A woman says she spent around £50,000 on alternative remedies after falling seriously ill as a result of her breast implants.
Kathy Richmond, 38, spent the money over a nine-year period on homeopathy, reiki, cupping, acupuncture, reflexology, a functional healer, craniosacral (a therapy involving light touch).
But she was still very ill.
Kathy, a mother-of-four from Reading, Berkshire, increased the size of her breasts from an A to a G cup.
She had the £5,000 procedure done in 2007 on a whim following the birth of her two eldest children.
‘I never hated my breasts,’ she explained. ‘But they changed after I had my two oldest children.
‘Being 6ft, I could carry off bigger breasts, so I decided to get implants. We had the money in the bank, so I thought, “Why not?”.’
But two years later she became seriously ill and she now believes it was Breast Implant Illness – an anecdotal problem that is not recognised by the NHS.
However, the NHS does warn of the dangers of breast implants with a long list of potential side-effects, including allergic reactions.
‘I didn’t realise it was because of the implants then,’ she explained. ‘My asthma, which I’d last had as a child came back and my nails started flaking.
‘I also suffered with extreme fatigue – to such an extent, I had to give up work as a fitness instructor.’
She visited a GP in Reading, who suggested thyroid problems as a possible reason for her illness.
‘I did have thyroid problems,’ she accepted. ‘But I didn’t know why. I also had ring worm, a type of fungal infection and all sorts of other problems.’
Kathy said: ‘Initially I loved my implants, I didn’t regret them at all. After a while, though, I started feeling very sick.
‘I experienced various issues from 2009, but became very sick from late 2014. I suffered from hives, brain fog, with weight gain, depression, vertigo, hair loss and more.
‘There were stains on my face that looked like tea, the asthma I’d not had since I was a child worsened, I developed anxiety and fungus formed on my nails. It was terrible.’