Healing from Silicone and Saline Breast Implants
Healing involves restoring equilibrium by reducing the toxic overload and supporting the organs and systems of the body that have been offset by the foreign interference (breast implants). Reducing toxic interference in all forms is the basis for healing. Toxic interference includes all foreign, synthetic, or opportunistic disturbances within the natural systems of the body. These can include any foreign objects, mercury amalgams, chemicals (inhaled or absorbed by the skin, scalp, or digestive tract), heavy metals, mold, air pollution, water contamination, pesticides, parasites, infections (viral, bacterial, fungal), cavities, electromagnetic waves, radiation, etc. When closely examining one’s environment and body, these hidden sources can be revealed. By reducing toxic exposure and implementing natural support, the body becomes able to function again and move away from its disrupted and influenced state.
How is the body affected by the implants?
The implants act as toxic stressors to the immune system, gut, endocrine glands, and other organs with the chronic stress of the foreign body reaction, silicone toxicity, heavy metals, chemicals, biotoxins, biofilm, and oxidant burden.
The immune system is the body’s first line of defense and it is chronically stimulated by (1) the foreign body reaction that occurs as a response to the two large foreign objects in the body, (2) the contamination of gel bleed (silicone and heavy metals) into the body, and (3) the common occurrence of biofilm, which is adherent bacteria that covers the surfaces of implants and results in a low grade chronic bacterial infection, chronic inflammation, and can cause capsule contracture. When there is longterm and ongoing immune defense such as with implants, a weakened immune system and state of chronic inflammation occur. The body is then left vulnerable to pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and other invaders that it would normally be able to defend against. Detoxification is also hindered as a result of inflammation and to the toxic overload that is incurred. These are some of the ways the implants can then cause a cascade of other health issues to develop, as invaders proliferate and cause many symptoms, while also inflammation increases and detoxification decreases. In other words, elevated toxic body burden, systemic inflammation, and reduced immunity and detoxification create a vicious cycle of vulnerability
The gut has also been called the body’s “second brain” and is intimately connected with the immune system, hormones, mood, and detoxification. It is where 70% of the immune system lies. The gut is offset by the implants because it is also affected by the weakened immune system and consequentially it is also affected by the proliferation of opportunistic pathogens. Also, its intestinal walls absorb toxins and contribute to inflammation. Therefore the delicate balance of the gut microbiome is adversely effected – the gut becomes unbalanced and pathogens like candida grow rampant. Gastrointestinal and digestive problems such as leaky gut, gut dysbiois, irritable bowel syndrome, bowel inflammation (colitis), allergies/food intolerances, parasites, fungus (candida) and more develop.
The endocrine system is affected as the toxins that leak out of the implants mimic hormones and attach to receptors, disrupting the hormones. Silicone and many heavy metals from the implants are endocrine disruptors. They fit like a hand to a glove to estrogen receptors via estrogen molecular mimicry, displacing and competing with the body’s natural hormones. They can migrate out of the implants into the nearby estrogen sensitive breast tissue. The endocrine sensitive thymus gland is also nearby and thymus disruption affects the development of immune cells. Eventually, the body goes into a state of chronic stress and this can create an imbalance in cortisol levels (which function to regulate stress and reduce inflammation) and results in adrenal fatigue – where the body is in a constant fight or flight state. Other endocrine glands include the pancreas, hypothalamus, ovaries, parathyroid, pineal gland, and pituitary gland. The endocrine system regulates much of the body’s processes and damage to these glands has significant health effects.
Everything is interconnected – the immune system, the gut (70% of the immune system is in the mucosal lining of the gut), the adrenal glands and thyroid, the liver, etc. When one piece becomes chronically imbalanced, a cascade of dysregulation develops.
How do you heal breast implant illness?
(1) Explant is the first and most important step to resolving foreign interference and artificial disturbance.
(2) Good nutrition is key and necessary for healing, it will be the most important influence in how you feel day to day and in how quickly your body restores itself and eliminates toxins. Provide your body with quality food it can derive nutrients. Reinforce a clean organic, non-GMO diet full of dark greens, healthy fats, proteins, and high fiber. This will fundamentally assist all body processes. Eating clean is the gentle and whole approach to extract the nutrients that are needed to boost the body’s systems so they can get back to functioning efficiently and in detoxing out the heavy toxins. The body knows how to detox if nourished well.
