Most of the females of reproductive age notice swelling and tenderness of their breast prior to the onset of menstruation which is called premenstrual breast swelling and is one of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Mild to severe pain, tenderness and lumps are some common symptoms. It usually appears 1-2 week before menstruation and disappears abruptly as soon as the bleeding starts. It may be due to fibrocystic breast diseases in which the breast tissues become lumpy due to the formation of undesirable cysts which are noncancerous.
Not to bother about:
However pain or lump in breast sounds scary as it also indicates wowing conditions like breast cancer but fortunately premenstrual breast swelling is not harmful as much as one considers.
Identified causes of premenstrual breast swelling:
Before and after menstruation, there is a great fluctuation in hormonal levels which is the most known cause of breast soreness, this hormonal change is natural and balance as a female approaches her menopause. A rise in estrogen and progesterone levels accompanies a regular menstrual cycle which can also be a contributory cause of breast inflammation because estrogen has an anti-inflammatory effect on breast tissue and progesterone makes milk glands swollen.
Some general causes which lead to high levels of estrogen include:
• Being obese.
• Stress & depression.
• Inability of liver to detoxify excess estrogen.
• Constipation or inadequate dietary fiber intake.
• Increase exposure to environmental toxins.
• Inflammatory disorders.
Now what to do?
Although medications can relive heaviness of breast but there are some life styles modifications and strategies which you can apply at home to ease breast discomfort:
Keep an eye on your vitamin-E, B6 & magnesium levels:
These two nutrients are thought to play an efficient role in terminating this game. Health experts recommend taking more food sources containing these nutrients as vitamin-E act as strong anti-oxidant and magnesium regulate blood circulation thus eliminates PMS related symptoms. Some rich sources are given below:
- Nuts and seeds.
- Brown rice.
- Oils like corn, safflower, canola, sunflower and olive oil.
- Lean meat.
Try to limit your estrogen exposure by acting upon following tips:
- Organically grown food is considered the best for health as it has least chances of contamination and chemicals in it so go for organic!
- Avoid eating in plastic wares and avoid to frequent use of microwave ovens.
- Wash raw foods properly prior to eating.
- In order to balance your estrogen level, indulge into more foods containing phytoestrogen as a functional compound which is able to replace excess amount of estrogen which is the major culprit in PMS. Soy foods and legumes contain ample amount of phytoestrogen in it.
- Avoid medication which increases your risk of estrogen modification.
- There are many birth control pills containing estrogen which is in common use by females but try to limit its use as far as possible.
Keep your digestive system balanced:
A properly working digestive system is compulsory for eliminating harmful and toxic substances. Excessive estrogen also finds its way through feces to excrete out but if you suffer from upset stomach then you lack the ability to egest it out which cause hormonal disturbances.
- Take more dietary fiber in your regular diet which means to add more portions from fruits and vegetables.
- Being high in fiber, flax seeds can keep your digestive tract healthy by promoting bowel movement and keeping hormonal levels in check and balance.
Try to lessen your chances of inflammation:
Presence of inflammatory compounds causes more secretion of inflammatory hormones which is a suspected culprit against breast tenderness.
Avoid low quality fats:
Saturated and trans fat possess more risk for inflammatory diseases so stick to the habit of using good quality fats like poly and mono-saturated fats including olive oil, walnut oil, corn oil etc.
Replace animal protein with vegetarian sources:
Protein from animal sources act as pro-inflammators so it is better to get your protein requirements fulfilled from vegetable derived sources like legumes, pulses and soy.
Cut down your sugars:
Although it is difficult to restrict sugars totally but not impossible. Take an initiate by avoiding fizzy drinks and see the difference.
Things to inhibit:
• If you are suffering from drug abuse than immediately stop it.
• Cut back your caffeine intake.
• Limit your alcohol intake.
• Avoid smoking.