By Alyce Collins
AFTER a traumatic first pregnancy this woman couldn’t get out of bed but she continuously blamed it on POSTPARTUM until blood tests showed obscure PATHOGENS in her system caused by BREAST IMPLANT ILLNESS – resulting in her having the implants that ‘ALMOST KILLED’ her removed.
Personal trainer, Bianca Weintraub (33) from New York, USA, got 300cc breast implants in April 2014, but rupturing of the implants was the only risk that was mentioned. Initially, Bianca was pleased, but the implants never felt natural to her, as they felt like an intrusion on her body. A year after having the implants, Bianca noticed strange and isolated symptoms, which included cystic acne, irregular periods and night sweats, but doctors insisted she was fine.
Bianca discovered she was expecting her first child in 2016 and despite her excitement throughout the nine months, she also struggled greatly. Bianca was exhausted, suffered with anxiety and her hair began falling out, but Bianca and her husband Craig (37), welcomed their daughter Siena in January 2017.
Postpartum took its toll on Bianca as the lack of sleep, poor nutrition and the stresses of motherhood pushed her body to its lowest. For a year, Bianca brushed it off as postpartum, however in February 2018 she became sicker than ever before. Bianca’s fever peaked beyond 40 degrees Celsius, she had swollen lymph nodes, joint pain and breathing problems.
Some days, Bianca was incapable of getting out of bed, but doctors insisted it was just an infection. After a month, Bianca’s extreme symptoms subdued, and she found a holistic practitioner who did blood tests which highlighted some unusual pathogens in Bianca’s system, low platelets and a low white blood cell count.
Bianca heard about breast implant illness (BII) in 2017, but only when her symptoms became so difficult did she start to connect the dots. She tried to boost her immune system to beat the illness before ultimately explanting on October 5, 2018 when it became clear that despite trying everything, she couldn’t improve with the implants still in.
“I opted for smaller implants as my goal wasn’t to have huge boobs to flaunt,” said Bianca.
“I did like them and how they looked. I can’t say that they ever truly felt like mine though. They always felt like an intrusion to my body, like a fashion accessory I couldn’t take off.
“My first symptoms started to show up a year into having implants. They were mild, and usually isolated. Some of my early symptoms included hair loss, cystic acne on the back of my shoulders, my periods would come every two or three weeks, night sweats and heart palpitations.
“Each symptom would come and go, and when I mentioned them to my doctor, I didn’t think much about them or connect them to anything. I was told it was normal and that I seemed perfectly fine.
“My pregnancy was great, but I struggled through it. I felt exhausted and had crushing anxiety. I lost so much hair while pregnant and I had trouble coping with what it felt like to be pregnant.
“Siena was born in January 2017, and although postpartum was blissful and full of love, it was rough. The lack of sleep, exclusive breastfeeding, poor nutrition, and stress of motherhood pushed my body to a point of no return. I began to feel worse and worse, but chalked it up to new motherhood.
“In February 2018, everything came to a head. I became sicker than I have ever been in my life. I had fevers that would spike 40 degrees Celsius, respiratory issues, sinus issues, shakiness, crushing fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, chronic diarrhoea and even developed oral thrush. Some days I couldn’t get out of bed or off my sofa. I was dealing with some of the worst anxiety I’ve ever had in my life.
“I saw several doctors and they all told me it was just viral. They said there were lots of nasty viruses going around, so this just needed to run its course. I knew something was wrong beyond just an infection because something was not right.
“By mid-March, my symptoms lessened, but I was still left with fevers, swollen lymph nodes, hair loss, chronic fatigue and insomnia.
“I found a holistic practitioner who finally did extensive blood work to uncover what was going on. After seeing multiple primary care physicians, a haematologist, and a dozen doctors at various urgent care clinics, no one gave me answers.
“I felt dismissed by the medical professionals who waved me off because I’m young and looked healthy. I felt betrayed by conventional medicine, so I decided to try the holistic route.”
Bianca tried numerous holistic remedies for eight months before explanting became her last and only option. Since explanting, Bianca noticed immediate changes to her health and all her symptoms have since gone.
After explanting, Bianca and Craig were delighted to find out they were expecting again, but pregnancy has been much easier this time, without BII ruling over Bianca’s body.
“My holistic practitioner found some pathogens running rampant in my system, a severely taxed adrenal system, and an immune system that had given up. I had chronic active Epstein Barr virus, candida, mycoplasma pneumonia, chlamydia pneumonia, adrenal fatigue, low platelets and low white blood count,” said Bianca.
“For eight months following the diagnosis, I worked with the holistic doctor to treat my illnesses. At this point I had heard of BII and wondered if that was my problem, but every doctor assured me my implants were unrelated.
“The treatment plan included taking supplements, following a clean diet with minimal processed foods and minimal sugar, no dairy, no alcohol or caffeine. I did weekly acupuncture and had to sweat toxins out, be that through cardio, sauna or a bath.
“I tried everything, but nothing worked. At that point, the holistic doctor agreed that an explant may be the only stone left to turn, so I decided that would be my next step.
“I woke up feeling like it was the first time I’d ever taken a full deep breath before. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t been breathing deeply until I felt how much fuller my breathing felt post-op. My eyes immediately looked whiter and I looked more awake. Inflammation around my eyes went away, and I looked 10 years younger instantaneously.
“Last year, I was constantly sick, but since surgery I barely got sick all winter. I got pregnant two months after surgery and I’m having a much healthier pregnancy this time and I feel amazing compared to my first one. I feel like my old self again.
“It took me having fake breasts which almost killed me to finally love and appreciate the ones that I was given naturally. Self-appreciation and confidence come from within, not from a plastic surgeon.
“People should be their own health advocates. As much as I respect doctors, there are a lot of holes in conventional medicine today. If you feel like something is wrong, fight for answers. Do not accept being dismissed or like you’re making it up.
“If I could help just one other woman to connect the dots of her own suffering, and it saves a life, then it’s been worth it.”