Home Medications and Treatments for Fibrocystic Breasts
This condition is characterized by localized swellings, pain, and tenderness of the breast as well as the presence of cysts, which may vary in size. It most often occurs pre-menstrually, due to the rise of the hormone estrogen, and usually involves both breasts. For most women, breast composition changes with age and the condition is believed to be a variation of normal growth.Seventy-five percent of women have some degree of breast lumpiness, known in medical terminology as "fibrocystic breasts."
Common Symptoms of Fibrocysitc Breasts
- breast pain and discomfort
- a full, heavy sensation in the breasts
- premenstrual breast tenderness, swelling, and pain
- improved symptoms after menstrual period ends
- itchiness or other unusual nipple sensations.
* Breast lump: Although alarming when you find one, most breast lumps are not cancer.
* Breast pain: Most commonly associated with fibrocystic changes, pain may occur in both breasts, though one may be more painful than the other. In fibrocystic changes, the pain occurs about a week before your menstrual period. The pain usually goes away gradually with the onset of your period.
* Nipple discharge: The discharge is usually brown or greenish. The color and characteristic of nipple discharge, cannot be used reliably as an indicator for, or against, the diagnosis of cancer. Your health care provider can make this assessment.
Many possible causes exist for pain or tenderness in one of your breasts or in both breasts. Most often the pain can be attributed to harmless causes such as puberty or pregnancy. It can also be a recurrent problem for women with cyclical pain associated with the menstrual cycle. Although cancer is a major concern for most women, it is rarely the cause of isolated breast pain.
Some causes of breast pain are these:
Fibrocystic breast disease
Normal hormonal fluctuations
Onset of puberty or menopause
Chest wall tenderness
Injury to the breast
Shingles (pain is only in 1 breast, usually accompanied by a rash)
Use of certain medications
An infection in the breast (breast abscess or mastitis)
Fibrocystic breast condition is broken down into three subtypes, fibrosis, cysts, duct hyperplasia.
Fibrosis is a thickening of the fibrous connective tissue that supports the milk glands. Fibrosis may be painful and may be accompanied by cysts.
Cysts occur when tissue surrounding a milk duct overgrows, which blocks the duct and prevents it from draining normally. The milk duct swells, becoming a tender, fluid-filled sac that ranges in size from the head of a pin to a walnut or larger.
Duct hyperplasia is an overgrowth of the lining of the milk duct, and is the only fibrocystic condition that is related to an increased risk of breast cancer. Finding a breast lump is a frightening experience, and it is important to have any breast lumps or changes in breast tissue evaluated by your health-care practitioner. As a note of reassurance, know that more than 90 percent of breast lumps are benign.
Although fibrocystic breasts are a common condition and cannot appropriately be labeled as a disease, they are a signal that most likely that there is an imbalance in your body chemistry. Breast pain, swelling, and lumpiness tend to worsen in the week or two prior to menstruation and appear to be caused by an excess of estrogen in relation to progesterone and also to an increase in prolactin, the hormone that prepares the breasts for potential pregnancy each month. Factors that influence estrogen and prolactin levels include a high-fat diet, caffeine, smoking, excess weight, and emotional stress. Many women who have completely reversed painful fibrocystic breast conditions through lifestyle changes and natural therapies.
Herbs for Fibrocystic Breast:
Poor liver function is strongly related to fibrocystic breast conditions because the liver is responsible for detoxifying estrogen. When the liver is not functioning up to par, excess estrogen accumulates in the bloodstream and causes unhealthful changes in hormone-sensitive breast tissue. Sluggish bowel function also allows excess estrogen that was on its way out of the body to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Herbs help to relieve fibrocystic breasts by improving liver and bowel function, as well as by helping to balance hormones through stimulating the production of progesterone.
(Taraxacum officinale), both the root and the leaf, are helpful for treating fibrocystic breasts. The root stimulates bile flow and improves liver function, while the leaf is a powerful and safe diuretic that relieves the water retention that causes swollen, tender breasts.
(Arctium lappa) is a traditional liver-cleansing herb that gently stimulates and enhances liver function.
Yellow dock root:
(Rumex crispus) contains potent bitter principles that act as a powerful liver cleanser. It also has laxative properties that help to cleanse the intestinal tract.
(Vitex agnus-castus) helps to regulate hormones by stimulating the production of progesterone, which brings estrogen levels into balance.
Prickly ash :
(Zanthoxylum americanum) stimulates circulation, including lymphatic circulation, helping to relieve the stagnation that contributes to the formation of cysts.
The following tea will enhance liver function, help to bring hormones into balance, improve lymphatic circulation, and relieve water retention. This formula has a bitter flavor, and you may prefer to take it as an extract. You can buy liquid concentrated herbal extracts and combine them in the same proportions given in the following recipe. Take one teaspoon of extract three times a day diluted in a small amount of warm water. It may take three months or even longer to improve a fibrocystic breast condition. After symptoms are relieved, cut back your dosage of either the tea or extract so that you are taking the formula only during the week prior to menstruation.
Herbal Tea for Fibrocystic Breasts
2 teaspoons dandelion root
2 teaspoons burdock root
1 teaspoon yellow dock root
3 teaspoons vitex berries
2 teaspoons prickly ash bark
2 teaspoons dandelion leaf
4 cups water
Simmer the dandelion root, burdock root, and yellow dock root in water in a covered pot for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add vitex berries, prickly ash bark, and dandelion leaf, cover, and steep for an additional 20 minutes. Strain, sweeten if desired, and drink 3 to 4 cups daily.
Pain-Relieving Breast Compress
2 teaspoons chamomile flowers
2 teaspoons calendula flowers
2 teaspoons yarrow flowers
1 1/2 cups water
10 drops lavender essential oil
Hot water bottle
Pour boiling water over herbs, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain,and add lavender essential oil. Dip washcloth into hot herbal solution, wring out slightly, and place over the breast.
Cover with a dry towel and a hot water bottle to retain heat and leave in place for 3 minutes. Remove washcloth and replace with a second washcloth that has been dipped in cold water.
Leave cold washcloth on breast for one minute, and immediately follow with the hot washcloth that has again been dipped into the hot herbal solution. Reheat the herbal solution if necessary. Repeat cycle 3 times, ending with the cold washcloth.
Healing Breast Massage Oil
2 ounces almond oil
1/2 teaspoon vitamin-E oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops grapefruit essential oil
Blend oils together in a tightly capped dark glass bottle. Apply approximately 1/2 teaspoon of oil to breasts immediately after bathing, while skin is still slightly damp. Massage breasts with a gentle, circular motion, finishing with sweeping movements, stroking from the breasts to the underarms to enhance lymphatic flow.
Diet for Fibrocystic Breast:
- Increase Consumption of Complex Carbohydrates & Fiber. Fibrocystic breast disease has been linked to constipation and to diets low in fiber. Having less than three bowel movements per week puts women more at risk of having cystic breasts. Regular bowel movements help the body eliminate toxins and hormones more efficiently. Diets high in vegetables, which provide complex carbohydrates and fiber, help to increase the frequency of bowel movements and provide essential vitamins and nutrients.
- Decrease Consumption of Methylxanthines. Methylxanthines are a component of coffee, chocolate, black tea, and cola drinks. Some women’s breast tissue seems to produce cysts as a result of caffeine intake. In one scientific study, 97% of women who completely avoided methylxanthines showed reduction in size and sensitivity of breast cysts. Results were seen after 4 months of avoiding caffeine and were most significant in severe cases of FBD