Ep. 133: Breast Implant Illness with Kyrin Dunston, MD
Today we are talking with Dr. Kyrin Dunston. She had a successful practice for years as an OB/GYN but eventually came to feel that she wasn’t really helping her patients truly heal. She was just treating symptoms and prescribing procedures. And when her own health began to fail her she began a deep search into functional medicine which changed her whole life and career for the better.
She loves to help women heal by treating the body as a whole and getting to the root cause of illness. Dr. Dunston openly shares with us her struggles in having had breast implant illness and everything she went through with that. If you or someone you know may be considering breast implants you’re really going to enjoy this episode.
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Connect with and learn more from Dr. Kyrin Dunston
Robyn: Hey everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw. Welcome back to The Vibe show. I’ve been really excited about this interview all week. It will not disappoint. And I want to thank you before we get started for the ratings and reviews on iTunes. It really helps us when you give us a five star rating. And soon I’m going to shout out some of the things that you have said about the show. If my work matters to you, I would love it if you’d just give us some comments. You can share anything from favorite episodes or something that you learned or just in any way that it’s serving your life to listen to the Vibe podcast. So thank you again for your ratings and reviews and subscribing on iTunes or wherever podcasts are available.
Today I’m bringing to you Dr. Kyrin Dunston. She’s a medical doctor who practices as an OB/GYN for 20 years now, in Georgia. And like so many of the physicians that we’ve interviewed, especially if they’re a medical doctor, she started out as strictly standard of care and her own personal journey and some major health trials that she had led her to get qualified as a functional medicine doctor and to start practicing completely differently. She left that 20 years of practicing doing just surgeries and drugs basically and now has taken a completely different path. And I think you’re going to be really interested to learn why she changed course and what happened to her.
We’re talking about breast implant illness and even if you don’t have breast implants and are wondering if it impacts your health or if you’re considering getting them, she talks in fair amount of detail about the different types that you can get, even so you may have a daughter, or you may have close friends who are considering this or who have breast implants. It’s really a great listen either way. And regardless, we actually talk about other issues that I think serve you well.
So Dr. Dunston, Welcome to the Vibe show.
Dr. Dunston: Thank you for having me, Robyn. It’s so great to be here.
Robyn: All the way in Georgia. I’m in Park City. I love that we can come together like this and have a chat and share it with others. This is going to be great because I know issues around breast implants and breast cancer are on the minds of so many of our followers. And so tell us a little bit about your background. Not only are you a board certified OB/GYN and have been practicing for a couple of decades. You have your own personal story about the issue of implants, ex-plants and breast implant illness. Tell us a little bit about that.
Dr. Dunston: Sure. Well, I say that I’m a reluctant expert on breast implant illness recently because I was diagnosed with it and actually had to undergo ex-plantation. But like I always tell my patients and say on my podcast, health is a journey, not a destination. I initially discovered functional medicine and lost a hundred pounds and healed myself from several chronic diseases back in 2008 to 2010 and then enjoyed wonderful health for a while. And then experienced breast implant illness. So this is what I like to call the second wave. I was doing really well at an ideal weight with great energy and not on any prescription medications. And then started having strange symptoms, which some people listening with breast implant illness can probably relate to.
Weird tingling sensations in places on my face was the first thing that I started having and I kind of discounted it. And in hindsight now, having gone through everything I’ve been through, I realized that I was having symptoms that I just chalked up to, Oh, I’m just working too hard. That’s why I’m more tired. Oh, this is why my vision just keeps getting bad because of my age. Oh, I’m just having brain fog because I’m not eating optimally. Oh, I’m just having, you know, and it went on and on.
And actually then I had a huge hit of toxin exposure when I worked with a group as a consultant in Texas and they had built out a new office space and I went into this newly built out office space, still smelling of varnish. And after a month of being in there, I actually had toxic encephalopathy, Raynaud’s, I almost fell over when the doctor that I went to, Dr. Ray, who’s since deceased, one of the fathers of environmental medicine in Dallas, had me stand up on my tippy toes and I almost fell over and hit my head.
