Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

High Ana & Plastic Surgery Regrets
0

16 posts in this topic

Hi Everyone,

Not sure where this post belongs but I wanted to reach out for some advise/opinions. :huh:

Two years ago I decided to have a breast augmentation. This decision took years to make and after I found a very reputable doctor I decided I should just go for it. I was 25. Fast forward two years, and I have full blown celiac disease, HIGH ANA levels, elevated liver enzymes, thinning hair, jaw pain, and my chest is just always uncomfortable. I thought when I was diagnosed with celiac, that was the answer to my health problems. I've been strict gluten-free for 6 months (recent bloodwork still shows elevated tranglut levels but normal gliadin levels).. but now I'm wondering if it's my implants. I'm sure autoimmune issues is in my genes, but now I'm concerned I just added fuel to the fire. In the next few weeks I'm going to run some more bloodwork and meet with a new GI doctor.. but I'm seriously regretting getting the surgery. Looks mean nothing if you're unhealthy and unhappy. My husband thinks I'm over-thinking it too much, but I just have this "gut" feeling that I can't shake. Any advise or opinions are appreciated. I know this sounds like a very "first world" problem.. but it's a big decision to get them removed. :blink:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

Aw geez, what a terrible thing to have happen.

A trauma like surgery can trigger celiac. Unfortunately, celiac does not cause ANA so you have something else going on. Have you done any research on breast implants and autoimmunity? I know the old silicone gel ones were really a problem for some women. I don't know whether things change when the implants are removed, which you would want to know.

And don't belittle your "first world" problem. It's affecting your life very dramatically and it sounds very upsetting. Of course it's a big decision to get implants removed!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your input you two. I've been killing myself over it. I can accept that I have the genes for autoimmunue diseases.. but I can't cope with the notion that I've made myself sicker or caused my health issues by getting unnecessary surgery. The high ANA is what really bothers me.. but I had that test done when I was first diagnosed with celiac back in September. I've heard of it coming down after going gluten free? I guess I could get it retested and see..

To be honest I think I know exactly what triggered my celiac.. I started a new job, moved to a new town, got married, and found out my dad had stage four liver cancer all in one month. Bam.. stress upon stress. I wouldn't doubt I had it before that too.. but I never had major symptoms until around that time.

I'm still weighing my options about my implants though. I just have so much anxiety over it.. but I don't want to "disfigure" myself if I don't have to. At the end of the day they are uncomfortable so I should probably have another consult with my doctor. Arg... I know I just need to give it more time and see. Thanks again for letting me vent here! :rolleyes:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a little reading and apparently 20% of women who get implants have another surgery. The main problem is capsular contracture, which can apparently be uncomfortable like you're describing. That would be something to talk to your doctor about.

I poked around a bit and the scientific arguments surrounding breast implants and autoimmunity are vigorous. Some studies show women with implants tend to have ANA more often, others don't show a difference. Surgeons keep reporting series of cases of scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia-like symptoms in women with implants, but nobody has been able to consistently demonstrate a causal relationship in a big study. To add to the confusion implants keep changing; the ones on the market in the US were only approved in 2006.

You might read this letter in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that women with fibromyalgia symptoms improved significantly more than those who kept their implants. It was done in 1994, and the implants would have been somewhat different than yours.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199511233332113

I'd give it some time, and getting the ANA rechecked sounds wise. It may be that things continue to improve gluten-free.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




I understand your fear. I think talking to your Dr. is a good idea, and be sure to ask any questions you have. I thought I should also mention, that it takes time to heal from any gluten damage you may have, so don't jump into a hasty decision about your implants based on a non-specific blood test.

Maybe a repeat of the blood test would be a good idea now that you've been gluten-free for a while? It might help give you peace of mind..or tell you if you're on to something?

Healing time will depend on how much damage you had, your age, your health in general before Dx, and whether or not you are getting any cc.

When we stop gluten we're led to believe we'll miraculously become completely healthy right away. When it takes some time we become anxious and think that something else must be wrong with us..when we just need more healing time?