(3) Repair the body and build it up with nutrients: support the gastrointestinal and digestive system, the kidneys, endocrine organs (thyroid/adrenals), immune system, liver, and/or any other areas that you have been affected by. Understand your genetics, check if you have MTHFR and other genetic variants with 23 & Me so you can customize your food and supplements to your specific body. You want to recuperate the various systems and get them running smoothly before starting detoxification, this is so the body can have the energy and right environment to handle detox.
(4) Detoxify and eliminate stored toxins and pathogens that have accumulated: remove parasites, yeast (candida), reduce infections (bacterial and viral), mold, silicone, chelate heavy metals, remove mercury amalgams, and remove any other foreign material. Go slowly with detoxification, do not try to eliminate too much too fast, as that is an aggressive approach that can hurt your body and overall slow down the healing process. Be aware that with detoxification it is common to experience a Herxheimer Reaction – a temporary response that includes flu-like symptoms of headache, brain fog, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, body aches, general malaise, sweating, chills, mood swings, or other issues. Moving heavy metals and chemicals throughout the body and eliminating pathogens will cause inflammation and Herxheimer Reactions. Take detox slow, if you have a bad reaction stop everything and rest.
(4) Be patient with your healing process, understand that it is not linear and can take months to 1-3 years to see significant improvements in your health – depending on how long you had the implants, if you have MTHFR and other genetic variants, the progression of the illness, if the capsules were fully removed, if there was a rupture, if you had mold, etc. After explant, your body will go through some ups and downs as it calibrates to the changes. First, you will notice initial short term bloating from the surgery. You will also feel certain symptoms go away and you will feel better. Then after a few weeks or months some symptoms will return as your body’s detoxification pathways begin to pump out stored heavy metals and chemicals. This will cause Herxheimer effects and some symptoms will go up and down for some time, until eventually they gradually dissipate one by one. Generally within one to two years women feel considerably better. Trust your instincts and listen intuitively to your body. If you are not noticing improvements after a year start looking at other sources of toxicity – unseen mold in your environment, chemicals in the home (carpet, paint, formaldehyde, cleaning products), lead exposure in paint or water, pesticide exposure, bacterial or fungal infection producing biotoxins, parasites, mercury amalgams, infected root canals, allergies (gluten, dairy, salicylate, etc), etc. Keep working to discover the cause so you can eliminate it. Note specific symptoms with the time they occur, note where you are when they occur, document what you ate and the drinking water, etc. Look diligently for patterns. Be kind to your body and listen carefully to it. Healing is a mind and body journey that requires patience and persistence towards your path to health.
PART I: Long Term – Diet, Gut Health, & the Immune System
1. Establish a fundamental core of optimal health: nutrition, water, sleep, exercise and supplementation. A key part of healing is balance and wholeness.
Nutrition – After explant, the next crucial step in healing is a healthy diet. Nourish yourself with organic, non GMO, whole foods and eliminate sugar, including little to no fruit (recommended are lemons, limes, and berries, including blueberries which are an excellent source of antioxidants). Include dark greens and other vegetables (at least three cups), which are sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals. For proteins, have free range, grass fed eggs and meats (caution that “organic” may be inclusive of soy feed for animals); and bone broth soups. A nutritious breakfast with protein is essential to healing, it may be one of the most important meals of the day and will help stabilize your adrenals. Integrate lots of healthy fats with your meals, these are important to make your hormones, reduce inflammation, support nerve and brain and other functions. Recommended are avocado, coconut, flaxseed oils and omega-3 fish/cod/krill oils. Have grounded chia seeds and flax seeds with food or in smoothies – the grounded version is more absorbable for the body than the whole version. Raw nuts are also good sources of healthy fats, proteins and fiber. Examples are almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios – avoid peanuts, which can carry mold. Please note however that if you have recurring viruses, foods that are high in arginine (such as nuts and seeds) may be avoided. Use natural mineral rich salts, such as Himalayan salt. Apple cider vinegar can also be beneficial as well as adding turmeric or ginger to food to assist with inflammation. Overall have a diet inclusive of vegetables, protein, healthy fats, high fiber, nuts, and some carbs.
Eliminate allergan-prone and system stressing foods that can induce inflammation and other maladies.