I was really in bad shape. So that was really the event that tipped me over and he said, yes, you are toxic from these xylene and formaldehyde and all the construction chemicals. And also the foundation was laid because of the silicone from the implants. So that’s kind of what led me to need an ex-plantation.
Robyn: So you had implants how long before that? Like how long had it been when you got sick?
Dr. Dunston: It had been seven years. And that’s an interesting story as well. And I readily admit it probably was one of the worst decisions of my life to have them placed. But when I was very obese, my breasts, I think we’re DD. And this is before I discovered a holistic way of living and functional medicine. And this is back when I told my mother “we heal with steel” and knew that there was “a pill for every ill”.
And I really bought into the mainstream medicine, drug pharmacy and surgery treatment. And so I lived that way. And I had horrible back and neck pain chronically and would go to the chiropractor and get massage every week. And finally thought, Oh, I need a breast reduction. And so I had a breast reduction.
Well fast forward I discover functional medicine, lose all the weight. And whereas I was a god given C cup, here I was less than an A, once I lost all the weight after the breast reduction. And so decided to have implants. And in hindsight that was a horrible decision because I had them placed, let’s see, I had them out in 2019, so for seven years I had them in. And I probably started having symptoms after about three years, but as I said, I discounted them and attributed them to that I just wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing.
Robyn: You know, when you told me about how you had this huge environmental toxic exposure from being indoors when I guess there was a bunch of construction, it makes me think about how many of the guests we’ve had on the show, different types of functional medicine doctors have talked about different metaphors. But the one that always stays with me is the bucket. And if the bucket isn’t draining of toxins and if you’re dumping it into too much the bucket gets full. And so it’s just a metaphor for you can only be exposed to so much toxicity before things start going very wrong.
And so as I’m listening to you, I’m thinking, well, there are clues there and it sounds like your deduction is this environmental toxic exposure and then breast implants, we can ask you if, you know from the ex-plant if they were leaking or ruptured or anything like that. I think there are women who think that just because they can’t see the difference in the mirror, that they don’t have leaking or ruptured breast implants when often they do.
But anyway, is that what you think was going on there that you had a lot of toxicity coming from other sources and then the breast implant issue may have been why you got so very ill? Because the reason I say that, I’m not articulating my question very well, but the reason I say that is there’s lots of women with breast implants who feel completely fine and 10 and 20 years later they’re not having reactions. And yet so very many women are very ill from it. And it’s beyond proven now that breast implant illness is real. So back to your situation, are those the two major exposures that you attribute all this to?
Dr. Dunston: Right. So there’s a lot in that question that you asked that I’d love to touch on. So first is that I think I was fairly detoxified after I lost the hundred pounds and really was in tip top shape. I had even done chelation and I did sauna regularly and kept my liver tuned up. So, I actually think that the silicone implants were the instigators over these past few years. And yes, I ascribe to the bucket full issue that my bucket was getting fuller and fuller and then with going to work in that toxic building, it just tipped over.
Now I happen to have what we call SNPs. So genetic nucleotide polymorphisms in my detoxification pathways in my liver, I have several of them and I have several that are not the good ones. And so my detox doesn’t run like an average person’s detoxification. I also have a methylation defect, so I’m probably more prone to becoming toxic from exposures than other people because some people look at me and say, well, why did you have all this and why not me? And that’s probably one of the differentiating factors in why some women get implant illness and others don’t, is their ability to detoxify the toxins that are coming off of the implants.
And then also some may be over reactivity of their immune system, which in hindsight I believe that I’ve had some over reactivity of the immune system, since I was a child. And there actually have been some studies done that have looked at the fact that women who have for instance, baseline higher levels of ige or if they’ve already been diagnosed with an autoimmune or connective tissue disease, they’re probably not good candidates for having implants in the breasts because they are more likely to develop toxicity and implant illness.