Best wishes to you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for looking up all the information Skylark! I've been doing some research too and there are a lot of reported cases similar to mine.. but I know that celiac disease can cause some pretty wacky symptoms too. It's just strange that I'm not getting much better, and actually seem to be developing other odd symptoms. It could be I have another underlying autoimmune issue or that the implants are just making me sick..OR that I'm taking longer than normal to heal. I don't think I'll ever know.. but I will definitely follow up with my doctors. I'm 27, pretty athletic, and very healthy from a dietary standpoint. I eliminated dairy, almost all grains, corn (although it's in everything so I have to be more careful) and I take a multi-vitamin everyday. I want so badly to be healthy and to stop thinking that I'm a "ticking time-bomb"..on a daily basis I never know if I'm on the road to recovery or just getting sicker.

I think you got it right Bubba's Mom.. we become anxious when we don't notice results right away. That's definitely where I am right now! Blah :unsure:

Thanks for all your input everyone. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow and I'll let you know what he says. ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck. I'm glad I don't have to face that decision!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aw geez, what a terrible thing to have happen.

A trauma like surgery can trigger celiac. Unfortunately, celiac does not cause ANA so you have something else going on. Have you done any research on breast implants and autoimmunity? I know the old silicone gel ones were really a problem for some women. I don't know whether things change when the implants are removed, which you would want to know.

And don't belittle your "first world" problem. It's affecting your life very dramatically and it sounds very upsetting. Of course it's a big decision to get implants removed!

Actually, having Celiac can cause elevated ANA levels. ANA only tells you that you have inflammation in your body and any number of autoimmune problems can elevate numbers. Mine has been elevated for years and has been slowly coming down the longer I am gluten free. Having any autoimmune problem can elevate it.

As far as plastic surgery is concerned, from what I was once told by a plastic surgeon, it is a wiser choice not to have any foreign objects implanted in the body when you have autoimmune problems. It is also better to avoid injectables like Botox, Relastin or any of the anti-wrinkle treatments that are commonly used today. Anything that is injected or surgically implanted has the chance of further aggravating your immune system. I was told by this particular surgeon that he refuses to do any such work on anyone who has autoimmune diseases. He has turned away patients for this reason and I had a lot of respect for that. I know this is a big decision

but if your problems are getting worse, then it's something to consider.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that information Gemini. I wish I knew more about my body and genes before I had the procedure.. but what can you do.. <_<

I met with my doctor today and he was very supportive. He doesn't think the implants are causing me the issues, but he said that if my other doctors recommend I get them removed he'll do it free of charge and it's an easy procedure. He said I should bounce back because I'm young. Honestly I don't care about my figure.. I just want to feel better! I have an appointment with a new GI doctor at the end of the week and another appointment with an immunologist. I'll see what they say and will definitely get my ANA tested again. At the end of the day if I have to get them removed, I'm okay with that. It's my husband I feel bad for! haha.. he's amazing though and only wants to see me healthy too.

Thanks for all the support here. I really appreciate it!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really hope you get this sorted out and get to feeling better. It's great to hear that your doctor is supportive.

I think getting ANA retested is a great idea. I don't know where Gemini's info comes from but the association with ANA and celiac is not very strong. Here is a study showing what I mean. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20037707 There are false positive ANA in 3%-5% of women who don't have symptoms of an ANA-associated autoimmune disease like Sjogren's or lupus but I'm not sure they are high positives. That said, Gemini clearly has ANA from celiac and I'm sure there are other folks who do. It would be good if they're falling.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second getting your ANA retested. My level was high at the beginning of last year. I went on the gluten free diet in July and was diagnosed in August. When my bloodwork was run again at the end of the year my levels had dropped within range. I'm not 100% sure it was because of the gluten-free diet, but I can't point to anything else that may have contributed to the drop.

As for the implants, I can't help you with that except to offer some of mine as a replacement. :P I acutally had mine reduced and then they grew back. Ugh. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good to know Celtic! I'm sure it would be better to wait a year before I get re-tested, but it can't hurt to do it now I suppose. I've been gluten-free for about 6 months. Do you remember what your ANA titer and pattern was? Mine was 1:1280 with a homonegenous pattern. My doctor never even discussed this with me. I accidentally came across it when I was faxing my medical records to a new doctor. I didn't even know what it meant.. looked everything up online then freaked out!

