Breast pain is a common ailment that affects around two-thirds of women, and there are a number of reasons that it can occur. Most of the time, breast pain is a result of hormonal imbalances. The pain can be anything from a mild tenderness to an intense burning pain, and might affect both or just one of the breasts. Read on to discover more about breast pain and whether home remedies are really the best way of relieving it.
There are a number of reasons that it can occur and different types, these are:
Cyclical breast pain
This type of breast pain is linked to hormonal imbalances, which cause the milk ducts within the breast to grow, leading to increased fat deposit levels, and this can result in swelling of the breast or inflammation of the tissue. Because of its link with hormones, most women notice cyclical breast pain to be associated with the menstrual cycle or menopause.
Non-cyclical breast pain
Non-cyclical breast pain is not as common as its cyclical counterpart, and is caused by factors unrelated to hormones. These factors are many, and include pulled muscles in the chest and ribcage area, tissue trauma caused by things like surgery or bra underwire digging in, or too much unsupported movement. The wide-ranging nature of the contributors makes non-cyclical breast pain unpredictable and difficult to pinpoint to a source.
Home Remedies: The Solution
No matter what the cause of breast pain, there are various ways to treat it at home, and this is generally considered the safest, easiest, and cheapest method. As breast pain is normally nothing to be concerned about and settles down once the contributor has been eradicated, it is generally advised that sufferers begin with home remedies before seeking more invasive or medical treatment options. Read on for a few suggestions that have been shown to help many women in the past.
As hormone imbalances are most likely to be the cause of breast pain, it makes sense to eat a diet that will help stabilize them. A diet low in fat and high in fiber influences estrogen secretion, and this should reduce inflammation and soreness in the breast tissue. An easy place to start is to replace refined carbohydrates with whole grain options, which are full of fiber. It will also help to buy fewer processed foods, which are more likely to have unhealthy fats.
As well as food, a healthy, breast-friendly lifestyle should include plenty of regular exercise. This will stabilize blood sugar levels and also help keep hormones in balance. Incorporating regular exercise into your life is a treatment that will help decrease breast pain in the long term. However, it is important to wear a well-fitting sports bra whenever you carry out physical activity, as too much unsupported movement will increase breast pain.
Although breast pain is uncomfortable and undesirable, it is very rarely a cause for concern. Most of the time, making a few lifestyle changes will solve the problem, but if the pain is incredibly severe or becomes chronic, it is important to talk to your doctor, who will be able to rule out underlying conditions and help you decide on appropriate treatment options.
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- Northrup, C. (2006). The Wisdom of Menopause. New York: Bantam Dell.