Robyn: Okay. So you’re saying that it’s known that ige, which I believe is an antibody, if you have high levels of that, that you are predisposed to be more reactive to breast implants, yes?
Dr. Dunston: Yes. There was a study that was done that showed that yes, if you had higher ige and that breast implants, the presence of them, actually increased ige.
Robyn: So when you went through the surgery, it’s only been a few months now. What was it like? Was it terrible the recovery? Cause there are lots of women who think about it. I mentioned to you before we started the interview that a good friend of mine has just gone through an ex plant a month ago. I think they were something like 27 years old. She got them when she was quite young and she’s a few years older than me. She’s a former professional athlete, and like you, she knew she was sick from the implants and she knew she had to get them out.
But there’s obviously some issues around that. What were you worried about? What are other women worried about when they get the explant? And what are some of the solutions that you can offer to help ease their mind if they’re considering it?
Dr. Dunston: Yeah. So what was I worried about and what do my patients who have to have ex plantation worry about, the biggest concern is, is this going to help my symptoms? I think that’s what everybody worries about. Because there’s this, even though there’s some literature that shows that the implants caused these types of immune system and neurological and other dysfunctions, in the back of our minds is always, oh my gosh, what if I have them out and I go through all this and I don’t feel any better. So I think that’s one of the biggest fears.
And then there’s the general fear of having surgery, undergoing general anesthesia, the complications of general anesthesia and potential for infection. There’s also the fear of breast deflation and having an unappealing cosmetic endpoint. People have concern about that and some of my patients, and I choose also to have now autologous fat grafting, which may be a very viable alternative to using synthetic or prosthetic implants in women in the future. It’s now very acceptable with good result in appropriate patients.
So I think those are most of the fears. And it really wasn’t that bad. As I’ve said, I’ve had surgery before, and it really wasn’t bad. Maybe a week resting and then just increasing activities gradually. So anyone listening, if you’re thinking about having ex plantation, you probably do want a week or two off from work or your usual activities, but then you can start increasing gradually and usually working out at about five or six weeks and using sauna and things like that.
Robyn: Okay. So you didn’t have a horrible experience postsurgical. My friend, the former professional athlete also had a tummy tuck at the same time. She was not an overweight person, I don’t think she’s ever been really overweight, but for whatever reason she decided to have a tummy tuck. And so that was really the difficult thing, it wasn’t the explant. Did your symptoms go away? Tell us what your symptoms were that went away, if so.
Dr. Dunston: Well, that’s interesting. I actually had done a year of aggressive detoxifying to alleviate some of the symptoms and really wanted to get my body in a better position to withstand the trauma of surgery before undergoing it. My health had really deteriorated pretty significantly from that construction exposure. And so I did regular sauna and IV vitamin C and all kinds of nutraceuticals and lymph brushing and rebounding. I mean, I just did it on all aspects that I know to do to get myself prepared. And so most of my symptoms had actually really improved.
But my biggest symptom that I’ve noticed a difference in is my sensitivity to chemicals, including cigarette smoke. At some point I had become extremely intolerant to cigarette smoke and before I would even smell the cigarette smoke, I would feel it in my body with a burning in my feet and hands. Really horrible pain. And then if I stayed exposed to the smoke, it would go up my arms and legs. And I noticed pretty immediately after the surgery that I would actually see someone smoking and smell the smoke and not feel it for a couple of minutes. And so that continues to improve.
Another thing I’ve noticed, and I understand this is also documented in the literature is, I had the hardest time getting a deep breath when I had the implants. And I would say, I just can’t get my breath. And that’s apparently a common symptom that’s more of a local effect. And that immediately changed that I can breathe more easily. I take deeper breaths, which as you know, is key for healing because it invokes the parasympathetic nervous system. And if you’re not invoking that, you’re not healing, you’re staying in sympathetic nervous system, fight and flight.
