Three Approaches To Treat Breast Pain
Three levels of approaches can be considered for treating breast pain. These are categorized as: Lifestyle Changes, Alternative Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Options.
Women are encouraged to begin with the least risky approach to breast pain treatment, lifestyle adjustments, and then proceed to the next level of care. While medical intervention is not usually necessary to treat breast pain, some women who are unable to find relief from lifestyle changes and alternative medicine may wish to consider pharmaceutical options, after properly assessing the risks associated with such a treatment.
Say Goodbye To Breast Tenderness: 7 Ways To Treat Sore Breasts Naturally
Breast pain and tenderness is one of the sure signs that your hormones are in flux. Whether its a clue that your cycle is coming soon or youre experiencing hormonal changes due to pregnancy, illness or menopause, your breasts can be the first part of your body affected. Some women even experience severe breast pain right before their period. If you find your breast pain is cyclical, the good news is it can be treated easily at home.
What causes breast pain?
Breast pain is typically but not always a sign of excess estrogen or estrogen dominance. It can happen during menopause when estrogen levels are lower, though, and can be caused in hormonal shifts as your body adjusts.
Inflammation caused by inflammatory foods, like dairy, gluten and other sources, can also make you more sensitive to estrogen, as these foods make estrogen receptors in the body more sensitive to the hormone. And other causes for sore breasts can be traced to antibiotic use, exercise and even the type of undergarments you wear .
If you regularly experience breast pain, especially if its tied to your menstrual cycle, try these remedies to bring relief.
1. Get enough vitamin E
2. Reduce coffee
3. Massage your breasts
4. Use castor oil
5. Limit phytoestrogens in your diet
6. Take evening primrose oil
7. Use an ice pack
Do you have a go-to remedy for breast pain? Tell us in the comments below!
Stress Anxiety And Mood Changes
Sometimes feelings of anxiety can be linked to low mood and depression.
It may help to talk through your feelings with your treatment team or GP. They can tell you if they think more specialist psychological help would be useful.
Some people find relaxation techniques such as visualisation , distraction and yoga help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness involves focusing on whats happening now on yourself, your thoughts and whats going on around you and can help to stop your mind from wandering.
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Three Approaches To Treating Breast Pain
To treat breast pain, there are three levels of approaches women can consider: Lifestyle changes, Alternative medicine, and Conventional medicine. They are advised to begin with the least risky approaches, namely lifestyle changes and herbal supplements, and resort to more conventional options only if necessary.
The first level of breast pain treatment entails virtually no cost or risk, but it requires the most self-discipline. However, these seemingly small lifestyle adjustments can go a long way in relieving symptoms by promoting hormonal balance.
What Are The Treatments For Noncyclic Breast Pain
Its more difficult to figure out the best treatment for noncyclic breast pain. Thats because its hard to know exactly where the pain is coming from. In addition, the pain is not hormonal. Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your healthcare provider will do a physical exam and may order a mammogram. In some cases, a biopsy of the area is also needed. If it is found that the pain is caused by a cyst, then the cyst will be aspirated. This means that a small needle will be used to remove the liquid contents of the cyst. Depending on where the pain starts, treatment may include pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medicines, and compresses.
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What Is Breast Pain
Breast pain is a condition in which the breast and lower arms are painful. Many women with breast pain often feel extremely anxious. Essentially, breast pain is not a sign of breast cancer and does not increase the risk of breast cancer. This condition does not spread to other areas of the body and does not pass through generations in the family. In fact, many people often experience this pain, the pain may disappear in a short time, or when you do not pay attention to it.
Breast tenderness is usually divided into two types: cyclic breast pain and noncyclic breast pain. They differ in their causes, signs, symptoms and treatments. Cyclic breast pain does not make many people feel anxious because this condition usually occurs every month and quickly disappears. However, noncyclic breast pain is not the same. Many people tend to suspect that they have breast cancer when they experience this abnormality. Fortunately, this condition does not mean that you will have breast cancer. All conclusions are accurate only when there are specific examinations and tests. However, early detection of breast cancer will increase the ability to treat up to 80%. Therefore, if you suffer from noncyclic breast pain, you should see a doctor for a direct examination. It is estimated that about 50-70% of women in the US are suffering from breast pain
What Are Common Causes Of Breast Pain?
- Reproduction Hormone
- Breast Structure
Investigation And Management Of Mastalgia
Any woman with a breast symptom, including significant mastalgia, requires a full breast assessment including clinical breast examination and breast imaging to exclude cancer and other significant breast pathology as an explanation for the symptoms. Ultrasound and/or mammography are indicated depending on the age of the woman and clinical findings. If imaging is normal and there are no worrying clinical findings, the patient should be reassured and given advice on managing breast pain.