You are so right about the grass being greener. All my life I was tiny on top and larger on the bottom. I just wanted to be more proportioned so I decided to get the surgery. Yes I look much better in t-shirts.. but I think it took me having larger breasts to know they don't really make me feel all that different. If anything, they are just causing me more pain than they're worth! :o

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me and my D cup could have told you life isn't much different with boobs. Plus mine are gonna sag to my belly button in another 20 years! :lol:

Homogenous is the most common false positive ANA test. You definitely need to get it redone!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really hope you get this sorted out and get to feeling better. It's great to hear that your doctor is supportive.

I think getting ANA retested is a great idea. I don't know where Gemini's info comes from but the association with ANA and celiac is not very strong. Here is a study showing what I mean. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20037707 There are false positive ANA in 3%-5% of women who don't have symptoms of an ANA-associated autoimmune disease like Sjogren's or lupus but I'm not sure they are high positives. That said, Gemini clearly has ANA from celiac and I'm sure there are other folks who do. It would be good if they're falling.

The information came from a hematologist/immunologist I saw for wonky blood results. As ANA is a general test for inflammation, anyone could have an out of range ANA today because inflammation from various sources is rampant. Her explanation was that as Celiac can cause such widespread damage and inflammation, her experience has been that most of her autoimmune patients always have elevated labs. I have to say, mine where extremely high but ever so slowly, the longer I am gluten free, they are coming down. They are half of what they used to be and I have 4 AI diseases. I do not take meds, other than thyroid hormone and eye drops for the Sjogren's.

Having Celiac can and will cause wonky blood tests. Unless you are very symptomatic for certain AI diseases, then don't worry about it. The worry can cause more problems, sometimes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that information Gemini. I wish I knew more about my body and genes before I had the procedure.. but what can you do.. <_<

I met with my doctor today and he was very supportive. He doesn't think the implants are causing me the issues, but he said that if my other doctors recommend I get them removed he'll do it free of charge and it's an easy procedure. He said I should bounce back because I'm young. Honestly I don't care about my figure.. I just want to feel better! I have an appointment with a new GI doctor at the end of the week and another appointment with an immunologist. I'll see what they say and will definitely get my ANA tested again. At the end of the day if I have to get them removed, I'm okay with that. It's my husband I feel bad for! haha.. he's amazing though and only wants to see me healthy too.

Thanks for all the support here. I really appreciate it!

If you haven't been on the diet very long, then you may want to wait a bit before considering surgery. All of your symptoms and blood work issues scream of Celiac Disease but can all be calmed down and improved upon over time. I have been doing this for just 7 years, next month, and with each passing year, am getting better and better. You may even have triggered before your implant surgery, which is usually the case as you don't get that bad overnight, and the surgery itself stressed your autoimmune system. It's a lot of guesswork. However, the offer of free surgery to remove them is a very nice offer. :) You are being very adult about all this so I think you will do well. It is a tough decision to make!