So, I’d say those are the biggest differences I’ve noticed. I have had some clients have very dramatic improvements within days to several weeks of having the explantation, and yet some do take longer, maybe months.
Robyn: Yeah, there’s probably a lot of toxins that are in organs and organ systems from all of those dozens of toxic chemicals in silicone or saline. Apparently saline implants are also problematic. Do you anything to say about the saline versus silicone thing?
Dr. Dunston: Yeah, so that’s interesting. The silicone certainly is the one with the most concern for extra capsular rupture because the silicone has the polymer in it that the body seems to react to the most. And even the saline, the shell, the capsule has some silicone in it. And it’s the capsule that causes that local foreign body reaction. The saline ones can be more prone to capsular contracture, particularly because they come in smooth and rough categories. And the rough ones more often promote the contracture and if you have contracture, 50% of people who have contracture, are going to have rupture.
So, the saline poses one type category of dysfunction and actually there is an exchange of body fluids through the capsule and through the valve with the saline ones on a regular basis. And it’s actually interesting because they will discolor interiorly over time because of this exchange of body fluids. And if there are any contaminants at the time of placement, then that can foster infection later on. And there has been documentation of mold growing inside the saline implants and that poses a whole other issue.
But it’s the silicone that is thought to be particularly toxic and now they’re coming out, I guess with this new gummy bear implants, which apparently are more rigid. So they give a quote unquote “perkier breast”. And there’s some speculation as to exactly what’s in it. And there may be more heavy metals than in the standard implants to make them have that increased rigidity.
And apparently the earlier generation implants, because they’ve gone through several generations since he started using them in the 1960’s, had thinner capsules and so implant illness was way more rampant in people who had second generation implants placed in the 70s, but there are way fewer of those around at this point because like the FDA says these are not lifetime implants, you’re going to have them out at some point. They’re not lifetime devices is what they say. And the longer you have them in, the more likely for you to have them out. And they’re not recommended to be left in more than 10 years. And so really it’s a temporary solution that will require surgery at another time.
Robyn: Yeah, I think that the vast majority of doctors do, or maybe they even have to tell their patients that, that this has got a 10 year life on it. But of course the breast implant industry has been so very, very successful that now there’s all these women who it’s not like they’re just going to go in routinely and say, I’d like some new implants, please. There’s now lots of women who have 20 and 25 year old implants.
My friend, the former professional athlete, sent me the photos of her ex plant. She wanted me to get educated myself and educate others about this issue. And she talked about how you have to remove the entire capsule or something like that. That some surgeons will just remove the implant, but will you talk a little about that. What the capsule is, and that you should make sure you have a surgeon who takes the whole thing out.
Dr. Dunston: Yeah. So there’s a kind of inflammatory capsule that forms around the implant in a kind of foreign body reaction and it’s speculated is the body trying to wall off this toxin from the rest of the body? What is the intent of the body in doing this? And at this point nobody is entirely sure, although that does make sense to me.
And it has mass cells and granulomas and all kinds of fibroblasts and different aspects of the immune system that the body lays down that forms this kind of shell around the implant, to wall it off or not, as I said, we’re not entirely sure. And it’s actually in that capsule that abnormalities can occur that can lead to the increased risks of cancer, like the anaplastic large cell lymphoma that the FDA conceded in 2011 was increased in women with implants. Well that actually occurs in the capsule adjacent to the implant.
So it’s important that a surgeon removes the entire capsule because otherwise those inflammatory cells that have been incited to activity, remain and can continue to cause problems and disease in the future. Not all surgeons are trained in capsular removal.
As I understand it, it’s a very technically challenging surgery because most implants are placed under the muscle in the chest wall, which means that they’re right over the ribs and that’s right outside the lung cavity and the pericardial cavity. And a lot of times it requires very intricate dissection. It’s almost like bubblegum that’s been blown onto the chest wall that they have to dissect it off piece by piece, very tediously when the heart and lungs are on the other side and it can take several hours.
