Breast pain is one of the most common complaints among menopausal women, as it affects around 70% of women during their transition. Breast pain is described as overall discomfort, tenderness, or sharp pain felt in one or both breasts. The primary cause of breast pain is fluctuations in sex hormones (e.g., estrogen and progesterone). These hormonal changes can cause inflammation of breast tissue, which can be very painful. Common symptoms of breast pain include tenderness, tingling, sharp pain, burning, swelling, aching, and even electric shocks, which can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Fortunately, there are several home remedies that can help alleviate breast pain and other menopause symptoms.
Home remedies are natural and economical methods for treating breast pain. Some are lifestyle adjustments that help prevent the recurrence of breast pain, while others are techniques to apply in the midst of pain.
Good habits like maintaining a proper diet and getting plenty of exercise can help prevent and manage breast pain. Avoid high fat foods and excessive alcohol as these are known triggers of breast pain. Diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and protein are ideal.
Studies have shown that exercising at least three times a week can significantly boost energy levels and reduce stress. Low impact workouts like yoga, biking, and walking will help prevent breast pain. It is also important to wear a well-fitted, supportive bra when doing any kind of physical activity.
Other simple at home remedies for breast pain include applying an ice pack or cold compress directly to the breast, taking a warm bath, drinking plenty of water, massaging breasts in the shower with soap, and wearing loose, cotton clothing.
Popular herbal remedies for relieving breast pain are evening primrose oil and chasteberry.
Evening primrose oil. The extract from this flower is commonly used as a home remedy for breast pain. However, it is not effective for all women.
Chasteberry. It contains no hormones, has traditionally been used for treating premenstrual symptoms, preventing miscarriage, or controlling hormonal balance. It works by reducing levels of the hormone prostaglandin, which in excess can make breasts sore when women aren't breastfeeding.
Breast pain is a common symptom of menopause that affects around 70% of middle-aged women. It can range from mild to severe and hamper a woman's ability to carry out daily activities. Fortunately, there are several home remedies that can help reduce breast pain. Warm baths, cold compresses, and maintaining proper diets are several helpful methods for treating breast pain. If the above methods are ineffective, and breast pain persists, it may be time to try herbal remedies like evening primrose oil or chasteberry. Always consult a doctor before starting a new supplement regime.
- Carmichael, A.R. (2007). Can Vitex Agnus Castus be Used for the Treatment of Mastalgia? What is the Current Evidence? Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 5(3), 247-250. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2529385/
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Breast pain. Retrieved August 5, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breastpaincyclical/pages/introduction.aspx
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2012). Breast pain. Retrieved August 5, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/breast-pain