Danica Patrick discusses ‘hidden epidemic’ of breast implant illness

Danica Patrick has spoken candidly about the ‘hidden epidemic’ of breast implant illness and how removing her breast implants helped her body “feel better”.

The former NASCAR driver has now opened up about her recent implant removal, highlighting how she first got the breast augmentation in 2014 and how it caused her a string of health issues.

“My symptoms were hair loss, weight gain, heavy metal toxicity, leaky gut, and fatigue among many other things,” she explained to Fox News Digital.

“Thyroid was another big one. I believe the most common denominator is not necessarily a symptom. It’s more so that no matter what you do, you can’t get the symptoms to go away.”

She noted that although her symptoms first started back in early 2018, she felt like there “wasn’t a logical reason” as to why they were occurring. However, by the beginning of 2021, she said that she lost her menstrual cycle and realised that something was wrong.

“It was really losing my cycle for a couple of months that got me to go to the doctor and have my hormones checked,” she explained. “My thyroid was low, my hormones were off. It felt like nothing was working.”

Regarding her surgery to get the implants removed, Patrick expressed that she felt “very excited” and ready for it, similar to how a mother would feel before giving birth to her child.

“I’ve never had a baby before, but I’m betting that, at the very end, even though you’re having this daunting experience in front of you,” she continued. “You’re also so ready because you just can’t wait to meet your baby. You’re just that excited. And you’re like, ‘Let’s do this.’ I imagine it’s maybe something like that. That’s how I felt.”

When asked what the most surprising thing was that she learned during her health journey, Patrick highlighted how she never realised how many women “struggle” with breast implant illness. According to Mayo Clinic, some signs of the condition can include, “fatigue, memory loss, skin rash, and trouble concentrating”.

“It almost feels like a hidden epidemic,” she said. “I do believe there will always be a level of side effects that come with [implants]. Maybe some people do really well and it’s so minimal that they don’t notice.”

She noted that while she thinks it is normal to have different responses to breast implants, she has come to question how safe the objects are for a woman’s health.

“But I also think it’s impossible to put a foreign object in your body and not have your body respond to some degree. Every individual is different, of course,” she explained. “But are we really doing enough studies on them?”

“Are people truly educated on the potential side effects and risks? Doctors tell us that they’re safe, but they’re also selling them,” she added. “I think it’s a matter of testing and common sense.”

The 40-year-old former racing driver said that in her case, her implants created capsules of “scar tissue” on her body, which were “soft enough” for a few years but then “hardened up more”.

“The doctor said my scar tissue capsules were both folded inside the implant,” she continued. “They had shrunk up so much from so much scar tissue forming that they were deformed.”

Patrick acknowledged that she first got the implants, she did it to “be more feminine” and to feel like she had “an ideal body”. However, she said that now that they are removed, she’s felt quite free.

“Getting them out felt more like freedom,” she said. “I feel better about my body. I feel like I look better, to be honest. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’m glad they’re out. I feel more like myself. I can give people hugs and not have these implants in the way.”

She also emphasised how her exercise routine could change since the surgery, as she intends on doing yoga again and won’t “have to worry” about her implants laying “on the floor” while doing “crazy, cool poses”.

“I won’t have to feel any of that weird stretching that I felt before,” she added. “I’m excited to have it all be natural again.”

Patrick has previously opened up about her breast implants on social media. Earlier this month, she shared a post on Instagram about what she would have said to her younger self and how implants had “fed into” her idea of a “perfect” body.

“I wish I could have told this 32-year-old girl that boobs won’t make you more perfect or have it all or be more feminine,” she wrote in the caption. “These were my reasons and to me, these narratives are the problem. Implants just feed into it. Culture feeds into it. Social media feeds into it. Filters feed into it. Unhealed trauma feeds into it.”

“The work is always an inside job,” she added. “The real question is – how can I do the emotional work to see myself as perfect, having it all, and feminine?”

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