But it’s imperative that they remove those inflammatory cells because there also can be some remnants of silicone in that area. I think they call them siliconomas. They can be in the capsule, but they’ve also been shown to be able to migrate down to limbs. So they’ve got to remove them in the capsule to get rid of them.
So not all surgeons are trained in that is my understanding and my observation. And so if you’re listening and you’re considering getting ex plantation, then you want to find a surgeon who is skilled and experienced in ex plantation of breast implants and knows how to properly remove the, they call it enbloc capsule.
Robyn: Enbloc. I’m actually glad you said that because my girlfriend who’s been telling me just everything and saying, get educated so you can educate on your podcast about this. She was saying enbloc to me and I did not know what that meant. So thank you for that.
And I’m really glad too, that was all very articulate explaining that there’s a very clear link between ALL or anaplastic large cell lymphoma. You’re just at a higher risk if you have breast implants. And I would imagine, I don’t know if the study says this, but I’d imagine the longer you have those same implants in, probably the higher your risk. You know, just that biofilm is building up and it’s just a slimy mess of a bacteria.
So a lot of women, as we’re a few decades into this industry have liked the cosmetic effects of it for a good long time, but now their health is in jeopardy and they’re concerned about what to do instead. You mentioned autologous fat grafting. Does that work? Is there a risk there? What should women know about that? What do you know?
Dr. Dunston: Yeah, so it’s gained in popularity over the years. And actually I had inquired about having that procedure back when I had implants placed and my plastic surgeon had said, no, that’s basically experimental and that was seven years ago. But now it’s fairly standard of care and they will take fat from hips, thighs, abdominal area through liposuction and then they inject it into the breast tissue.
If you already have an expanded skin space, then you can readily have fat grafting. If you haven’t had implants before. So for newbies who haven’t had it, then they have to use expanders ahead of time to expand the skin to allow it to accept the fat. About 30% of the fat once injected will actually become necrotic and die and go away. So they have to inject more fat than they want volume.
But the results have been very good. If it’s done in a sterile procedure, which it should be, then there’s low risk for infection. And if it’s done by an experienced surgeon, there’s low risk for trauma. And so it’s something that they’re offering women who have also had status post mastectomy instead of a flap to reconstruct the breasts. It’s my understanding that they’re offering the autologous fat grafting as well. As well as to people who are considering implants but are concerned about the health risks.
Robyn: Interesting. I want to go back just for a second. You mentioned the gummy bear implant and I’ve heard of that. But kind of like, well saline has these problems as you mentioned, they’re much more likely to form the capsular contracture, basically in layman’s terms means that your breasts become very hard. And then the silicone have more likelihood of rupture and the leaking is just so very toxic.
I’m grossly over simplifying, but flying at the high level here, now we have this gummy bear implant and you said a little bit about that. I’m always worried about these new things because you know, they’ll have to play out in your body for 20 years before we know what the potential negative effects of that will be. How old is that product? 5, 10 years? You don’t sound like you’re too excited about it.
Dr. Dunston: Well I heard a plastic surgeon talking about it, who actually is very savvy. She does a lot of ex plantations and she’s very savvy about toxicity. And apparently they have found there’s a forensic pathologist who’s done some research on patients postmortem on the implants to kind of look at what chemicals we’re dealing with here. Because when women have these implants out and they have the capsules out, the only thing that’s done is a basic pathology report that says, oh, I have two silicone implants. And then they might make some slices of the capsule to look at under the microscope and they’ll diagnose the inflammatory cells, but nobody’s doing a chemical evaluation.
What are the toxic chemicals that we’re dealing with here? So there’s kind of this unknown. And so this forensic pathologist started doing that on some postmortem patients and he found increased heavy metal load in the capsules and I believe it’s platinum that he found. And so there’s a concern about heavy metals being part of the matrix in the silicone implants. And when speculating what would make an implant more rigid? Well, metals do that.
