Discomfort, tenderness, or sharp pain in one or both breasts affect most women at least once in their life. The main cause of breast pain is hormone fluctuations, specifically of estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes can trigger inflammation of breast tissue, resulting in pain. Breast pain can range from mild to severe discomfort, and can include symptoms like burning and swelling.
Stress weakens the body and makes it more susceptible to breast pain and infection. To improve your overall health, try and reduce stress as much as possible. Yoga and meditation are both excellent stress relievers. Reading, listening to music, or making time to see friends can also be helpful in relieving stress - whatever works best for you.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential to your overall well-being, as well as looking your best. Ideally, a proper diet should include protein, fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, dairy, and good fats. Try to eat three healthy meals a day, in addition to small, healthy snacks every three to four hours. Salmon, avocados, chicken, walnuts, spinach, kale, and guavas are all nutrient-rich foods that have been known to help lessen breast pain.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published a study that concluded exercise influences breast pain. Researchers say that ill-fitting sports bras are the main cause of breast pain during exercise, so it's crucial to get a properly fitted, supportive bra before working out. Remember that studies have shown that exercising regularly can significantly increase energy, improve mood, and significantly reduce stress. Walking, biking, and swimming are all excellent low-impact workouts that can help ease breast pain.
Cold compresses or heating pads can help reduce breast pain. Other helpful at home remedies include taking a warm bath with soothing essential oils, like rosemary or lavender, and wearing loose-fitting cotton clothes.
Herbal remedies are a natural method of treating breast pain. Two widely used herbs for treating breast pain are chasteberry and soy. Chasteberry helps reduce the production of prolactin, which can cause pain when women are not breastfeeding. Soy contains phytoestrogenic compounds, which help restore estrogen levels, making it popular among menopausal women.
Breast pain is a frustrating and sometimes debilitating symptom. The primary reason for breast pain is the fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone, restoring hormonal balance can correct the pain. There are several approaches to coping with breast pain, which include reducing stress, exercising regularly, and eating healthy.
- Brown, N. et al. (2013). The experience of breast pain (mastalgia) in female runners of the 2012 London Marathon and its effect on exercise behavior. The British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(4), 283. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013-092175
- Mason, B.R. , Page, K.A. & Fallon, K. (1999). An analysis of movement and discomfort of the female breast during exercise and the effects of breast support in three cases. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 2(2), 134-144. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10476977
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