ME/CFS caused by breast augmentation?

Foreword – and Reminder

I am not a licensed medical professional and there are strict laws where I live about “appearing to practice medicine”.  I am safe when it is “academic models” and I keep to the language of science, especially statistics. I am not safe when the explanations have possible overtones of advising a patient instead of presenting data to be evaluated by a medical professional before implementing.

I cannot tell people what they should take or not take. I can inform people items that have better odds of improving their microbiome as a results on numeric calculations. I am a trained experienced statistician with appropriate degrees and professional memberships.

Back story 

I’ve had ME/CFS 14 years (symptoms came on stronger after breast augmentation 2008) but the last 9 yrs I’ve been mostly housebound & bed bound 21 hours per day. I’d say I’m moderate/severe. (I live in the Uk) 

My diet:- 

  • Brekkie :- muesli (take raisins out) with coconut milk or almond milk  Or poached egg on 1 seeded brown bread Or scrambled egg with cumin, coconut milk, salt & black pepper on 1 seeded brown bread Or porridge with coconut milk, frozen blueberries or dried goji berries 
  • Lunch:-A banana, nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds) & mixed seeds 
  • Dinner:-Salad (bistro salad leaves with a little shredded beetroot) cucumber, celery, grated carrot, with jacket potato (or sweet potato) & vegan cheese on top.. I’ve just started to add a sprinkle of organic olive oil & black pepper (tasty)  Or Steamed veg – carrots, green beans, broccoli, stringless beans & sugar snap peas (or mangetout) with sweet potato & usually something out the freezer I pop in oven… which I know I need to stop as it’s processed. I will begin to change that for chicken or salmon (it’s just been easier) 

More information on diet and supplements was also sent.


Looking at Bacteria Deemed Unhealthy, the sole item that stands out was moderately high Streptococcus oralis. Dr. Jason Hawrelak Recommendations came out to 90%ile — so better than most people.

For this person, we have a shift towards rarer bacteria with those seen in only 30-50% of samples being over represented.

0 – 922
10 – 1985
20 – 29119
30 – 391020
40 – 491119
50 – 59913
60 – 6999
70 – 7959
80 – 8946
90 – 9956

Since ME/CFS is the condition, I checked the list of antibiotics often prescribed with the following being the top of the list. It is interesting to note that the literature finds that they do improve some ME/CFS patients

  1. gentamicine sulfate (antibiotic)   (1) [See 2021] [2017]
  2. rifaximin (antibiotic)s   (0.949) [Health Rising] [2011] and many more
  3. amikacin hydrate (antibiotic)   (0.845) – no significant literature
  4. gentamicin (antibiotic)s   (0.745) [2017]
  5. metronidazole (antibiotic)s   (0.727) “Metronidazole/Flagyl is reported to have 75% of CFS patients improving ” [Src] also [BMJ]

On the avoid list are some antibiotics that are also prescribed for ME/CFS

  1. rifampicin (antibiotic)s   ( – 0.423 )
  2. tetracycline (antibiotic)s   ( – 0.291 )
  3. azithromycin,(antibiotic)s   ( – 0.289 )
  4. rifampicin (antibiotic)   ( – 0.289 )
  5. doxycycline (antibiotic)s   ( – 0.191 )

She provided some of the items that she is taking so I looked at the estimated impact on her microbiome

  • sertraline,(prescription) which she is reducing. This is likely a good course of action
    • Take Estimate:  20.4, Avoid Estimate:  24.7
  • dopamine (prescription) – this is a bit of a concern to me because it is likely to contribute to microbiome dysfunction
    • Take Estimate:  13.2, Avoid Estimate:  23.1
  • Vitamin C, — keep taking
    • Take Estimate:  22.3, Avoid Estimate:  13.9
  • Cetirizine:
    • Take Estimate:  20.4, void Estimate:  29.1

Note: the above are estimates on whether they will improve or contribute to the microbiome dysfunction. Medical concerns should always dominate.


Doing my usual pick the bacteria to change using different criteria we have:

The number of bacteria selected for each of the above was lower than I often seen.

Going to the Consensus

The following suggestions stand out:

Dropping down to the avoid list, we see

The full list is attached.