And so there’s a concern about there being more heavy metals. I think it would be really interesting to have a study done where we actually look at chemical levels in people who are having implants and maybe look at it before they have implants, look at it after they have implants and really get an understanding of what kind of toxic chemicals we’re dealing with here.
Robyn: Yeah, that just seems like that absolutely needs to be done. And if there are higher levels of heavy metals in the gummy bear product. I know plastic surgeons are really out there selling that as the next generation and so much better. But Gosh, if there’s more heavy metals, we just don’t need more heavy metal toxicity causing so much neurological problems and so many cancers.
So hope everyone will do their homework on that if you’re even considering that. I’m really glad to have the information about autologous fat grafting. One more quick side question about that. Is it a staged process that you’d go in and you get the fat basically moved from one location to the breasts multiple times, or is it a onetime procedure?
Dr. Dunston: Well when it comes with coupling it with ex plantation, I’ve seen some surgeons do it as a separate procedure because they think it’s too much trauma to undergo all at once. But I’ve seen other surgeons do it all in one procedure. And then depending on how much fat you want to have transferred, I believe that there is a maximum per patient and I think it has to do with your nascent breast volume, what size implants they’re removing. So how much volume will be left, how much fat you have available? And so I think it’s a very individualized decision based on the patient and the surgeon for that procedure. And as I said, I’ve seen a great variety of how it’s handled.
Robyn: Interesting. So, I’m going to go to a higher level question and then I’m going to have you tell us where our followers can learn more from you. How did you make the shift into functional medicine? You came straight from standard of care training where there’s a surgery or a drug or a technology for everything. Was that working for you for a while? Did you have your doubts about it? I’m just interested in your path as a practitioner. What took you into being a lot more functional medicine doctor then the one with the prescription pad. What kind of impact has that made on your career and your own life?
Dr. Dunston: Oh, that’s a great question. Well, it’s interesting. I grew up in New York City, and I was raised by a woman and we used to call her Granola Gerry. She was good friends with a very famous holistic writer and health food store owner in New York. And she used to make her own Granola and yogurt and was so quote unquote “healthy”. And when my sister and I would get sick, she would make us sweat it out and give us Echinacea and Golden Seal. And we thought she was eccentric.
And then when I decided to go to medical school, I went for my training and I came back and actually did tell her “mother we heal with steel”. And it worked for me for a long time. I felt like I had been given a lot of powerful tools to help people. But after a while, after several years, my health started deteriorating. I was gaining weight. I probably looked 20 years older than I was. I suffered with depression and anxiety. My hair was falling out. I had fibromyalgia and just generally had ill health and was obese and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
And I looked at all my patients who are middle aged women having similar problems. And I would do what my board certification told me to do, which was here, take this pill, here, take this sleeping pill, here, take this birth control pill. Oh, that didn’t work. Well, let’s do laparoscopy. And then inevitably we would end up taking out one ovary and then another and then hysterectomy and kind of procedureizing everyone and medicalizing everyone and giving them pills. But nobody ever really got healthy. They were just in various stages of illness progressing. And my health was the same.
And I even started saying to my colleagues, are we really helping anyone? And they really didn’t get me. And they said, of course we help people. But I saw something different. I saw a lot of procedures and drugs happening and not a lot of people recovering. And then I discovered functional medicine.
And it was actually one of my patients who introduced me to it because she was having similar problems and I did the standard of care, here, take this birth control pill. And she went away and came back a year later as a new person. And I said, what have you been doing? And she said, well, I went to this doctor and she practices functional medicine. So of course I had to learn about it.
And when I did everything changed. And I just started going to conferences and researching and joined the fellowship program and started using it with myself. I actually worked with a naturopath early on and found that despite the fact that I had checked my thyroid at least 10 times, and it was quote unquote ‘normal” that I had a low functioning thyroid. I just didn’t have a thyroid disease by mainstream medicine definition, but it wasn’t functioning optimally.
