Danica Patrick Had Her Breast Implants Removed After Significant Health Problems: 'The Wheels Came Off'

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick had her breast implants removed on Wednesday after dealing with significant health problems for the last two years, she shared Friday.

The former NASCAR driver, 40, said on Instagram that she "wasn't sure" if she was ready to share her experience, "but then I remembered that true vulnerability is sharing something you're not really ready to. So here it is."

Patrick explained that she got her breast implants in Nov. 2014, "because I want to have it all."

"I was really fit, but I didn't have boobs. So I got them. Everything went well, and I was happy with them."

RELATED: Danica Patrick on Struggling with Body Image and Social Media: 'I Think There's a Yearning for Real'

In early 2018, though, Patrick started noticing her hair "was not as healthy and was breaking off," and she started gaining "a few pounds and had no luck losing it."

Her problems only increased from there, and in late 2020 "the wheels came off," Patrick said.

"I had cycle irregularity, gained more weight, my hair wasn't looking healthy at all and my face was a different shape (weird I know)," she said. "So I went down the rabbit hole to figure it out. I did every test that could be done."

RELATED VIDEO: Tamra Judge Removes Breast Implants, Says She's Already Noticing 'Health Improvements'

Patrick then listed her symptoms: hypothyroidism; heavy metal toxicity; dysbiosis (a gut imbalance); severe leaky gut; hypoglycemic; low estrogen, DHEA, testosterone, magnesium, white blood count, vitamin D and progesterone; adrenal fatigue; elevated CRP (a sign of inflammation); temperature sensitivity; swollen lymph nodes in her neck; dry scalp and skin; "weird" perspiration smell; dizziness; achy hands; face swelling; weight gain; hair loss and capsular contracture — meaning scar tissue grew around her implant.

RELATED: Women Seeking Breast Implants Must Now Be Warned of the Potential Health Risks, FDA Says

Those symptoms led Patrick to have her implants removed, a procedure she had done on Wednesday. In her Instagram post, she included a photo of herself a few hours before the removal and then a couple hours after.

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick/Instagram Danica Patrick before and after getting her breast implants removed

"Within hours after surgery this is what I noticed — my face had more color and less dark circles (no food before the second pic), my face started producing oil again, I could take a 30% deeper breath into my chest already, and I had so much energy when I woke up (and surgery was at 2:30 p.m.)," she said.

RELATED: 20 Stars Who Regretted Getting Breast Implants

Patrick reshared her post on her Instagram Story with the caption "Think about it!", along with additional photos from after the surgery. She included pictures from her drive home, when she was feeling "….well nothing I was pretty hopped up on meds riding home. 🤪 But look at my face color! 🧐 🙌🏼"

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick/Instagram Danica Patrick

So far, Patrick said, the bandage and drains that she has to wear have been the "most annoying part" of having her implants removed.

"Other than my little veins taking 4 tries in the OR 🥴," she joked.

PEOPLE has reached out to Patrick's reps for additional information.