By Suzy Cohen
I hugged a friend who I hadn’t seen in two years and she didn’t hug me back. I thought it strange, but she quickly offered that her breasts were just incredibly sore. I remember experiencing that for a few months when I was a younger girl so I totally understood.
So if your ‘girls’ ache, feel bruised, or heavy on the inside, have you considered why it’s happening? My friend did not, she just accepted it. They were so painful, she couldn’t even hug her children. Sleeping was painful.
The technical term is “fibrocystic breast pain” and an estimated 30 to 60 percent of women experience this. Simply put, our “boobs” are two large milk glands (some larger than others, congratulations to those ladies!). Really sexy, huh?
All kidding aside, all breasts contain some degree of lumps (or “cysts”), however, some breasts will contain more lumps than others due to hormonal changes. It’s the lumps that cause your breasts to get uncomfortable, sometimes even painful.
Symptoms of fibrocystic breasts will be the most intense before your period and then usually leave immediately following the period. Estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin (all girly hormones) cause cells in the breast tissue to swell.
This is a normal hormonal change during menstruation. Some clinicians may try to prescribe oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy; however, it is a bit controversial and the jury is still out on whether or not those help or make the condition worse. Certain supplements may be helpful, so please ask your practitioner about any or all of these:
Iodine- Iodine is a mineral antioxidant that comprises your thyroid hormone, but it’s absolutely needed to maintain healthy breast tissue. When you are iodine deficient, your hormones are affected causing otherwise healthy breast tissue to become cystic and painful. A study of 111 healthy women with a history of breast pain and discomfort were given iodine for 6 months and 50 percent of the patients who took 6 mg of iodine daily were reported to have clinically significant reduction in overall breast pain.
Vitamin E-A double blind published study found Vitamin E supplementation had a significant decrease in breast symptoms related to PMS (Premenstrual syndrome). If you can’t find a high-quality supplement of natural, mixed vitamin E, just eat a lot of sunflowers and nuts.
Evening Primrose Oil- Evening primrose oil is an herb and is extracted from the plant, Oenothera biennis. The seeds of the plant contain oil called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA helps reduce inflammation during menstruation so it could be very adept at reducing the pain associated with breast tenderness and menstrual cramps.
Caffeine Elimination- Don’t hate the messenger! I’m sorry to have to tell you that your ‘Cup of Love’ could be doing more harm than good. Caffeine contains a chemical called methylxanthine which makes blood vessels open up and the dilation causes breast discomfort. Instituting these supplements and dietary changes could improve your huggability within weeks.