Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home Remedies for Tender, Sore, Painful Breasts

Fibrocystic breast disease which results in soreness and tenderness of the breast prior to menstrual cycles is one of the most common female disorders. Estimates suggest that approximately half the number of females below the age of 50 years suffer from this disorder. While this condition has not been linked with any form of underlying medical condition, simple dietary measures and home remedies can help in treating this condition. This condition may often manifest as a part of a more broader syndrome complex referred to as premenstural disorder syndrome.

Symptoms of Sore Breasts

Most females are affected by breast problems, especially during their reproductive age (i.e. between puberty and menopause).Tenderness of the breast, also referred to as cyclic breast disorder occurs on a monthly basis just prior to the menstrual periods.
During this phases, breasts often feel swollen, painful and heavy, especially around the areolar region. Some patients may complain of increased sensitivity to touch, espeically around the areolar region.

Causes of Breast Tenderness
Breast Tenderness is a
common complaint
Some of the common causes for breast tenderness prior to periods include,
  • Pre Menstrual Syndrome or PMS is a syndrome complex which is characterized by a host of symptoms including abdominal pain, fatigue and breast pain about a week prior to menstrual periods. It is believed that the condition is caused due to retention of water in the breast tissue which tends to exert undue pressure resulting in tenderness and pain.
  • Use of contraceptive pills to prevent pregnancy or use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for the management of symptoms of menopause are also considered to be contributing factors
  • Consumption of caffeinated beverages results in dilation of blood vessels in the breast tissue due to the compound methylxanthine. This distention often result is pain
  • Use of NSAIDs, steroids and HRT drugs are also linked with development of breast tenderness
  • Sclerosing adenosis is also a condition which is associated with breast tenderness
Some of the other lifestyle related causes linked with painful breasts include,
  1. wearing a tight fitting bra
  2. breast enhancement or augmentation surgery
If pain and tenderness of the breast is a constant and ongoing and not linked to menstural cycles, it is essential to get onselfs evaluated to rule out the possibility of cancer of the breast.

Home Remedies for Painful Breasts
Here are some simple home remedies and supplements which have been reported to improve breast soreness and alleviate the pain. While one can use the supplements in conjuction with other medicines, it is essential to ensure that these supplements/home remedies dont interfere with other treatments linked to premenstural syndrome disorder. These simple remedies comprise of natural herbs and dietary supplements,
    Chaste Tree Extract is
    very beneficial in Breast Pain
  • Chaste Tree Extract: Studies have shown that chaste tree extract helps in restoring the balance between estrogen and progesterone. Imbalance in estrogen and progesterone can result in fluid retention in the body which in turn results in breast tenderness. Chaste Tree extract can help alleviate pain.
  • Vitamin E: Reports have suggested that consumption of 500 IU of Vitamin E supplements can help in sustained relief from breast soreness.  
  • Essential fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are strong anti-inflammatory agents and help in reducing pain and tenderness in the breasts. Consumption of 1 gram of Evening primrose is recommended for the management of the condition. Alternatively flax seed oil is also considered to be a good source of EFAs.
  • Magnesium supplements are also considered to be beneficial in the management of breast tenderness and soreness.
  • Iodine: Studies have shown that lower levels of iodine can result in breast disorders. Consuming foods rich in iodine namely sea foods are considered beneficial. However, check for your thyroid condition before increasing the intake of iodine. However, it is essential to bear in mind that excessive iodine can be detrimental in the management of hyperthyroidism.
  • Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6 helps the liver process excess of estrogen and hence is considered beneficial in management of cyclic breast disorder.
Natural Treatment and Diet for Sore Breasts
Here are some addition considerations for management of tenderness and soreness of the breasts,
  • Wear a bra of the right size and ensure that it supports the breast tissue adequately
  • Caffeine consumption is
    strongly linked with
    Breast Problems
  • Cold compression is considered to relive pain as it averts inflammatory response. Regular cold compression during acute pain is recommended
  • Limit and preferably eliminate caffeine from your diet. Avoid cola drinks, chocolate and other over the counter medications.
  • Limit the intake of processed foods and saturated fatty acids. Limit consumption of Trans Fats in your diet.

Visit your gynecologist on regular basis, especially if the pain is severe or if you observe discharge from the nipples. 

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