I’m sick and tired. I’m tired of simply “dealing” with the pain caused by my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). Since my diagnoses at 23 years old, I’ve probably tried 30 different combinations of Rx’s. Some have made me nauseous while others have made me feel great. It’s strange to say that I’ve taken chemotherapy medication, but have never had cancer. I’ve been poked, prodded and my body’s been stretched out in every direction. At the end of the day, my 20s were anything other than boring. And then I woke up and decided I’d finally had enough. Something had to change and I had to figure out what was happening inside my body.

Alas. I’ve turned myself into a living, breathing science project over the last month and a half since I began seeing a naprapathic doctor at Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago. I have learned so much since the science project began. In our first hour and a half long visit, my doctor and I discussed so many details of my life. We talked about everywhere I’ve lived, all the medical conditions my family and I have ever had, my diet and exercise habits. And during the meeting, we found a potential tie between the dental implants I received roughly 6 months prior to my first symptoms of RA. So, we ordered a metal allergy test during that meeting and within two weeks, we learned that I am allergic to tin. I didn’t previously know any of this, but it turns out that tin can be found in endless amounts of everyday, household items. Tin is in toothpaste, soaps, perfumes and plastics like Tupperware. Contrary to popular belief, soda cans are not typically made of tin. The most important discovery we made is that tin can be found in dental implants.

I’m beyond floored to learn that the dental implants my surgeon installed in my mouth could have triggered my RA and caused all of the pain and suffering I’ve gone through over the last 7 years. It’s ridiculous. I’m told that if I have the implants removed, the RA will likely not be cured. I’m told that if the implants didn’t trigger the RA when I was 23 years old, something else would have, eventually. It angers me to think about how much better my 20’s could have been if I never had the implants which may have caused my RA. Now I have to make a decision and decide whether or not I want to have the implants removed. Sure, the monetary cost for the procedure would be high, but the expectations for a cure would be even higher. Additionally, the thought of having metal that’s currently drilled into my jaw removed from my jaw is scarier than all hell. The first procedure was extremely painful and I’m guessing the removal surgery would be 1,000 times worse.

What to do… What to do.

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Comments
  1. Think I would LEAVE them IN. – I have 1 & need 2 more, plus more cavaties (scarrrrrred of dentists!!!) My crown came of off my post from this past year & I dont even want to go back to get it fixed,…. I may have them ALL pulled & get False ones! Implants costs 2-3,000 dollars EACH!!!!! I can not afford 1 let alone 2-3 AND several cavaties!!!! Also – I have always heard & read that the disease is in your body allready, if u are predispositioned to have it,…. – BUT something has to trigger it, like a Infection etc,…. Bailey’s was a sinus infection 3 weeks before the Knee swelled – overnight & out of NOWHERE!!!!! Crazy!

    • katiestew says:

      Ugh! Getting implants is the pits, but I think getting them removed would be even worse.. Especially not knowing whether or not it will help until they’re gone. Sending Bailey some love… I hope you are both well.

  2. Tessa says:

    That is horrible! It seems odd to me that removing an allergen would help with symptoms. It may not cure the RA, but when I decided to go gluten free and remove THAT allergen from my body, I definitely feel better than I did. However, what a costly procedure! I mean, I think if I was in your shoes, I would wait it out and see if there is anything else you can do, other than pulling the darn things out!

    I am so glad you have this blog. It is a wonderful reminder to me that I am not alone in this battle of living life in pain.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    On a positive note, I saw Jon Stewart’s Show last night via internet and there is a new book out by Dr David Agus “The End of Illness.” Check it out!

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-february-2-2012-david-agus

    Tessa

    • katiestew says:

      Hi Tessa,
      Thanks for the note! I agree with you on the gluten free front. It’s making me feel sooooo much better. Oh and I will check out Dr. Agus’s book. I love Jon Stewart. Glad to hear you’re feeling good these days. Take care.

  3. dreamzncolor says:

    That’s crazy. I actually thought about this possibility myself. I had fillings for the first time when I was 17. I was diagnosed with RA when I was 18. The idea that after removing the implants your RA would not be cured is dreadful. Especially with such high costs and discomfort. I would be all over it, no matter what the cost, if I knew it would take away this disease. Even though I’m doing better than I have in a long time, I’m always fearing the other shoe will drop. I think maybe, I would do some legwork to see if I could find out more about removal of an allergen and the link to RA. I tried researching a link to dental work and RA last summer, but ran into the same information quite a bit.

  4. Jessica says:

    Wow Katie, that is INSANE. Literally maddening that these two activities could be related.

  5. Robert Smith says:

    Very interesting.

    I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis when I was 22. However, the pain started when I was 20.

    To this day I’m convinced that an injury to my ankle triggered it.

    The hypothesis of metal allergies is fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

    • katiestew says:

      Have you made any correlations between metal and your ankle injury at age 20? I’d love to research this topic further and imput from people like yourself is more than helpful. Thanks for sharing your story!

  6. Chris says:

    Hi Katie,
    Our 16 yr-old son is suffering from RA-like symptoms which have been variously diagnosed as JRA, fibromyalgia, and possibly Lyme disease. The onset of his symptoms (which happened twice, with remission after the first time) came after another illness like an intestinal viral flu. However, this was also all after he had had braces put in. Did your onset of symptoms also correspond with another illness? I would be very interested to know. We are pursuing treatment right now through neuro modulation technique and nutritional/metabolic therapy–with very limited progress. We would love any thoughts. He is in constant pain, with chronic fatigue. Thank you very much.

    • katiestew says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your son, Chris. Although I do not remember being sick at the time, my mom often reminds me that I was exposed to Hoof and Mouth disease around the same time my symptoms began and shortly after my oral surgery. Please keep me posted. I would like to learn as much as possible about the potential connection between metal and RA. Sorry also for my delayed response, it seems your post go stuck in spam land for a while.

Hi and thanks for stopping by katiestew.wordpress.com! I will review and approve your comment shortly. If you have questions or want to get in touch, please feel free to email me at katiestew18@hotmail.com or follow me via twitter at @kstew_arthritis. Stay well!

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