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How To Ease Breast Pain During Menopause
Are your breasts feeling tender, achy and sore?This week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause I thought I would take a closer look at this very common menopause symptom. I explain what causes your breasts to feel tender and sore and offer my advice on how to ease breast pain.
Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I’m going to be discussing how to ease breast pain.
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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For my full Disclaimer, please go to
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Causes Of Tender Breasts After Menopause
During a normal menstrual cycle the levels of estrogen and progesterone vary during the cycle. Estrogen levels are high during the initial part of the cycle followed by elevation in the levels of progesterone, during the second part of the cycle. However, among menopausal women, the hormonal imbalance may result in fall in the levels of estrogen, which fails to counter the effects of progesterone levels and is associated with breast engorgement and tenderness of the breast tissue.
- Drop in the level of estrogen is considered to be the prime factor that is responsible for breast tenderness and engorgement in menopausal females.
- Further, faulty dietary practices comprising of high intake of processed food and saturated fats, tends to further amplify the problem of hormonal imbalance in the body.
- Lack of exercise or physical activity can also contribute to hormonal imbalance, which in turn may manifest in the form of breast tenderness.
Pharmaceutical Options For Breast Pain
Pharmaceutical options are often the riskiest and most expensive of all the treatment approaches. Not all treatments are suitable for women at every life stage, so it is strongly recommended to speak to a licensed healthcare practitioner before starting any pharmaceutical treatments for breast pain.
There are two main types of pharmaceutical options that can be prescribed to treat breast pain: hormone-regulating medication and other pain relieving medication.
These three approaches are not mutually exclusive. A woman may use different approaches at different times or any combination of them, depending on the duration and severity of symptoms. Today more and more women find that dealing with menopause symptoms is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
- MenopauseNow. . Breast Pain. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from https://www.menopausenow.com/breast-pain
- Mayo Clinic. . Breast Pain. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-pain/DS00760
- Morrow, M. . The Evaluation of Common Breast Problems. American Family Physician, 61 , 2371-2378. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0415/p2371.html
- Patient.co.uk. . Breast Pain. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/breast-pain
- Virtual Medical Centre. . Breast Pain . Retrieved February 12, 2013, from http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/symptoms/mastalgia/94
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When To See A Doctor
Its important to see your doctor for any new breast or nipple pain. While most cases of breast pain are easily managed, you would not want to delay a diagnosis of breast cancer or a serious non-breast-related cause like a heart condition.
Its true that the risk for breast cancer increases with age and that most cases are diagnosed after age 50. But breast pain is rarely a symptom of cancer, particularly if its your only symptom.
Other warning signs of breast cancer may include:
- Thickening or lump in your breast or under the arm
- Pitting of the skin, giving it an orange peel look
- Nipple discharge
- Swelling, redness
- Change in size or shape of your breast
Your doctor can help determine if your breast soreness is hormonal or if another condition might be causing your symptoms.
When Should You See A Doctor
Generally speaking, taking over-the-counterpain relievers and making healthy lifestyle changes should be enough to providesome relief from breast pain. However, if the pain persists or worsens, youshould be seen by a physician who can determine if the pain you’re feeling isrelated to an underlying health problem. This is especially true if you havebreast pain that is accompanied by any of the following:
- Noticeable changes in skin texture
- If you develop a cyst on your breast
- Lumps in the armpit
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Breast Pain Not Linked To Periods
Sometimes breast pain is caused by:
- injuries or sprains to the neck, shoulder or back these can also be felt as breast pain
- medicines like the contraceptive pill and some antidepressants check the side effects in the packet’s information leaflet
- conditions like mastitis or a breast abscess these can cause breast pain along with other symptoms
- pregnancy breast pain can be an early sign
Hormonal Causes Of Breast Pain Or Tenderness
Hormones are responsible for relaying messages between the brain and the cells and organs in the body, to control the body’s processes. If hormones are not working in harmony, organs don’t receive the correct signals to function adequately, so hormonal disorders can occur. Breast pain or tenderness is caused largely by the hormonal fluctuations during the transitions women go through during their reproductive life.
The hormones estrogen and progesterone regulate a woman’s fertility, and aid in preparing her body to ovulate, conceive, and reproduce. Both hormones influence the swelling and contractions of the milk glands in preparation for a possible pregnancy. Hence the reason why more women experience breast tenderness and breast pain during PMS and other phases of significant hormonal imbalance – puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, post-partum, and menopause. The fluctuations between the levels of estrogen and progesterone cause the milk ducts to increase or diminish in size and cause breast tenderness.
