The human body is a powerhouse of hormones, especially that of women. No wonder then that hormone fluctuations bring about many changes in a woman’s body – some wanted, some unwanted. Breast tenderness is also a side-effect of fluctuation of hormones – mainly oestrogen and progesterone.
The fluctuation in the normal levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone leads to growth of tissues and fluid retention in the breasts. This leads to pain in the breasts, and may also cause formation of lumps. This is referred to as breast tenderness. Medically, the condition is known as mastalgia. Breast tenderness may make the breasts extremely sensitive, so much so that it hurts or pains even on a gentle touch or pressure. It may affect either one or both breast/s at a time.
Studies suggest that around 50% of women under 50 years of age suffer from breast tenderness at some or other point in life. Pain in the breasts is most noticeable just before the onset of menstruation and also during pregnancy.
Chief reasons for breast tenderness
- Premenstrual syndrome
- During pregnancy
- Hormonal fluctuation
Home Remedies to reduce breast tenderness:
A woman’s body goes through innumerable changes in a lifetime, owing to various stages like puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and then hormonal changes at all these stages. These hormonal changes trigger many effects varying from as benign as fatigue or mood swings to severe pain, swelling, cramps, and depression.
However, thanks to the discovery of herbs, therapies and oils that bring respite to the ailing body. In case of breast tenderness, following home remedies are useful to ease the pain in the breasts:
- While you are taking a shower, apply soap on your breasts and massage gently from the centre of your chest towards the armpits. This will increase the blood circulation.
- Taking cold-pack treatment would help to relieve pain due to breast tenderness. Take 8-10 ice cubes in a big napkin and make a cold pack. Put this pack on each of the breasts for about 10 minutes. This would reduce the swelling and ease the pain.
- Evening primrose oil is a tried and tested herbal remedy for premenstrual symptom. Take 1000 mg of oil in a capsule form, thrice a day. Take it for 10 days during the premenstrual cycle. This helps to balance women’s hormones and ease the cyclical tenderness.
- Intake of Vitamin E and B6 helps to prevent breast tenderness. Thus, you can increase the intake of wheat-germ, vegetable oil, whole grains, nuts, seeds, avocados, fish, banana, lean meats, poultry and spinach.
- Cut down on excess intake of sodium, as it leads to water retention, causing breasts to swell.
- Using cabbage leaves too is an affective home remedy. Keep raw cabbage leaves on the breasts and cover them with towel. This will ease the tenderness and relieve the pain within three hours.
- Flaxseed too helps a lot during breast tenderness. Mix one tablespoon of flaxseed in your food or drink, once or twice a day.
- Soya beans are a sure shot way to reduce breast tenderness, as they contain isoflavons. It reduces oestrogen related problems like breast pain, breast tenderness and menopausal symptoms.
- Herbs like dandelion and herbal tea are natural diuretic. They help to ease the breast pain by removing excess fluid from the body.
- According to a study in the US it has been found that women on high fibre diet excreted more oestrogen, and thus are less prone to breast tenderness.
If you come across lumps in your breasts or near your armpits for a prolonged period, it may become necessary to see your doctor, as these lumps are possible signs of breast cancer. However, there are times when breast tenderness is a side-effect of consuming stomach acid suppressant. So, in case you visit your doctor, inform him if you are on any such medication. In normal cases, the above mentioned home remedies shall do the needful.