Common reactive foods to avoid include Gluten (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, oats, etc.), Cassein (dairy), Peanuts, Soy, Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar, Yeast, Salicylates, Food Additives/Processed foods, Pop Drinks, and Acid Forming Foods. Cut out all sugar/sweeteners and be cautious of dairy and gluten which can contribute to inflammation. Correcting gut symbiosis, common in many of us, involves an aggressive no sugar diet. Cut out all processed foods – such as anything from cans and boxes where chemical fillers and preservatives are used.
Diets that have worked in promoting healing in the breast implant illness groups are the antifungal/low mycotoxin diet, Autoimmune Protocol, raw food diet (for antioxidants), and the Zone Diet (2/3 colorful vegetables, 1/3 protein the size of your palm, and a healthy fat). The aim is to reduce inflammation, incorporate gentle and nutrient rich foods that are absorbable and also assist digestion, and to not feed the fungus and other pathogens that develop with implants and contribute to our symptoms
Water – Hydration is important for the energy, cognitive function, mineral balance, supporting the kidneys and for flushing out toxins. How much water you should drink is based upon your size, lifestyle choices, and circumstances in your life. Drink one third of your body weight in fluid ounces per day of purified, alkaline, mineralized water (so if someone ways 150 pounds, it’s 50 fluid ounces of water per day – one glass of water is eight ounces, so that would be about six glasses of water). Eternal water is great and has been personally healing for me, but there are many brands of water to choose from. Have an extra one glass of water for every vice (coffee, alcohol, sugar, etc) to antidote those choices because they are diuretics and harmful to the body. As well have an extra glass of water for every one hour of exercise. The special circumstances are if someone is nursing or on special medication. Most people are dehydrated, a reduction in water results in a reduction of energy. It is recommended to go to the bathroom six to eight times a day.
Sleep – A good night sleep can be defined by when you fall asleep within 20 minutes and sleep uninterrupted for 7-8 hours. The ability to go to sleep and ability to stay sleep are important for your two 3-4 REM cycles to rest your adrenal glands. Trouble going to sleep is usually an anxiety issue and the best solution for this is exercise. A reason someone may be waking up is that they are hypoglycemic, which means their sugar level is too low and they are waking up. So anchor your mornings with your heavier proteins and then right before bed, such as 15 minutes before going to bed, have a small amount of protein such as a tablespoon of yogurt or a handful of nuts and you can use supplements such as calcium/magnesium or melatonin. Also, some point between 9-11pm you will notice a dip in energy and that is when you need to go to bed, listen to your body. If you fall asleep earlier in the evening, that is a thyroid issue not an adrenal issue.
Exercise – The key points are flexibility, strength (for lean body mass), and aerobics. Try to get any exercise in to improve circulation, to boost the lymphatic system, and assist detoxification.
Supplementation – The basics are a good multivitamin (include iron if you are anemic), quality omega-3 oils (fish/cod/krill, flaxseed, hemp, etc), calcium and magnesium (done in a 2-1 ratio), and a probiotic – which leads into the importance of supporting your gut.
Note on all supplements:
1. Try to use supplements without silicon dioxide/silica and titanium dioxide. Natural silicon forms the backbone of synthetic silicone and many of us with breast implants become sensitive to it. In the scientific article “Immunologic stimulation of T lymphocytes by silica after use of silicone mammary implants,” by silicone immunology experts Dr. Shanklin and Dr. Smalley, it was found that “The data presented confirms the silicone implant patients respond immunologically to the silicon dioxide contained in mammary prosthesis.”
2. For best efficacy, use high quality supplements in their purest form with little to no additives (magnesium stearate, calcium carbonate, potassium sorbate, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, etc.). Read more here. High quality supplements can be defined by absorbability, the form of vitamins or minerals used (such as B-12 in the active form methylcobalamin vs. the cheaper and less efficient cyanocobalmin form), where they are from, and what additives are used.
3. The 23 and Me analysis comes highly recommended to understand your genetic variants, so that you can customize your food and supplements to your body.
2. Support your gut
Gut health is paramount to restoring the equilibrium that is often offset by the toxicity of the implants. The gut flora plays an important role in the immune system, digestive system, inflammation, and autoimmunity. Gut symptoms resulting from the cascade of effects from the implants include leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bowel inflammation (colitis), Crohns, allergies/food intolerances, parasites, and fungus (candida). Support your gut flora through high quality probiotics, a whole foods diet rich with fiber, cut out any allergenic foods that induce inflammation (and therefore slow down digestion and hinder detoxification), avoid antibiotics, include bone broth and collagen to restore your gut’s lining and reduce intestinal inflammation. This is important to also reestablish a balanced immune response. Correcting gut symbiosis involves an aggressive no sugar diet. The flora promote and calibrate much of the immune system and also affect your detoxification pathways. A good probiotic is one with diverse and specific strains of bacteria. Rotate your probiotics so you get a variety. Although not as necessary as probiotics, you may also consider using prebiotics (nondigestable fiber usually listed as inulin), which are the food that feed the flora (probiotics) in your gut.
