Pain in breast tissue is very common among menopausal women. It may be the first time you are experiencing pain like this, or you may be familiar with the sensations from decades of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
In any case, breast pain can be so uncomfortable that it can disrupt your daily activities. It's important to educate yourself about why this is occurring in your body so that you can adequately respond in a safe and timely manner.
What Is the Pain?
Pain in breast tissue, or breast pain, is medically known as mammaglia, mastalgia, or mastodynia. It commonly arises in two distinct forms, cyclic and non-cyclic. Non-cyclic breast pain is a constant ache in one area of your breast. It is usually caused by physical trauma or arthritis.
The other kind, cyclic, is more common among menopausal and premenstrual women. The pain can move around the breast area, and come and go depending on what time of the month it is. It is temporary pain that comes in familiar patterns.
What Causes it?
The primary cause of cyclic mastalgia among menopausal women is hormonal changes. Sex hormones, such as estrogen, decrease during this time, which causes many changes in your body. Where estrogen levels are fluctuating, it can induce sharp pain in breast tissue.
What Are the Normal Symptoms?
Women typically report mild to severe tenderness within one or both of their breasts. The pain can be throbbing and lingering, or quick and sharp. Many women notice that their breasts swell and increase in size during this time. The heaviness of the breast tissue can weigh you down and make it hard to move freely without feeling pain.
Are There Treatments?
Several options are available for managing breast pain. The first step is to try lifestyle changes, taking magnesium supplements and eating organic, especially meats and dairy products. Likewise, herbal remedies such as phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating supplements are becoming popular.
These supplements contain estrogenic components and can treat the hormonal imbalance by introducing phytoestrogens. However, a woman may not be able to produce more hormones after a while.
These supplements stimulates a woman's hormone production, which result in hormonal balance.
Is it Cause for Concern?
Pain that comes and goes, although it can be excruciating, is usually no cause for concern. You should get examined by a medical professional immediately, however, if you notice nipple discharge, new lumps, irritation, or severe pain that does not subside.
Click on the following link to learn more about breast pain.
- Harvard Medical School. (2005). Breast pain isn't just a menstrual complaint. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/breast_pain
- National Institutes of Health. (2012). Breast Pain: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003152.htm
- NYU Langone Medical Center. (2013). Chasteberry. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21649
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2011). Evening primrose oil. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/evening-primrose-oil