Richmond, VA, USA

GLAM Artistry by Shawna





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Breast Implant Illness Awareness Day February 13th

February 15, 2018


This is me today, happy, energetic, silly, and full of life again. But rewind to just a month ago and I was fatigued, constantly congested and getting sick, aching, and struggling just to get out of bed every morning. I tried to hide it all from the outside world, only posting happy pictures after applying my makeup to try to hide the sickness. I tried so hard not to have mood swings, not to feel depressed, and pushed myself to do things despite having no energy. This had become a vicious cycle over the years.  My adrenal glands would become so suppressed that the only thing I could do was try to avoid extra stress. I competed in the IFBB Tampa Pro show in August in women's physique but just a few months later I had to step away from the gym because the fatigue and sickness once again was affecting my body and my life. I knew for years my body was not right. I knew there was something going on internally. You could see it in my eyes!



And then one day I heard about Breast Implant Illness. And it all clicked! As I started to put the pieces of the puzzle together, I recalled the onset of symptoms gradually starting after getting my implants 9 years ago. And I also knew that my body was not efficient with the detoxification process as my results showed from my 23andMe genetic test that Shawn Bean, an integrative health and nutrition consultant, had me do in 2014. So what was it trying to detox and why was my immune system so bad? I thought I finally knew the answer when I saw this list and highlighted all the BII symptoms I had over the past several years with unknown reasons and causes.


After much research and seeing so many other women getting relief of their symptoms, I decided to undergo explant surgery on January 24,  2018. I woke up the next morning and could breathe better!  I had less congestion, less inflammation, more energy! It was almost too good to be true. But as the days go on, I keep feeling better.  I am 3 weeks post-op today and I feel like my old self again, the person I was before the implants started to made me sick. I have so much energy and motivation again, I'm losing weight more easily, less bloated, improved digestion, and I'm not experiencing the joint pain or tissue inflammation as I was before explant surgery.  In a short period of time, almost all of the symptoms I highlighted above have vanished.  Only a few symptoms still remain (as seen below), and I am hopeful these will improve as well.


 I have seen stories of so many other women getting their lives back in my Breast Implant Illness (BII) Facebook group and to see their progress even after 1 year of explant surgery keeps me optimistic that I will continue the healing process. With so many toxic chemicals in implants (both saline and silicone) I know it can take time for my body to completely detox.  And I also know that I could have setbacks so I am trying to focus on the best nutrition and detox protocols.  I am grateful that the lymphoma cancer associated with breast implants was not detected in the tissues surrounding my implants when tested by the pathology lab.  Just take a look at the toxic chemicals in the list below that are not only found in silicone implants but also in the shell of the saline implants....lacquer thinner, formaldehyde, printing ink, metal cleaning acid, heavy metals!! And I thought the saline implants were safe when I decided to get them.  I guess I should have read the small print about possible side effects and illnesses that could potentially develop!  And look at how many ingredients are carcinogens (cancer-causing) and neurotoxins (poisons that act on the nervous system). No wonder there are women getting the breast implant associated lymphoma cancer and other women are being diagnosed with Lyme disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, along with many other autoimmune and neurological disorders.  I had this annoying twitching in my left eye for a whole year which I have not had one time now since explant.  I would also get Raynaud's Syndrome where my finger tips would turn white and be cold.  I was getting more and more episodes of numbness and tingling down my arms and legs. I can only imagine the symptoms that could have presented as time progressed with my body trying to fight off the foreign bodies I placed in my body. Some women have even become so sick they are bedridden and some have died from the toxicity of their implants.  


Please understand that I am not trying to tell anyone not to get implants nor am I saying that every woman will eventually become sick from their implants.  This is something that I do not know, and I am just sharing my story and my experience. I know many women who seem to do fine with their implants and report they have no symptoms or illness.  I know some women who got sick immediately after getting their implants. And I know women like myself who started to have the onset of symptoms and illness gradually after getting breast implants. I believe all of our bodies function differently.  I strongly believe that our genes play a big role in our health, as well as our environment and lifestyle habits.  My body apparently is not very efficient at detoxification and is rather sensitive.  I just feel obligated to get the word out so other women who may be experiencing some of these symptoms for unknown reasons can also become aware of breast implant illness so they can also do their own research as I did. If it weren't for a Facebook friend posting about her experience and her recovery and healing after explant surgery, I may still be suffering the vicious cycle today.





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Breast Implant Illness Facebook Group

Breast Implant Illness Website



BII on ABC Action News

BII on 9 Investigates

BII on CBS Miami

Playboy Playmate with BII on The Doctors



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