I had progesterone deficiency, I had a flat line cortisol. Everybody listening probably heard a lot about that on the podcast. And I was just really toxic with leaky gut and all kinds of root cause dysfunctions that were missed by mainstream medicine. So I started addressing them with natural treatments, lifestyle change, diet supplements. And I’ve never looked back.
As I said, I lost a hundred pounds, got off all prescription medications, look 20 years younger. People wouldn’t recognize me in the mall anymore. And then of course my patients saw the changes and they said, we see you looking good. What are you doing? We want that. So I started doing it with them, and this was around 2010. And then in 2011, I actually realized that I could no longer give people drugs and do surgery on them as a first line of treatment. That I had a responsibility to teach them what I had learned.
And so I closed my OB/GYN practice and I’ve practiced this exclusively since 2011. So it’s transformed not only my personal life, it’s transformed my health, it’s transformed my professional life as well. And now I see this as my calling to increase awareness, educate particularly women, because I believe that we are the leaders when it comes to health in our country particularly and probably even in the world. And so I believe if I touch one woman, I touch a whole family full of generations of children and ancestors and grandparents and parents. So I see it as a calling and it has transformed my entire world.
Robyn: Well, that was beautifully put. And, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for doctors who are willing to, when they’ve spent all these years, becoming the most educated among us, and they have a lucrative career and practice. I’m so grateful that there are doctors like you and, and doctors in increasing numbers right now, asking those questions like you’d say to your colleagues and they would just kind of look at you like, what are you talking about when you say, but are we helping people get healthy? Are we really helping people here?
I can totally resonate with everything that you say about your path. And being told by 10 different practitioners as I kept getting tested and tested and they kept telling me that my thyroid was fine and my thyroid wasn’t fine. And it was a functional medicine approach that finally helped me start to get well. And so I’m really grateful for the shift. And I don’t know that I love the term functional medicine, but everybody’s organizing under it. And we know what we’re talking about when we refer to that, of getting to the root cause and addressing the toxicity issues and rebuilding the immune system.
And just things that standard of care medicine doesn’t do. So I loved what you said about that you felt like you were procedureizing everyone, because you know, all of us granola types, like your mom, we sit around and gripe about the limitations of medicine and the danger of a lot of the procedures in medicine, but it’s really almost validating for those of us who really have been questioning it for a long time to have a medical doctor say I was procedureizing everyone. So it’s just a breath of fresh air to hear you speak so very honestly about it.
And that you would actually transition your career and almost have to make a whole new fresh start. And go get board certified in a whole other discipline under functional medicine and anti-aging.
So just one more little thing and it’s actually not a little thing, it’s a deep and meaningful question, whatever you want to say about it. What do you have to say to women who are going through breast implant illness or breast cancer about the psycho spiritual aspects of it? Because it’s such a great opportunity to talk to you because you’re not only a doctor, but you’re also a patient and went through this yourself. How can they address that? What do you think will be successful? And what is it like for women going through that?
Dr. Dunston: That’s a great question. Part of my healing, both on my first wave and my second wave has been about psycho spiritual healing. And part of what I teach my patients is that there is no physical illness without psycho spiritual illness. The psycho spiritual part is the energetic framework for the physical body.
And so if you have a physical illness, you by definition have a psycho spiritual issue in the energy framework of your body and you’ve got to address that. And you can eat great and exercise and sleep and do sauna and take supplements till the cows come home, but if you don’t address the psych spiritual energetic framework, you probably won’t heal. And so it’s actually one of the main topics that I deal with, with my clients is helping them understand what this is because no doctor is talking to them about it.
So for me, with breast implant illness, I have to look at the fact that the breasts are in the heart Chakra. So they’re in the heart Chakra, which is with your heart and your lungs and your upper extremities, which includes your hands. Which hands are how you show your love in the world. It’s how you hug people. It’s how you caress them. It’s how you pet your dog. It’s how you love your babies, your hands. And so a lot of my symptoms happened to be in my hands, with the raynaud’s and the burning. And so I really had to look at what’s going on in this Chakra for me that I need to look at as to why I’m experiencing this.
