Endotoxemia: How It Relates to Breast Implant Illness
Endotoxemia: What Is It?
It starts with the gut bacteria. The cell membranes of some bacteria contain molecules called lipopolysaccharides (LPSs). LPSs are endotoxins and are one of the two main toxins created by bacteria. In healthy people, tight junctions in the gut lining keep the LPSs inside the gut and they don’t cause any problems. When they are disrupted by heavy metals and toxins from our breast implants, zonulin is increased which causes these tight junctions to become loose, creating a “leaky gut”, resulting in a crossover of bacterial LPSs from the intestinal lumen into the bloodstream.
This increased intestinal permeability results in a two to threefold increase in serum concentration of these endotoxins, which is called metabolic endotoxemia, and causes body-wide inflammation and increases your toxic burden from within. This can cause a vicious cycle of declining health:
- Inflammation of the gut lining leading to leaky gut
- Poor nutrient absorption (especially vitamin B12, magnesium, and iron), which then causes
- A strong immune system response to the offending particles (LPSs), which causes
- Gastrointestinal issues including food intolerances and eventually leading to various autoimmune conditions.
And autoimmune disease may cause inflammation of the gut lining, which starts this vicious cycle over again. Within this cycle, LPS is pouring from the gut lumen into the bloodstream, causing inflammation, and exacerbating every step in his process. It is a root cause to so many conditions today and results in a number of symptoms we experience with breast implant illness.
This is one of the most potent immune stimulators that we know of and it causes chronic inflammation. And leaky gut is the fundamental driver of these translocated LPSs. This bacteria isn’t necessarily some pathogenic organism like Giardia or Chryptosporidia. It can be bacteria that is part of your normal flora in the gut. This means that anyone with significant degree of gut permeability (likely all women with breast implant illness) can have some degree of endotoxemia and immune dysregulation.
Metabolic endotoxemia is very bad news, mostly because it causes inflammation. Metabolic endotoxemia upregulates the production of inflammatory cytokines like interleukin 1 (IL-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Those cytokines cause a lot of damage. Add up a whole bunch of these inflammatory cytokines with all different effects and you’ve got a serious metabolic problem brewing.
What Are the Symptoms?
• Food sensitivities
• Histamine intolerance
• Nutrient deficiencies (B12, ferritin/iron, minerals and fat soluble vitamins)
• Autoimmune disease
• Anxiety and depression
• Weight gain
• Hyperlipidemia and high triglycerides
• Insulin resistance and diabetes
• Inflammation and pain
And it is l need to things like:
• Leptin resistance and weight gain
• Chronic Constipation
• Anxiety and depression
• Brain fog and memory issues
• Anorexia and other eating disorders
• Chronic pain
• Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
• Low hormones, especially testosterone
• Autoimmune disease
How Is It Addressed?
Diet: The Standard American diet (or SAD) contributes to the problem, so we want to clean it up. I often check for food sensitivities with my clients because those are going to increase inflammation. We take those foods out for a period of time while we work on healing.
Secondly, organic is absolutely essential these days. Many of my clients can’t afford all organic so at least avoid the dirty dozen from the Environmental Working Group. Non-GMO is also important because glyphosate has a huge effect on the microbiome. The studies show that glyphosate doesn’t hurt human cells, but the problem is they dramatically alter the microbiome. It’s been shown to preferentially kill lactobacillus and allow clostridia (a bad bug) to overgrow and we all know that’s a problem. So getting rid of the glyphosate by eating organic, non-GMO foods is really critical.
In general, we should eat a clean, whole food diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, good oils, and pasture-raised animal products. Think Mediterranean diet, but cut out all gluten, grains, refined sugar, and other foods that you are sensitive to.
Neutraceuticals: There are many different ways you can go about this. The goal should be to neutralize the LPS source. We can increase mucin production at the cellular level and that would increase the protective coating in the gut lining. We can decrease the tight junction expression by decreasing permeability. And we can heal the gut.
I like to go about it in several ways. The old school glutamine is ok, but it doesn’t have as much of an impact as some of the newer things we can do. The new kid on the block that I love is serum-derived bovine immunoglobulins. These immunoglobulins can actually neutralize the LPS. These are passive immune globulins that grab those particles of LPS and actually prevent them from activating the immune system.
These immunoglobulins have been recognized as safe for at least a decade. There are over 43 human studies and 6 randomized placebo-controlled trials. So there’s lots of evidence that this is not only safe, but effective. The one that I use is an over the counter serum derived bovine immunoglobulin and is dairy-free, sugar-free and non-GMO, which as I just mentioned is pretty critical. There is a prescription product on the market that uses GMO corn dextrose, so that reason I don’t recommend it.
The serum-derived immunoglobulin product I use and recommend to some of my clients is from USDA certified clean medical grade cattle and it is isolated from the colostrum of the cattle. It’s similar to colostrum, but is much better because it has the same effect of passive immunity without the reaction to dairy. I haven’t had one client have a reaction to it.