The gastrointestinal track (gut) has also been called the body’s second brain. Gut flora via the enteric nervous system (ENS) communicates with the brain, this forms the gut-brain axis. ENS lines two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to rectum. This axis involves neurons, hormones, and chemical neurotransmitters which directly have an impact on the environmental conditions the gut flora experience. These same microbiota then respond to diet, stress, heavy metals, and more. From John Hopkins Medicine, “Hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this “brain in your gut” is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health, and even the way you think.” Supporting gut health is also important to assist the detoxification pathways. Toxins are absorbed and detoxified by the gut – through metabolism by digestive enzymes and metabolism by gut flora – on the way to the liver. After the liver, bile passes through the intestines on it’s way out. Gut health promotes proper functioning of these processes.
3. Boost the immune system:
The first line of defense against the implants, from the moment they are placed in the body, is the immune system. Breast implants overwhelm and weaken the immune system, which then allows opportunistic pathogens to take a foothold. The body is then left vulnerable to pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and other invaders that it would normally be able to defend against.
Yeast (Candida): Many women with breast implants develop recurrent candida. It is a fungus that normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract, helping with digestion and nutrient absorption, and other areas without causing any problems. Candida is an opportunistic pathogen and therefore when the immune system is weakened it is no longer regulated and it will overproduce and enter the bloodstream. There is discussion and controversy on whether candida increases and protects the body in response to heavy metal toxicity. Antifungal treatment will only act as a bandaid until the immune system can be rebuilt to be healthy and functioning, which can only be done once the stressors (implants) are removed. Natural antifungals are oil of oregano (capsules) and capryilic acid.
Mold: Saline ladies may be dealing with mold, either from colonization in their implants or from contact in their environment. Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid places.
– Viral Infections:
The weakened immune system may also trigger dormant viruses to reactivate – Epstein Bar Virus (EBV), Coxsackie A, Coxsackie B, HSV-I, HSV-II, HHV 6, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Varicella Zoster
– Bacterial Infections:
Bacterial problems can increase and become more difficult to control – such as bronchitis, sinusitis, urinary tract infection, periodontal disease, and other bacterial infections.
Biofilm: Adherent bacteria that form a film that coats the surfaces of biomaterials in the body. They cause chronic low grade bacterial infections, chronic inflammation, and can cause capsular contracture. They are almost undetectable and highly resistant to antibiotics – antibiotic treatment alone without implant removal can actually increase resistance of the biofilm. This underlying infection is treated with removal of the implant.
– Parasites may grow in the gut due to bad gut health and even past the gut as they inhabit the body because there is no immune opposition to them.
Immune symptoms usually appear before the autoimmune symptoms. They will need to be addressed and eliminated to have a full recovery. Diet is critical for mold/fungi, such as a low mycotoxin diet or a candida diet. Cut out all sugar. Natural potent antifungals: oil of oregano capsules, olive leaf extract, capryilic acid (found in coconut oil or in supplements), grape seed extract, cat’s claw, and foods like coconut oil, onions, lots of garlic, and ginger (also, ginger shots). Antifungal prescriptions including difulcan and nystatin can be hard on the liver. Fungi may grow resistant to various treatments so it’s good to rotate them once a month or sooner. Personally, every few weeks I combined and rotated natural supplements, such as: Enzymedica Candidase, CandiGone, Thorne Research SF722, and some others. Supplements and medications will only work with a strict diet, which supersedes all. Additionally beneficial is having a glass of warm water with lemon, cayenne, and turmeric the first thing when waking up in the morning, to cleanse the blood, digestive tract and kidneys. It temporarily lifts fungal brain fog.
Take healing in gradual steps and do not try to overdo it with too much and too fast. Opening the detoxification pathways and pulling out the toxins from where they are stored needs to be done in a slow and steady way. You may experience the Herxmeimer Reaction, a short term negative reaction to detoxification where you may experience some symptoms coming back such as brain fog, joint and muscle pain, malaise, etc. This is common and short lived.