And Chakra means “wheel”, literally, but it’s an energy center that has certain representations for your kind of psycho spiritual makeup and who you are and how you function in the world. And, the heart Chakra is all about love. And so I had to look at where am I broken when it comes to love. And maybe that’s not the best term, but that’s how it felt because here I had done all this work with the first wave and discovered all these physical issues, and psycho spiritual and had dealt with them. And felt like I had really come to this new kind of being at home in my own skin and then all of a sudden was evicted again by this issue.
And what really has resonated for me, and I’ve found this for other women, and when you think about it, breast, you know, it’s how we nurture our babies, it’s really sustenance and that’s a form of love. Is how am I loving the people in my life, loving my community, loving the world at large, and how am I loving myself? Or rather, how am I not loving others and how am I not loving myself? Because if there’s a blockage here that’s congested energy that’s then showing up as physical dysfunction, there must be some block in the free flowing because if it were free flowing than the love is flowing freely through me to others and to myself.
And what I’ve found with myself and others is that we don’t love ourselves. And I wasn’t loving myself and treating myself like my best friend and like I deserved to be treated. And I find this with a lot of my clients too. And so really for me, this healing portion, is self-love. Which I used to be a doer and I help people and that’s how I gained my worth. And now I’m coming to this, no, I’m worthy cause I’m here and putting that love back onto myself.
So hopefully this is making sense, but this is how I would help people to understand. And if you’re listening, I would say, where are you not loving yourself and where are you not loving others. And to do for others what they could do for themselves is not love. It’s caretaking, which is really a form of co-dependence. And so really having us all look at what is true, authentic, untainted love for others and for ourselves and really working through that and releasing the blocks is what I would say the psycho spiritual message of breast implant illness is.
Robyn: That’s really beautifully put. I appreciate everything you just said. Since our show is really about that everything has a vibrational frequency and the things we put in our body do. And I often say that we abuse only what we don’t value. And so as we learn to love ourselves, then we have a framework for going out in the world and loving others better. And so it has to start there. We can’t skip that. And many times women overlook that step or they don’t know how to do it because there are so many voices telling us that we’re all wrong. I mean, that’s really how we got to the point where we cut our breasts open and put a lot of toxic stuff underneath our pectoral muscle.
If you look at it very foundationally, and I don’t say this to shame anyone who has gotten breast implants, we didn’t make up this system we just live in it. Absolutely no judgment on women who get them. It’s the industry. It’s the messaging we were taught that we aren’t enough. How we are isn’t enough. And so we have to get to that subconscious programming we have to bring into our consciousness a willingness to choose to love ourselves and to see all the positives and the beauty. And then I think we just go out there and we have so much more to give.
But all these things that you just said and then I just said, are obviously very abstract. But, I just interviewed Dr. Bruce Lipton and it caused me to reflect very deeply on the subconscious programming we get from our culture. Might be our micro culture, like a specific religious environment we were raised in or how our family was. It might be how the US does fashion and beauty, all those things make an impact.
But you are truly a gift because you are the wounded healer. As a former psychotherapist, that theory always resonated with me that we, even though some of us as therapists have been divorced, we’ve failed at marriage if you want to think of it that way or whatever, we’ve been through life and we’ve had tough things. I think that’s a lot of what makes us good therapists.
And I feel like your journey has probably made you just an even more amazing doctor. So I really appreciate the time you’ve taken with us today. I know you talk to women all day, every day. So getting to talk to a crowd of women is just a sacrifice of your time that I greatly appreciate. Will you tell everyone where they can learn more about you? I know you have a podcast. Tell them where to find you.
Dr. Dunston: Sure. Thank you, Robyn. They can find me on my website, which is www.kyrindunstonmd.com and they can find the podcast there and more information about me. And thank you so much for having me. It’s been my absolute pleasure being here and sharing with you.