old
diagnosed in dec 1998 w/ UC (figured I could just take this cute little medrol pack every time I had “blood & mud”)
since then, diagnosed w/ gastritis, gingivitis,…hey, what’s with all the “itis’s”..what do you mean my body is attacking itself?

2005 uncontrollable flare..quit eating…spent 4 days in the hospital because the cute little medrol pack quit working. IV steroids were awesome. I didn’t mind prednisone and had very few of the bad side effects most people have. (although i know it is wreaking havoc on my body internally)
So I taper off the pred, continue with the asacol and resume my regular life. 8 mo. later I feel great, so why do I still need to take asacol, right? So, I decide to take the asacol when I “feel” like it, and not as prescribed.

2007 spent 4 days in the hospital again. i can’t control the flares once they start and i knew the IV would work. And it did. Once again, I effectively taper off the pred, resume my normal life and feel good enough to roll the dice on the asacol.

I am clearly not very bright. Actually, looking back, I would say I was in denial. Who the hell wants to admit to having such a God-awful disease not only to themselves, but anyone else? So, if I ignore it..it will go away, right?
WRONG.

April 2010… feeling another flare coming, but am going away on vacation…will deal with it when I come back because I know I have another few weeks before it’s full-blown. I’ll just take the Asacol to keep it at bay (that was futile, by the way).
June 2010..knew i had to go to the hospital again..can’t control the flare and oral pred is not working. need the IV. This time I am not so lucky. I spend 8 days in the hospital and here we are 8 months later and the drugs that worked before are not working anymore. I can’t get lower than 30 mg pred. I started the SCD Diet last month and at first thought it was my saving grace, but realized as soon as I started to taper and the “mud & blood” returned, the diet was irrelevant. I am still on it because I actually love it. I don’t care that it is strict..I feel great on it.
I am doing blood work to see if I am a candidate for Azathioprine. I have done my homework on the drugs and figured this would be better than jumping straight to Remicade. If anyone has feedback..pro’s/con’s on that..please share.
Okay..so WHY is my body attacking itself? I had 8 days in the hospital with my laptop and I did some interesting research. After reviewing the time-line, there was something that I omitted. In October 1997, I made the STUPID decision to have saline breast implants. The casings for all breast implants are silicone. Not sure if this matters or not, but could my body be reacting to a foreign invader? (Or “two”?). After finding out how many women now have RA, Lupus, and all other types of auto-immune diseases after implants, I have to wonder. UC is an auto-immune disease as well so where does that fit in? I have an appt with my surgeon to have them removed after 14 yrs. either way. Has anyone else made this connection?

Medications:

1600 mg asacol 3x/day
35 mg pred 1x/day
soon to start Azathioprine or Remicade

written by Betty




28 Responses to Auto Immune Breast Augmentation Connection

  1. Adam
    Adam February 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Hey Betty,
    I’m no expert on any of the topics, but something that has been a reoccuring theme with many people who have UC on this site, is a potential link between taking antibiotics, and shortly afterwards developing UC symptoms. If you can remember maybe taking lots of antibiotics prior or after surgeries, that might be something to consider as a possible UC trigger.

    I am not convinced that antibiotics were not the reason for my UC symptoms to come to life(unfortunatley I have taken all kinds of antibiotics from when I was young up until the days when I was diagnosed)
    just an idea..

  2. Peter NZ February 12, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Hi Betty,
    My story is very similiar to yours. And I have indeed been prescribed Azathioprine.
    After a couple of years on the A the results of a regular (monthly) blood test depicted a crash in my RBC and WBC. This was attributed to Azathioprine Toxicity. From my understanding I believe that the A had suppressed my bone marrow to such an extent that red and white bllod cells were no longer being produced. There was concern at the time as to whether it would fire up again (doctors exact words are still clear in my head today – “If it doesn’t you are f@*ked”). It did start to work again.
    Anyway, I stopped taking Azathioprine but continued to take Pentasa.
    Should you go on this medication I cannot strongly enough recommend that you are sent for regular blood tests and that the results are copied to you. I believe that this is standard practice but make sure it happens.
    Going gluten free and vegetarian has really worked for me. The (early) inconvenience is nothing compared to hospital.
    Good luck with it,
    Peter

  3. Steph February 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    Hi Betty, I’ve never made the breast augmentation connection. Never even thought of that. That’s wild. I have had breast implants since I was 15 (long story short I had severely asymmetrical breasts) and was diagnosed with UC when I was 20. Though throughout my life I have also been on more antibiotics than the average person. So who knows if my boobs are causing UC. I’m really interested to see if removing them helps out your health. Please keep us updated and I hope you heal up fast after your surgery!

