Appearance of one or more lumps in the breasts may evoke lots of worries, but that does not mean that these will result in breast cancer. To put your mind at ease it is always advised to have your lump examined by your doctor.
Breast tenderness and lumpiness occur commonly among women, either cyclically or episodically, for periods of varying duration, before, during, or after the childbearing years. It is so common that almost all general physicians see women with this problem.
WHAT CAUSES THIS
About 70% of women aged between 30-50 years experience breast tenderness and lumpy breasts due to hormonal imbalances during the menstrual cycle.
Some women experience breast pain that is not related to the menstrual cycle at all. No one knows what causes this. Some sources think it is related to inflammation in the body, whereas others think it is related to neuroendocrine changes resulting from subtle interactions between our environment, our perceptions, and our hormonal and immune systems. (Breast pain has been linked to alterations in steroid and protein hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, LHRF [luteinizing hormone releasing factor, made by the hypothalamus], and prolactin).
SPIRITUAL AND HOLISTIC OPTIONS
If breast pain is a problem for you, choose from the options below (you may try all, if that feels right to you).
First, consult your health care practitioner.
Find a health care practitioner with whom you do not feel hurried and provide them with a full history of your breast concerns. This is to make certain that you have no signs of breast cancer. It’s ideal when your physician can also offer you the emotional support you need for dealing with breast pain, a breast lump, or both.
Minimize estrogen dominance and inflammation.
Follow a diet that minimizes excess estrogen and also decreases cellular inflammation. Breast tissue is exquisitely sensitive to high-fat, high-carbohydrate diets, which raise estrogen levels.
Change your diet.
Many women with cyclic breast pain respond well to dietary change alone, for example increasing dietary fiber, eliminating dairy and caffeine, and adding foods or supplements rich in omega-3 fats or that contain soy.
- Get plenty of soluble fiber from vegetable sources, including cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and turnips.
- Regularly include soy foods, such as tofu, miso, and tempeh, in your diet (especially if you have an A blood type).
- Eat plenty of alkaline food (80% alkaline, 20% acidic ratio). Refer to our Alkalization page.
- Eliminate food listed
- Eliminate caffeine (it is very acidic!) and other acidic beverages. See the acidic/alkaline food chart.
- Take omega–3 fatty acid. If you prefer, you can supplement with: flax seed oil (two teaspoons, three to four times a week), cod liver oil (one or more teaspoons per day), EPA and/or DHA. (Usual dose of DHA is 100–400 mg per day, or 400–800 mg per day for pregnant women and nursing mothers.)
- Increase antioxidant vitamins E, A, and selenium.
- Increase your intake of iodine.
Try castor oil packs.
Applied to the breasts three times per week for one hour, over two or three months, castor oil packs often eliminate breast pain, particularly if there is swelling of breast tissue. A maintenance program of once per week thereafter is recommended.
Learn self-massage of the chest and breast.
Every cell in the breasts and other organs is bathed in lymph. Lymph carries nutrients and immune cells throughout the body and filters waste products through the lymph nodes, where they can be detoxified. Stimulating lymph circulation through regular massage of the breast and chest wall area can help maintain healthy breast tissue.