If hormone levels are not regulated, women may experience a mild to severe ache in their breasts, and breast swelling will be present, as well as other psychological and physiological symptoms.
Hormonal Causes during Different Phases in a Woman’s Life
PMS is a collection of disorders, such as breast tenderness, that occur prior to the menstrual cycle, caused by imbalanced hormones.
Why Do My Breasts Hurt After Menopause
‘Interestingly, some medications used in the treatment of menopause including HRT, contraceptive pills and even some anti-depressants can contribute to breast tenderness as well.
‘It is always important to speak to your doctor before stopping any medications, but it can be helpful to know this could be something to explore with your GP if you are continuing to experience breast pain in menopause. As with anything, if you are struggling to control the pain or you have any other symptoms you are concerned about you should always book in to see your GP who will be happy to look into this further with you.’
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Questionnaire And Anthropometric Assessments
Information about age, ethnicity, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, physical activity level, ethnicity, age at menopause, smoking, reproductive history, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and prior use of HT was obtained from standardized self-report questionnaires at baseline and 12-month follow-up .
For women who reported spontaneous menopause, age at menopause was based on self-reported age at last menstrual period. For women who had undergone bilateral oophorectomy, we assigned age at oophorectomy to be the age at menopause. Women who had hysterectomy without oophorectomy, women who reported removal of one ovary, and women who were uncertain how many ovaries were removed at time of hysterectomy, were considered to have uncertain age at menopause.
Adherence to treatment assignment was defined as taking at least 80% of study medication at both 6-month and 12-month follow-up visits . We defined cigarette smokers as participants who reported current smoking at both baseline and 12-month follow-up.
Specific questions regarding breast discomfort were asked at baseline and 12-month follow-up: During the past week including today, did any of these symptoms bother you or interfere with your life? Breast sensitivity/tenderness , painful breasts . We classified women who reported one or more of these breast symptoms as having breast discomfort.
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Soothe The Pain With Heat
So how do you sort this one out? One of the nice things to help, if it’s really getting uncomfortable and it’s a little bit tender, is a little bit of heat. You can get heat pads or just some microwave bags that you can heat up.
Just make sure you don’t have it too hot. The last thing you want to do is really scald your breast, but sometimes just a little bit of gentle heat can make you feel that little bit more comfortable.
Common Symptoms Of Breast Pain
- Breast tenderness
As an alternative to oral pain medication, some women find that topical treatments such as anti-inflammatory creams, or heated muscle ointments are effective in relieving cyclical breast pain. There is a wide variety available to choose from, and so it is often worth experimenting with a few to find which works best for you.
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Diet And Vitamin Supplements
While there is no strong evidence that specific dietary changes such as reducing the intake of methylxanthines found in caffeine, chocolate and red wine and the use of supplements such as vitamins B1, B6, and E improve symptoms, some women find them beneficial. Losing weight and stopping smoking may also be helpful.
The simplest and perhaps most commonly used first line treatment for mastalgia is Evening Primrose Oil, which proves helpful for many women. This preparation should be taken at a dose of four 1000mg capsules per day. You will usually need to take evening primrose oil for about six months. If your pain improves during this time you may be able to halve the dose.
It should be remembered by patients, that evening primrose is not a pain-killer, and must be taken every day. Normally no effect is noted for at least the first 2-4 weeks, after which time symptoms may begin to settle if treatment is effective. Approximately 50% of patients will respond to this form of therapy according to early studies, but this response rate has not been replicated in later research.
In summary, despite the lack of overwhelming supportive data, evening primrose oil may be useful for some individuals, and given the limited untoward effects, is of value to at least try. Patient acceptance is generally high, as it is viewed as a natural substance rather than a hormone or drug.
Oral contraceptive pill
The Importance Of Routine Breast Screening
In the UK routine breast screeningwill be offered to you when you reach 50. You can ask to be screened earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer or other concerns about the health of your breasts.
The screening will be repeated every 3 years. I would strongly advise you to take up the offer. Breast screening can detect early changes in your breasts that may indicate cancer. While not all changes are cancer the earlier a problem is diagnosed and treated the better.
It only takes a few minutes of your time to be screened. It may be a little uncomfortable but its not painful. The process is discreet and professional and the results dont take too long to come through. Its really worth your while getting it done.
Remember that you will still need to do your own regular breast examinations as problems can arise between screenings. And dont forget to check your armpits too as they are an important part of checking for changes in your breast health.
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