  4. Jaimee February 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Dear Betty:

    I have UC and breast implants too. But for me, I don’t think they have much to do with one another because my brother and mom were diagnosed with UC and neither has implants (haha). I did go around to plastic surgeons once to have them removed because I was convinced that was the problem ad NO one would touch me. So I let it go. that was about 13 years ago. Since then I’ve had two children. Weird, when I got pregnant both times, all symptoms of UC dissapeared until delivery of the baby. I figure if it was breast implants, that wouldn’t have happened. Keep the faith. Remicade helped me. I know its different for everyone. Cheers.

    Jaimee

  5. pillpopper April 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    I got breast implants at 23 and UC at 27. I was healthy prior to getting diagnosed with UC. No one in my family has UC or Chron’s. I am not saying the Breast Implants caused the UC but it is possible that it is related. I have considered that maybe the UC is from antibiotics but probiotics don’t do anything to improve my condition. I would think if it were due to the dying off of good bacteria, I could repopulate with probiotics, yogurt and diet. I have tried SCD Diet and many other natural remedies. None helped. I am now on a bunch of medication for the UC. I oftem wonder if it has something to dow ith hormones because I started the birth control pill shortly before having BA surgery. It is interesting to find other people asking the same questions.

  6. Reid Bryant Kimball April 6, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Birth control pill destroys gut bacteria too. You say probiotics haven’t helped, but that is a whole world into itself. Some are absolute crap while others are very good. Unfortunately, there is a lot of trial and error necessary to find the one that will work because everyone’s level of gut bacteria damage and type of bacteria affected is likely to be unique.

    • pillpopper April 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      I have tried a lot of different probiotics, including VSL#3 and many other OTC brands. I’ve also made SCD yogurt (with various cultures including organic ones and organic milk), and I’ve fermented my own kombucha tea. Unfortnuately probiotics don’t seem to help me. I wish they did.

      I don’t believe because probiotics help one person that they should help everyone with UC. That’s a misconception. 6mp may help me but it may not help you, same for 5ASAs, diet or even steroids. There are different triggers and different treatments required on an individual basis.

      I hate when people are quick to judge, like I’ve only tried low quality probitics and it’s’ my own fault they haven’t helped. If I showed the list of supplements and probitics I’ve tried, you wouldn’t be so quick to judge. In fact you would probably see that probiotics don’t help ME.

  7. Reid Bryant Kimball April 6, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Jaimee, I read in GAPS by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride that pregnancy is a natural immune suppression. That might explain why didn’t flare during it.

  8. David June 22, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    My girlfriend is 24. She has had UC for 6 months now. It all started right after her breast augmentation. She has been in the hospital 3 weeks of the 6 months. How do you get a hold of you Betty?

  9. Susan August 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Had breast implants 6 years ago and shortly after that I developed UC. Sure it is the connection.

  10. Cindy October 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Hello,
    I received my implants May 2009. Developed UC in December 2009.

  11. Bob March 15, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    What is the best way to get in touch with Betty?

  12. Jennifer April 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    I got implants 2 years ago in November. 6 months after surgery began to have RA symptoms. Still have those but now have thyroid issues and something that resembles UC. Can we all talk?

  13. melanie May 19, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    I, too, started UC symtoms after breast implants… Surgery in April 2004, UC that August.

  14. Jennifer May 20, 2014 at 6:06 am #

    Melanie, are your implants saline or silicon?

  15. melanie May 20, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    Saline.

  16. melanie May 20, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    I also have horrible joint pain at times.

