New rules that allow patients to report health complaints related their breast implants has resulted in an explosion of reported problems. This after decades of assurance from breast implant makers that they are safe. More than 10 million women worldwide having received silicone breast implants in the last ten years and research increasingly links silicone breast implants to autoimmune disorders and a rare form of immune cancer.
Research links silicone breast implants to autoimmune disease
A recent Canadian study confirmed that almost 25 percent of implant recipients are at risk of developing an autoimmune disorder after the surgery. Additionally, studies show women with breast implants developing an autoimmune disease is 45 percent higher than for those without implants.
What sets the new research apart is that it used doctor-based diagnoses to confirm results while former studies relied on patient self-reporting.
Implants in general can be problematic. Previous research has found surgical mesh implants may be linked to autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and that they worsened allergies in some patients.
It’s clear conventional medicine does not fully appreciate or understand the risks of introducing implants and the complex dynamics of the immune system. The immune system can regard the implant as an invader, triggering chronic activation that dominoes into autoimmunity.
Breast implant risks
The Alberta study showed the strongest links between silicone implants and the autoimmune conditions:
- Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder of the salivary and tear glands.
- Sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder of the lung, skin and lymph nodes.
- Systemic sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder of the connective tissue affecting the skin, arteries, and visceral organs such as lungs and kidneys.
The largest-ever, long-term study of breast implant safety of breast implants recently linked silicone implants with higher rates of Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, dermatomyositis, and melanoma compared to the general population.
Cancer related to breast implants on the rise
Women with breast implants also increase their risk of developing cancer of the immune system — large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
BIA-ALCL is usually found in fluid and scar tissue near the implant, however, in some cases it spreads throughout the body.
BIA-ALCL also occurs more frequently with breast implants that have a textured surface versus a smooth surface.
Surgeons have identified 615 cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide with the majority of cases occurring in women with textured implants. French authorities have recommended against the use of textured implants due to the cancer risk.
However, the risks are difficult to determine due to lack of data from significant limitations in world-wide reporting.
Researchers also propose it is a bacterial infection surrounding the implants that triggers autoimmunity and immune cancer more than the actual implant itself.
Lack of reporting blamed for poor patient awareness
Up until 2017 the FDA did not require public disclosure of breast implant injuries. This skewed the perception of their safety in both the public and among doctors.
After the 2017 reporting rules were instituted, injury reports soared and are slated to increase more than 20-fold in two years.
The number of suspected breast implant injuries skyrocketed from 200 a year to more than 4,500 in 2017 alone.
In just the first half of 2018, that number almost doubled to more than 8,000 filed reports.
The increase in reports doesn’t mean implants are suddenly dangerous but rather were never safe as thought in the first place. Even the FDA acknowledges this.
Ask my office about ways to dampen and modulate your immune system if you have breast implants or other types of implants.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.