Do you have lumpy, painful breast every month?


Tender or lumpy breast is a common reason for women consulting their gynecologists for assessment, examination and treatment. So, medical terminology for cyclical painful, lumpy breasts : “fibrocystic” or “fibro-nodular breast” .

Complementary Treatments for cyclic breast pain and swelling

An alternative medicine principle for fibrocystic breast tissue (cyclical pain and swelling ) includes is inappropriate estrogen clearance or estrogen metabolism from the liver.

To assure that estrogens are being metabolized properly, it’s important to consider nutritional and herbal support along with conventional medicine. Please consult with your physician before adopting proper nutrition, gut flora and herbal support that is discussed here.

DIET:

Low sugar, reduced red meat and low milk product intake help to avoid estrogen over stimulation.

GUT FLORA:

Bacterial flora in the large intestine, Lactobacillus acidophilus and bacteriods species, improve the transit time of bowel toxins, as well as improving the excretion and detoxification of estrogens.


NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT:

Iodine

Four types of iodine have been studied in the treatment of fibrocystic breasts, only one of which has been truly effective both pain reduction and cyst reduction, and free of side effects on the thyroid gland. The sodium iodide, potassium iodide, and caseinated iodine can actually inhibit thyroid function in some individuals and actually cause hypothyroid. Aqueous iodine is the only form which will not cause hypothyroidism. And, the aqueous or diatomic iodine achieved both symptom relief in 74 percent of the women, but also objective reduction in nodules and resolution of fibrosis in 65 percent of the patients, without adverse effects on the thyroid gland. The recommended dose of aqueous iodine is a prescription of 3-6 mg per day.

Vitamin E

Two studies demonstrated that vitamin E is clinically useful in relieving pain and tenderness, whether cyclical or noncyclical. Generally, the recommend dose of Vitamin E is 400-800 IU of vitamin E in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol.

Primrose Capsule

In a study of 291 women who took three grams per day of evening primrose oil for three to six months, almost half of the 92 women with cyclic breast pain experienced improvement, compared with one-fifth of the patients who received the placebo.

Cyclical breast swelling in fibrocystic disease :

Herbal diuretics can be useful in decreasing breast swelling and the discomfort associated with it. The most effective of these is dandelion leaf tea (Taraxacum officinale). Other diuretics herb are : yarrow (Achillea millefolium) , cleavers (Galium aparine) and uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi).

These simple therapies generally yield very satisfying results within 1 to 3 months, even in women with significantly painful breasts.

The conventional medical approaches include synthetic progestin, decreasing hyperinsulinemia, Danazol and/or Tamoxifen , metformin , mefenamic acid may have to be contemplated in very difficult unbearable cases with no response from natural therapies.


References

1.Pashby N et al. A clinical trial of evening primrose oil in mastalgia. Br J Surg 1981;68:801-824

2. London R, et al. Mammary dysplasia: Endocrine parameters and tocopherol therapy. Nutr Res 1982;7:243.

3. La Vecchia C, et al. Benign breast disease and consumption of beverages containing methylxanthines. JNCI 1985;74(5):995-1000.

4.Ernster V, Mason L, Goodson W, et al. Effects of caffeine-free diet on benign breast disease: a randomized trial. Surg 1982;912:263-267.

5.Lubin F, et al. A case-control study of caffeine and methylxanthine in benign breast disease. JAMA 1985; 253(16)2388-92.

6.Shawer C, Brinton L, Hoover R. Methylxanthine and benign breast disease. Am J Epid 1986;124(4): 603-11.

7.Marshall J, Graham S, Swanson M. Caffeine consumption and benign breast disease: a case-control comparison. Amer J Pub Health 1982;72(6):610-12.

8.Boyle C, et al. Caffeine consumption and fibrocystic breast disease: a case-control epidemiologic study. JNCI 1984;72(5):1015-19.

9.Rose D, et al. Effect of a low-fat diet on hormone levels in women with cystic breast disease. I. Serum steroids and gonadotropins JJCK 1987;78(4):623-626.

10. London R, et al. Mammary dysplasia: Endocrine parameters and tocopherol therapy. Nutr Res 1982;7:243.

11. London R, et al. Endocrine parameters and alpha-tocopherol therapy of patients with mammary dysplasia. Canc Res 1981;41:3811-13.

12.Pye J et al. Clinical experience of drug treatment for mastalgia. Lancet 1985;2:373-77.

13.Ghent W, et al. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Can J Surg 1993. Oct; 35(5):453-60..


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