Fibrocystic breast disease can cause pain, swelling, and lumpiness in the breasts. There are several treatment options when it comes to healing this condition, including many natural remedies. Understanding the fibrocystic breast disease treatment options available to you is key to finding relief.
This guide will define fibrocystic breast disease, answer frequently asked questions and address common misconceptions, and outline holistic treatment options. These helpful tips will help if you are dealing with this condition and looking for effective fibrocystic breast disease treatment.
What is Fibrocystic Breast Disease?
Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition in which there is lumpiness in one or both breasts. The lumps are caused by benign cysts, also known as tender areas of thickened tissue, and sometimes produce swelling, pain, and sensitivity of the breasts.
The condition is very common, affecting around 60% of women. It typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Many women experience no symptoms. Others experience mild swelling and tenderness. Some women go through constant breast pain and tenderness and develop several lumpy, nodular areas in both breasts.
4 Frequently Asked Questions and Common Misconceptions
There are common misconceptions about fibrocystic breast disease that can cause a lot of confusion for women who are suffering from this condition. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the disease.
1. Are the Cysts Present in Fibrocystic Breasts Cancerous?
No – the cysts that are present in fibrocystic breasts are benign, or non-cancerous. They also do not increase your risk of breast cancer. These lumps can, however, mimic or mask breast cancer, making it more difficult to detect. That is why if you are experiencing pain, tenderness, or swelling of the breasts, it is very important to make an appointment for a breast exam with a medical professional before attempting self-treatment.
2. What Is the Cause of Fibrocystic Breasts?
Experts don’t know the exact cause of fibrocystic breasts but they strongly suspect they are due to hormonal changes. Many women experience hormonal fluctuations, particularly excess estrogen, at puberty, pre-menopause, and during stressful situations. Fibrous tissue may also form during the first half of a woman’s menstrual cycle, known as the follicular phase when estrogen levels are at their highest.
A woman’s mammary glands prepare for lactation when her body prepares itself for pregnancy each month. The body will break down these new breast cells if she does not conceive, and if the woman’s hormones are out of balance, the cells can build up, causing inflammation and cystic breast tissue.
3. Will Symptoms Go Away on Their Own?
Symptoms of breast tenderness and pain will persist as long as they are left unaddressed. The hormones that are present in a premenopausal woman’s body cause the symptoms. Symptoms will typically disappear over time but usually only after menopause. The lumps will continue to cause pain and tenderness until this time, so finding a solution for your fibrocystic breasts can make a world of difference in your quality of life.
4. Are Symptoms Consistent?
Some women experience only mild symptoms, with minimal breast pain or tenderness. These symptoms can also be inconsistent and only last a little while, usually occurring before menstruation. Other women may only feel lumps or pain during a breast examination performed by the woman herself or by a doctor. Fibrocystic breast tenderness and pain may be constant, however, in other women.
Every woman’s body is different, and there is no single rule for which symptoms occur and how often. Symptoms that do occur should be noted and discussed with a medical professional for further analysis.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease Treatment
Treatment for fibrocystic breasts is directed at relieving a woman’s individual symptoms and correcting her hormonal irregularities. Medications, such as birth control and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, can help relieve pain, but these drugs often come with a list of side effects and offer only temporary, surface-level relief.
Holistic treatment addresses the pain naturally without any major risks or side effects. Approaching your symptoms through all-natural means can reduce breast tenderness and swelling while promoting health and wellness throughout the whole body.
Some effective holistic treatment options for fibrocystic breast disease include:
4 Holistic Treatments
Some reports suggest certain vitamins can reduce breast pain and other symptoms associated with fibrocystic breast disease. These include vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, and vitamin C to reduce painful symptoms and promote overall health and wellbeing.
Vitamins that may help to relieve the symptoms of fibrocystic breasts include vitamins E, A, and B complex. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells and fight damage caused by free radicals, while also helping to reduce inflammation. Vitamin A plays a role in promoting healthy skin, while vitamin B complex can help to alleviate pain associated with fibrocystic breast changes because it helps the body produce energy for use in the production of collagen, which helps maintain strong tissue structures. Vitamin D is another important nutrient for those with fibrocystic breasts as it has been shown to reduce inflammation and regulate hormone levels.
Additionally, magnesium can be beneficial as it helps support healthy connective tissue and relieves premenstrual cramps that may occur due to fibrocystic changes. Lastly, omega-3 fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory agents that can also help reduce any swelling or tenderness associated with fibrocystic breasts. As always, consult a nutritionally-trained healthcare provider before taking any supplements or changing your diet in order to ensure a safe and effective treatment plan tailored specifically to you.
Supplements such as Evening Primrose Oil, iodine, and red raspberry leaf all contain powerful benefits that can reduce symptoms related to fibrocystic breast disease. Evening Primrose Oil contains essential fatty acids that can promote pain relief. Many women with breast tenderness have an iodine deficiency, therefore taking iodine supplements can promote overall breast wellness in addition to reducing pain. It’s best to test iodine levels before using this therapy. Red raspberry leaf works by detoxing excess estrogen to balance your hormones. These, among other beneficial supplements, make a world of difference in maintaining breast health and preventing fibrocystic breasts from getting worse.
Many women have found relief by making dietary changes, such as limiting their caffeine intake, and eating a low-fat diet. Caffeine and foods that are high in fat content can oftentimes make fibrocystic breast symptoms worse.
In addition to reducing caffeine intake, a low-fat diet may help improve symptoms associated with fibrocystic breast disease. Fatty foods are linked to increased inflammation in the body which can then lead to increased soreness in the breasts. Foods that are high in fat content should be limited or avoided entirely such as fried foods, processed meats, high-fat dairy products (such as butter or cream), unhealthy oils (like coconut oil or palm oil), processed baked goods (like cakes and cookies) and fast food.
Patients can instead focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that are high in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables which may help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Consuming healthy fats like olive oil or avocado is also beneficial for reducing inflammation while providing necessary vitamins and minerals that support hormone balance. Eating lean proteins such as fish or chicken helps support muscle health while providing essential amino acids needed for optimal functioning of cells throughout the body.
Balancing your hormones
Hormonal imbalance is the key component in fibrocystic breast disease. There are simple lifestyle changes that you can make to balance your hormones naturally to reduce your breast pain and other symptoms caused by this condition. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is another alternative option for more severe circumstances to treat fibrocystic symptoms and promote overall health, wellness, and wellbeing.
The treatment you use will depend on your unique system and imbalances. It’s advised to see a doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms to which method will be best for you.
Find Effective Relief & Fibrocystic Breast Disease Treatment Today
Women who are experiencing the breast pain and tenderness associated with fibrocystic breast disease can find effective relief through all-natural solutions. Medication is no longer the only option.
Dr. Karen Threlkel is a naturopathic doctor who primarily serves women and their health concerns in the greater D.C. area. Contact Dr. Threlkel today if you are dealing with fibrocystic breast disease and would like to learn more about drug-free, holistic treatment options and natural relief.