  17. Jennifer May 20, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    I also have saline and got sick within 6 months of getting them. It’s been awful. I’ve had so many odd problems. I also get horrible joint pain. I get a lot of rib pain and stomach problems, too. Have you thought of getting them out? There’s a good book to read called The Naked Truth About Breast Implants. The doctor who wrote it says she sees a lot of women with implants (saline) and colitis.

  18. melanie May 20, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Interesting! Yeah, I’m miserable with the stomach stuff. I actually JUST had the thought last night of, “geez, my symptoms started soon after my implants”. I don’t know why I never put it together. I think that I thought it was stress. I’d be curious to know if it has cured people to have them removed. I would do it if it meant getting rid of the auto immune stuff. What about you?

  19. Jennifer May 20, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    I know a few women who got better after getting them out. I am seriously considering it. If it would even lessen the symptoms, I would still do it. I’m really angry the the plastic surgeon never went over these dangers with me.

  20. Autumn July 26, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    Very interesting comments. I had breast augmentation done in May 2008. Was healthy until after implant surgery. Got staph infection after surgery. Became diagnosed with ulcerative colitis sometime after November 2008. Also had a bad case of e -coli in another region of my body. Had to be put to sleep in order to have surgery to have the bacteria removed from my body. Currently on Remicade. It is helping and have had no flare ups while on it. Did Prednisone for 7 months at one time but doctor said I couldn’t stay on Prednisone any longer. Been on antibiotics a lot too since the surgery in 2008. After researching it and watching episodes of the show Botched, I definitely think the implants is what caused my colitis. It doesn’t run in my family whatsoever! I feel sluggish a lot and I have constant neck, shoulder, and back pain. The breast implants are saline and 350cc in each. They are so heavy, saggy, and miserable! I definitely think I would feel so much better to have them removed, a full lift, and smaller silicone implants put in just so I could keep volume because the skin would be so warped and loose after removal.

  21. Jennifer July 27, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    Autumn

    I have all the same pains plus many more. I started working a with naturopath who changed my diet. It has helped some. She is helping me prepare for explant. There’s a great surgeon in TX. I hope this will fix my health issues. I am tired of always having pain somewhere 24/7. Feel free to email me if you want to talk: jenns226@gmail.com

  22. Penny May 14, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    I hope this comment helps someone out there. I had my saline implants put in in 2005, developed Ulcerative Colitis in 2010, about a year after giving birth. I had always suspected my implants were somehow related in the UC diagnosis. I am scheduled to have them removed in 2 weeks.

    • Tina May 15, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

      Hi Penny, I have a similar story. Good on you for making decision to remove implants.. It’s not an easy decision but you’ll feel 100 times better after you do it. I had UC within 6 months after breast implant surgery & then my symptoms worsened over 6 years! I tried every type of medication & diet but nothing worked (it never occurred to me that my implants were making me sick). I had my implants removed 3 months ago after I discovered a rupture. From then my UC symptoms lessened and now I’m 100% symptom free & implant free!!! It’s either a huge coincidence or direct proof that silicone causes auto-immune diseases & other illnesses. I hope you have a similar recovery & get back to good health soon … Be patient as implant removal recovery is slow & you’ll notice biggest improvements after 2-3 months & 6-12 months for complete healing.

    • Melissa January 24, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      Penny, how are you doing? Did the removal help you? I just had my implants removed two weeks ago after 18 years; 12 of those years with ulcerative colitis.

      • Sofia July 5, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

        Hi melissa!! How r u doing?? Do u still have uc after implants removal??

  23. Melissa December 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    I’ve had saline implants for 18 years, UC for 12 years, and have surgery scheduled to have the implants removed in three weeks. I am so very hopeful that this will work. I am miserable and all UC meds fail me within a year. I am on the 2nd to last drug for this disease. Does anyone have some more success stories/updates about implant removal relieving UC? Thank you!

  24. Sofia July 5, 2016 at 4:54 am #

    Im very shocked to learn that implants could be the cause of uc. I had breast implants in feb 2013 and nose implant in oct 2013, got diagnosed with uc in may 2015. I dono what to do. I can think to rmv my breast implant but not sure i can rmv my nose silicone implant as its fractured </3

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