I wish you well but please be patient with recovery and don't stress too much about your ANA levels. Mine were off the charts and I never gave it a moment of worry. I knew all my AI diseases were causing the spikes and knew I would get better. The glass is half full, not half empty! ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,357
    • Total Posts
      920,528
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Well, I have never cruised on Carnival, but I am sure they can accommodate you.  I assume that you have already alerted them that you require gluten free meals.  If not, please contact Carnival immediately. Here are my own tips.  Some folks eat off the buffet line, but not me or hubby except for coffee/drinks and baked potatoes (jacketed) and fruit that we wash in the restroom (people touch everything!)  Okay, I am OCD, but my last glutening which occurred the previous summer made me sick for three months (GI tested my antibodies to prove it).   When we board, I go to the buffet restaurant ASAP and ask to speak to the Head Waiter (they are usually there greeting customers and often trying to up sell to specialty restaurants.   Let them know you have celiac disease and must be gluten free.  They may try to tell you that each dish is clearly marked gluten free, but really?  Who's to say that some other passenger is not going to switch spoons (or I have seen passengers wandering around with serving spoons...I kid you not!  The staff usually will  go downstairs and fetch a gluten free meal for me from the main dining room's kitchen as there is usually a dedicated area for allergies.  We have to wait up to 20 minutes or so but it is worth it.  Starving?  Get a baked potato wrapped in foil until your gluten-free meal arrives.  Now, do not do this every single time.  Those folks have to go down several levels to fetch food and you don't want to be a pain.  But if the main dining area is closed, they need to make an effort to keep you safe.  On our last cruise, we were advised not to eat anywhere but the main dining room and that included room service (they are not trained to handled allergies).  My headwaiters have sent goodies (prepackaged gluten free rolls and cookies for us to keep in our room.  We can always grab whole fruit (I wash it first) to snack on.  I bring gluten-free non-perishable items with me to eat while at port in case we can't find anything (which can be often).  Again, when we get back to our ship, we contact our headwaiter and he/she can prepare some snacks until we have dinner.   Be grateful and not picky.   We eat all meals in the dining room (or at least as much as possible).  Our headwaiter had a few other celiacs on our cruise this summer, so they prepared some gluten-free waffles, etc. for our breakfast!  What a treat!  At breakfast, we'd have different waiters, so our headwaiter would always instruct our waiters each and every time!  They even let me tour the kitchen and showed me the allergy section.   The only time I did not feel safe was at the buffet.  We once ordered gluten-free pizza and I realized (I watched) that that restaurant didn't really have the gluten-free thing down), do I called him on it.  Got the manager etc.  So, be careful.  Other cruises made us frozen Udi"s which was just fine with us.  They covered it up in foil so that we would not get any cross contamination from their pizza oven. So, have fun!   Tipping?  We prepaid our gratuities, but we gave our headwaiter an extra $200.00 for his time.  For us, it was well worth the service and safety of our food.  It does not hurt to slip some of the tip ahead of time (like after your first meal!)  
    • <strong>Celiac Disease & Gluten-free Diet Information at Celiac.com. Gluten Free Diabetes ::The 3 Step Trick that Reverses Diabetes Permanently in ... View the full article
    • I had a biopsy done (2 samples, 1 on a lesion and 1 next to lesions), and also more bloodwork done. All came back negative. However, I only had been eating gluten for 2 weeks prior, and it took a week of gluten for lesions to reappear. I also used a topical steroid off and on (1x a week approximately) for a month or so before testing. The dermatologist told me to stay off gluten though, and said she wants to do more allergy testing (her next open testing appt is in 6 months!!). I know I'm not the DR, but I dont think it's allergies...without a doubt, my skin begins clearing about 2 weeks post gluten-free diet...this is without changing anything else in my lifestyle. And when i had to go back on gluten before my biopsy, it took about a week, but did reappear. Now, about 2 weeks post biopsy and gluten-free, it had begun clearing until i worked outside all day in heat, humidity,  sweat etc and it has definitely irritated all the places that were healing (not new breakouts, just aggravating what was going away!). All that being said, i have a friend who is an MD( who's hobby is to attend conferences on skin conditions!), and she has told me that without a doubt, I have celiac/DH.  I think I just feel like I need test results and paperwork to show for it...especially to show family members who are unsupportive (gross understatement!) of the extreme changes I've had to make!
    • Sorry ! I have never cruised before.  Just wanting to follow your topic.  Good luck! Have a great,  safe vacation.  
    • Hi there, I hope you're all having a good day! I'll be heading on a week-long Carnival cruise shortly and had a few questions: -What is the tipping protocol? I've prepaid gratuities, but feel like the food request will warrant something extra. Should I tip the headwaiter? Hostess? Regular waiter? Chef? Those cooking at, say, the sandwich or pasta bars? If so, how much is appropriate, and should I tip at the beginning of the cruise, the end, or split it up? -It looks like the main dining room will be closed during lunch hours on most days. Any recommendations on safe bets for midday meals? I'll be on the Carnival Sunshine, for what that's worth. Thank you so much for any information you can share!  
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,432
    • Most Online
      1,763

    Newest Member
    rbeckler60
    Joined