BREASTS!! (Again)

Cyclic Breast Tenderness with PMS

It is common among  woman to experience breast tenderness before or during the onset of menses. Many woman also notice tissue changes in thier breasts with hormonal fluctuations. Movable, soft cysts in the breast that begin up to two weeks before the onset of menses and resolve once your flow stops is reffered to as fibrocystic breast disease (Kaur, Sat Dharam, 2003)

It is thought that this is due to the effect of more prominant estrogen compared to progesterone on the breast during this time of the cycle (Hudson, Tori 2008).  However, some researchers think it may also be due to an underactive thyroid or change in the ratio of your endogenous estrogens. 

Mastalgia is any breast pain that disrupts a womans quality of life and, if severe enough, causes her to seek treatment (Hudson, Tori 2008).  Pain may be present because of old trauma, acute infection, nodules or unwanted growths.  If pain or swellings do not change during your cycle please seek the care of your doctor. 



A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and lower in inflammatory foods such as tomatoes, eggplants, tobacco and potatoes may help reduce the pain.  Other high fiber foods (including fruits and vegetables)  oat bran, split peas, lentils, beans can help eliminate excess estrogens from the body, potentially lessening the negative effect on the breast tissue. 


Caffeine (Methylxanthine)

Methylxanthine is found in black tea, green tea, cola, chocolate and coffee. There is a postive correlation between consumption of methylxanthines and fibrocystic breasts. 

Try to avoid these, espeically around the time of your menses.  Allow at least 3 months of little to no consumption of these before you may notice a difference. 


Nutritional Defciencies

Deficiences of Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, iodine or coenzyme Q10 may be atrriuted to painful, cystic breasts.  Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about supplementing with these nutrients. 


Practice Breast Massage

Breast massage can help increase lymphatic drainage and keep breasts healthy. For instructions click here:



Hudson, Tori 2008. Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Thereapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness. McGraw Hill, USA

Kaur, Sat Dharam, 2003. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Breast Cancer, Robert Rose Inc. Ontario Canada.


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