Understanding and Dealing with Breast Pain

Breast pain is not always a cause for concern, but because we have been taught from an early age that pain generally means that something is wrong we tend to jump to the worst conclusions and start panicking about breast cancer. What these women fail to realise is that breast cancer has very little in the way of warning signs such as pain – in fact pain in this instance is considerably rare. The medical name for breast pain in Mastalgia, but seeing as though the majority of medical scientists are still men, with limited experience of breast pain, there is still very little that is actually known about it.  However there are several therapies that have been developed mainly by women that suffer from bouts of breast pain that have been found to work well.

Breast Pain Diagnosis

Very rarely is breast pain diagnosed as breast cancer, but any unexplained breast pain should be checked out by your regular health care practitioner. A comprehensive breast exam will need to be carried out in order to ensure that there are no lumps that will need further investigation. Women should not be afraid of taking the step and seeing their doctor to have their breast pain checked out. When something doesn’t feel right when you perform your own breast exam it is not necessarily something to be worried out, but when things feel wrong on the outside it is generally a sign that your body needs attention for something so go and get it checked out. If breast pain is something that you suffer from regularly, make a pain diary and chart your symptoms as it could be that your pain is down to hormonal changes or a hormone imbalance.

The Causes of Breast Pain

The most common cause of breast pain diagnosed in women is known as cyclical mastalgia, that means that it is related to a woman’s monthly cycle. Breasts swell and become very tender towards the end of the cycle, they can even become lumpy though symptoms will vary between individuals, as a woman draws closer to the menopause the hormones in the body can become unbalanced and tenderness is a common result. Pain can be experienced in both breasts or on only one side or can vary between one side and the other, it can be minimal one month and excruciating the next but once menstruation starts the pain generally diminishes.

There are some types of medication and certain types of food that can make symptoms worse, especially caffeine as the chemicals in it cause blood vessels to dilate which can intensify the level of pain that is experienced. If you experience breast pain regularly and drink a lot of tea and coffee, try switching to a decaffeinated variety. High salt diets can also make pain worse as can foods that are high in animal fats, the reason is unknown but it is believed to be related to the animals’ natural hormones. There are some women that find dairy products aggravate their symptoms which again could be due to the hormones that the cows are routinely given.

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