Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘autoimmunity’

Silicone Implants Part 2

Silicone manufacturers maintain that their products are safe and claim there is no evidence that the implants cause any health problems.  Research on the safety of silicone tells a different story.  When researching the safety of silicone breast implants a while back I ran across a very interesting article in a medical journal.  The article did not have anything to with implants but brought up an interesting fact.  The article actually described a 12 year old girl with a silicone drainage tube in her brain.  The patient subsequently developed antibodies to the silicone drainage tube.  The reason this is so important is that it shows us two things.  First of all, the focus of safety and side effects have been on the liquid silicone in the implants, which start leaking from the implants right after they are implanted.  They do not need to rupture to leak.   It was fond that the liquid silicone migrates through the bag in to the body.  This case though shows us that not only does the body react to the migrating liquid silicone, but also to the solid silicone bag of the implant. The antibodies produced against the silicone can then tag healthy tissue for destruction in a process known as autoimmunity.

Contrary to what we are taught in medicine, antibodies are not always specific to their target.  Antibodies have different levels of specificity.  High affinity antibodies are more specific to their target, and are the primary form of antibodies produced by a healthy immune system.  Low affinity antibodies are less specific to nonspecific, and are the primary antibody produced in autoimmune disorders.  Because low affinity antibodies are nonspecific to their target they can inadvertently tag tissues for destruction by white blood cells since the cells can share “markers” with the antigens the antibodies are supposed to target.

Understanding the above concept helps us to understand how silicone creates connective tissue disorders.  Low affinity antibodies targeting silicone can mistake connective tissues, which contain silicon, with the silicone the antibodies are supposed to target.

Not every woman with breast implants will develop connective tissue disorders or other problems though.  The reason is that the production of low affinity antibodies is not regulated by the presence of an antigen, but rather is due to the level of adrenal function.  The adrenal glands produce hormones known as corticosteroids that modulate our immune responses.  When the adrenal glands are healthy they produce sufficient levels of the corticosteroids for the production of high affinity antibodies.  If the adrenal glands become suppressed from conditions such as Prednisone use, chronic stress, or stimulant abuse the lowered levels of corticosteroids can lead to a higher production of low affinity antibodies.  This increases the risk of connective tissue disorders.

It is also possible that anti-silicone antibodies play a role in the failure of implants.  The average lifespan of an implant is around 12 years.  The implants are not being exposed to ultraviolet light  or other external factors that can cause silicone deterioration.  Therefore, it should be considered that the immune system’s assault on the silicone could play a role in the walls of the bag weakening and eventually rupturing.

Liquid silicone does pose more of a problem than solid silicone though.  Once liquid silicone leaks in to the body the silicone migrates in to various tissues making it impossible to completely remove.  There is even some concern that liquid silicone might be able to migrate in to the brain.  Regardless, women with silicone poisoning from leakage of liquid silicone risk a lifetime of health problems.

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Silicone Implants Part 1

The FDA just lifted its ban on silicone implants.  Instead of waiting for safety studies, they have decided to allow them back on the market with a “wait and see” attitude to see if any problems crop up.  The FDA is supposed to hold off on the approval of drugs and medical devices until safety can be established, but it appears they are once again violating their own rules to protect the profits of big business.  It seems to be a common practice for the FDA to leave drugs are devices that are found to be very dangerous or deadly on the market unless the FDA is forced to remove them.

The safety of silicone implants has been in question for quite a long time.  Back in the early 60s both Dow Corning Wright (DCW), and the FDA submitted interoffice memorandums admitting that the original breast implants could cause problems due to the polyurethane coating, which decomposed in the body in to the carcinogen TDA.  Despite the known danger both DCW and the FDA did not remove these implants from the market but rather stated that their use should be limited.  The coated implants were eventually banned because of the danger of cancer from these type implants.

Safety problems did not end there though.  Silicone implants have been suspected of causing a host of problems from autoimmunity to connective tissue disorders.  Talking to women over the years with silicone implants I have heard complaints suspected from the implants including skin disorders, chronic sinus infections, joint disorders, memory loss, etc.  A personal friend of mine developed breast cancer in her right breast after her right silicone implant ruptured.  She had the implants replaced with saline implants thinking they were safer.  The cancer was eventually put in to remission with herbs and ozone therapy.  When her saline implants started to leak she started developing malignant tumors all over her body.  She sold her ozone unit to help cover her medical bills.  I received a call one day from a mutual friend and I was told that our friend was in hospice.  She passed away shortly afterward.  I have no doubt that the implants were a direct cause of her death.

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