Trying out an Experimental feature

I have used this feature of the several recent blogs on autism (Bacteria to Hand-Pick for Autism with Ombre/Thryve samples, Bacteria to Hand-Pick for Autism with Biomesight samples). I have posted the bacteria identified here. Unfortunately sample size are small (1/3 of the Long COVID samples)

Using the 61 samples annotated with CFS and processed thru the same lab ( We found 11 bacteria identified as statistically associated with CFS. Three were too high and 8 were too low.

RankNameYour valuePercentile
family Actinomycetaceae8025.7
genus Actinomyces4020.2
genus Adlercreutzia7014.4
species Adlercreutzia equolifaciens7021.3
species Anaerotruncus colihominis156079.7
species Bacteroides acidifaciens7027.7
species Bacteroides rodentium185073.6
species Bacteroides uniformis2116061.8
species Bifidobacterium longum30032.8
species Finegoldia magna4028.4
species Prevotella copri708.9

The results from this custom picked set are shown below.

Modifier – Suggestion to takeConfidence
  Human milk oligosaccharides (prebiotic, Holigos, Stachyose)1  📏
  whole grain diet0.576
  inulin (prebiotic)0.541
  vitamin k20.4  📏
  bacillus subtilis,lactobacillus acidophilus (probiotics)0.38
  lactobacillus fermentum (probiotics)0.38  📏
  lactobacillus gasseri (probiotics)0.38  📏
  lactobacillus reuteri (probiotics)0.38  📏
  navy bean0.379
  ketogenic diet0.379
  vitamin a0.345
  arabinoxylan oligosaccharides (prebiotic)0.328
  chondrus crispus (red sea weed)0.328
  green tea0.328
Modifier to avoidConfidence
 Slippery Elm0.382
 glycyrrhizic acid (licorice)0.382
 refined wheat breads0.214
Probiotics that are best to take NameImpact
  Bromatech (IT) / Rotanelle plus7.9
  probiotic pur (de) / realdose nutrition6.18
  Jetson (US) / Immunity Probiotics6.09
  douglas laboratories / multi probiotic 40 billion6.09
  Thryve L.PCasei Th1, L.PCasei Th2,L.Ferm IBF1, L.acidoph6.09
Flavonoid Foods Flaxseed, meal Nuts, almonds Almond
Flavonoid / Supplements   Vitamin K (phylloquinone)  Resveratrol   Magnesium, Mg

We have some contradictions between these suggestions and the ones above. Why? The data we are using is very very incomplete. It is the best that is available. In keeping with my principle of less risk, when suggestions are in disagreement (for example Nuts and almonds – recommended here but to avoid above), then omit them. There are a lot of possible items, keeping to positive items where there are no disagreement is the best path.

Because this person suffers from brain fog, they may wish to sit down with a nutritionist to go thru the download list above to craft a diet plan. The suggestions are in no way a balanced nor complete diet. For example increase food rich in magnesium on the take suggestions, or using supplements.

As always, this information is computed from the best available data and is not based on clinical experience. Always review with your medical professional for appropriateness of suggestions before starting.

Bottom Line

I check with this person and the breast augmentation has not been undone. In other words, there is a reasonable chance that it is a significant contributor to the ongoing symptoms. I expect some progress from microbiome manipulation, but I suspect the side effects from augmentation will limit it. The literature seems to confirm it.

  • “Subclinical bacterial infections (biofilms) are strongly implicated in breast augmentation” [2021]
  • “The most common cause of surgical readmission after breast implant surgery remains infection. Six causative organisms are principally involved: Staphylococcus epidermidis and S. aureus, Escherichia, Pseudomonas, Propionibacterium, and Corynebacterium.” [2015]
  • “The researchers found that the women with silicone gel-filled breast implants were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with autoimmune or rheumatic disorders, such as Sjögren syndrome, systemic sclerosis, and sarcoidosis, compared with women without breast implants of a similar age and socioeconomic status.” [2022]
  • “Silicone breast implants(SBI)  are associated in a proportion of patients with complaints such as fatigue, cognitive impairment, arthralgias, myalgias, pyrexia, dry eyes and dry mouth. Silicones can migrate from the implant through the body and can induce a chronic inflammatory process. Explantation[Removal] of SBI results in the majority of patients in an amelioration of the symptoms.” [2017]