Some of the things it’s been shown to bind to in studies are LPSs, C-diff toxin A and B, h.Pylori, Listeria, Mycoplasma, and even viruses and viral analogs. So this is a great way to get passive immunity.
One of the things that I see a lot in women with breast implant illness that I work with is a low fecal secretory IgA on a stool analysis and basically that tells me that the mucosal immune system is completely trashed. This immunoglobulin can help boost that secretory IgA and help the body get rid of pathogens. That doesn’t mean that it is a stand-alone option for treating pathogens, but it certainly can be included in a bio-individualized protocol.
Immunoglobulins are also very helpful to use with chronic yeast overgrowths. Yeast is opportunistic. You don’t get a huge overgrowth of yeast unless you have a weakened immune system. So because of that, any kind of immune support we can give is going to be beneficial.
I love getting to the root cause. I think just throwing antifungals at a person might initially seem like a good idea, but my job is to figure out what’s really causing this. Of course the breast implants are the biggest root cause, but even after they have been removed these problems can linger until the immune system and the gut have been repaired. Many times it’s because of a weakened immune system and low SigA. Immunoglobulins will actually aid your immune system in fighting pathogens.
There are specific doses used in the studies and it really depends on the person and what is going on. Acute situations require different dosing than chronic situations and you have to be very careful in cases where there is constipation.
The other really important and beneficial product I like to use for situations involving the gut are probiotics. Not just any probiotics, but Megaspore Biotic. This product has been shown in studies to reverse leaky gut without even changing the diet. It’s a game-changer.
Lifestyle modifications: We need to not only remove the main source of the toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis that caused the leaky gut, our breast implants, but also swap out our toxic products for safer products. This includes things like make-up, hair-care, skin-care, lotions, perfumes, candles, cleaning products, plastics, cookware, etc. that we use on our bodies and in our homes. This is one area we can control, and we should do so in order to decrease our overall toxic burden on the body. This will also make detoxing a lot easier.
Heavy metal detoxing is invaluable to restoring health after explant. It will help cleanse the body of all the stored toxins that have built up from our implants and other environmental exposures. Detoxing also removes the food source for gut pathogens. You have to do both! Check out my blog post on detoxing HERE.
Other lifestyle modifications to consider are things like the appropriate kind and amount of exercise for you, mindfulness, deep breathing, grounding, taking enough down time for yourself, removing energy-robbing people from your life, and expressing gratitude.
With my complex breast implant illness clients, it’s all about infections (immune system), detoxing, and healing the gut, and determining which piece of this puzzle is bigger. We know the toxins and heavy metals in breast implants can cause leaky gut. But so can infections like viruses and bacterial pathogens, and SIBO, and parasites, and candida. So can food sensitivities like gluten and other inflammatory things in the diet. Then there are environmental toxic exposures like chemicals, pesticides, mold, etc that can also contribute to the problem. Even after explant, there are so many environmental triggers like infections and toxins that we are exposed to and they need to be dealt with in order to restore the gut lining and the immune system.
Comprehensive lab workups are very helpful: This is going to be different for each person and it really depends on so many factors. Labs that look at infectious burden are important. Discovering whether Lyme and/or mold is an issue for you can make or break your recovery from BII. Looking at how the body is detoxing hormones can give a lot of insight into how well you’re body is detoxing on it’s own. Knowing your MTHFR status is helpful for knowing how to properly support your body through detox.
The important thing to remember is that the approach to healing after explant may look very different for each person. At the end of the day, we are all unique individuals with different needs based on a number of factors. This is where working with a qualified practitioner who’s been through and understands BII can be very beneficial. If you would like more information on how I can help you detox and heal after explant, please feel free to contact me below.
Sarah has a passion for health that has taken her along a path from RN, to fitness enthusiast, to becoming a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner and True Cellular Detox™ Practitioner. She has a passion for breast implant illness and teaching her clients about restoring health through nutrition, lifestyle, and detox, and guiding them through the sea of mis-information in hopes of finding their path to vibrant health.
Sarah’s belief is that we should settle for nothing less than vibrant health! And with breast implant illness, detoxing after en bloc explant is a foundation for that. She focuses on healing the body naturally at the cellular level with whole(real) foods, lifestyle changes, detoxing, and addressing the downstream conditions caused by breast implants. She believes that alternative therapies can be just as effective, if not more so, than conventional medical treatments because we are seeking to heal the body rather than merely mute a symptom with a pill. Sarah is an advocate for natural living and doing what she can to keep toxins out of the home and environment. She is also very passionate about eating real foods as she feels it’s the key to keeping our health and the future health of our children. The thought of explant surgery and healing the body can be overwhelming, so she is here to guide you through the process. Sarah is super passionate about this work, as she truly believes there is a reason for her own struggles that is bigger than her. Sarah will show you how to reverse breast implant illness, take back your health, and live vibrantly!