Fibrocystic breasts happen, when a woman develops fluid-filled cysts along with areas of fibrosis in one or both breasts. This can cause pain and tenderness and is commonly referred to as fibrocystic breast disease.
However, it’s not really a disease. Fibrocystic breasts are very common. More than 60% of women will experience fibrocystic breasts at some point in their lives.
Fibrocystic breast changes are not cancerous and do not increase your risk of developing breast cancer. However, the condition can be painful and uncomfortable. Treatment typically focuses on relieving symptoms and may include lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies.
Ayurvedic treatment is effective in treating fibrocystic breast disease and providing relief from the pain and discomfort.
What does Fibrocystic Breast Feel Like?
If you have hard, tender breast lumps that move around and are not attached to the skin or underlying tissue, chances are good that you have fibrocystic changes in the breast. These are one of the most common causes of benign breast lumps. The condition is characterized by the development of fluid-filled sacs or cysts, as well as areas of fibrosis (scar tissue).
Fibrosis happens when breast tissues in one or both breasts becomes thick and firm. You and your doctor can feel the fibrous tissue lumps with a ropy or rubbery texture through the skin. Some women only have fibrosis without any cysts forming.
Causes and Risk Factors for Fibrocystic Breasts
Fibrocystic breast changes can occur in both women and men, but they are most common in women of childbearing age. Women who are going through changes in hormone levels (usually premenopausal women) may notice that their symptoms become more severe just before they get their menstrual period.
Some women find that their symptoms improve after menopause, when hormone levels decline.
The exact cause of fibrocystic breast disease is unknown. However, many experts believe that it is linked to hormonal changes, such as those that occur during the menstrual cycle.
Hormonal changes can lead to the formation of lumps and cysts in the breasts by causing an increase in the amount of breast tissue. This extra tissue can form cysts or lumps.
Symptoms of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Symptoms can vary in severity from woman to woman, but may include breast pain, tenderness, and enlargement. Some women with fibrocystic breast disease have no symptoms at all. In some cases, the breasts may feel lumpy or rope-like. Here are the most common symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease in women:
– Cysts: Small sacs filled with fluid that form in the breast tissue.
– Pain or tenderness in the breasts: This may be worse before or during menstruation.
– Breast lumps: These may be felt as small, hard knots in one or both breasts.
– Nipple discharge: This may be clear, bloody, or straw-colored.
conventional treatments for fibrocystic breast disease
There is no cure for fibrocystic breast disease, but there are treatments that can help to relieve symptoms.
Diagnosis and Tests for Fibrocystic breast disease
There is no one test that can diagnose fibrocystic breast disease. Instead, the condition is typically diagnosed based on a woman’s symptoms and medical history.
In some cases, further testing may be necessary to rule out other conditions, such as breast cancer. Tests that may be used to diagnose fibrocystic breast disease include:
– Breast exam: A doctor or other healthcare provider will feel the breasts for lumps or other abnormalities.
– Mammogram: This is an x-ray of the breasts that can help to detect cysts or lumps.
– Ultrasound: This imaging test uses sound waves to create a picture of the breasts. It can be used to determine whether a lump is a cyst or something else.
– Biopsy: In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. This involves taking a small sample of tissue from the breast for laboratory testing.
Conventional Treatments for Fibrocystic Breast Disease
– Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to relieve pain and tenderness.
– Birth control pills: These can help to regulate hormone levels and reduce the severity of symptoms.
– Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove or drain the cysts or lumps. However, in large number of cases, cysts can reappear after some time of surgery.
Looking in to the conventional treatments, the options are limited and symptomatic only. In the long term, all of these measures fail as the root cause is not removed. So, the fibrocystic breasts can recur. In addition, for hormone therapy; women experience increased hormonal imbalance in the long term.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Cysts and lumps are abnormal and excessive tissue growths that happens as a result of health imbalances inside the body. In Ayurveda, cysts are termed as “Granthi”. It arises as a result of toxin “Ama” build up that deranges the vata and kapha dosha in the body.
While kapha dosha dominance usually results in fluid filled cysts, vata dosha aggravation leads to hard, irregular, painful and wide spread lumps in the breasts. In addition, pitta dosha aggravation can lead to burning sensation and inflammation (usually present in the case of malignancy) in the affected areas.
Ayurvedic treatment for fibrocystic breast disease involves detoxification and hormone balance with the help of herbal medicines, diet and massage therapy. Pain and lumpiness starts to resolve within first 3-4 weeks once the patient starts following the treatment.
Ayurveda approach for fibrocystic breasts is holistic and root cause based to provide permanent relief and prevent health risks of breast cancer in future.
Ayurvedic Herbal Medicines to Treat Fibrocystic Breasts
Ayurvedic medicines and herbs are helpful to balance hormones, reduce and prevent occurrence of breast cysts. Regular intake of Ayurvedic herbal supplements under guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner can help you to find relief from your symptoms without artificial hormones and also prevent surgery.
- Kachnar Guggulu: – This Ayurvedic formulation is specifically indicated for treating fibrocystic breast disease.
- Haritaki: This herb is known for its detoxifying properties.
- Shatavari: This herb is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and balance the hormones.
- Guduchi: This herb is known for its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Aloe vera: This plant is known for its ability to reduce inflammation, promote circulation and balance the hormones.
- Boswellia: This herb is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric: This herb has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Ginger: This herb is known for its ability to reduce pain.
Best Foods & Diet Tipsfor Fibrocystic Breast Disease Treatment
There are certain foods that can help to improve the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease and make the condition more manageable. These include:
1. Foods rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants are essential for fighting off free radicals, which can trigger the formation of cysts in the breasts. Foods that are rich in antioxidants include dark leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.
2. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation, which can be a major factor in the development of fibrocystic breast disease. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fish, nuts, and seeds.
3. Dairy alternatives: Dairy products can sometimes worsen the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. If you find that dairy makes your symptoms worse, try switching to dairy-free alternatives such as coconut milk. Or you can opt for organic, grass-fed varieties as they are lower in hormones and other inflammatory compounds.
4. Herbal teas: Herbal teas can be soothing and helpful for managing the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Some good options to try include chamomile tea, lavender tea, and ginger tea.
5. Foods rich in vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for overall health, and it can also help to reduce the risk of developing fibrocystic breast disease. Foods that are rich in vitamin D include fatty fish, mushrooms, and fortified foods such as milk and cereal.
6. Beans and Lentils: They contain isoflavones, which are a type of phytoestrogen that can help to reduce the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. You can consume them fresh or cook dried beans.
7. Flaxseed: Flaxseed is another food that contains phytoestrogens, which can help to reduce the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. You can add flaxseed to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and baked goods.
8. Fiber-rich foods: Fiber helps to regulate hormone levels, which can be beneficial for managing the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Foods that are high in fiber include beans, lentils, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.
9. Cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, spicy and fried foods is highly recommended, as it can contribute to breast pain and cyst formation.
Lifestyle Tips for Fibrocystic Breast Disease Treatment
In addition to dietary changes, there are a few lifestyle recommendations that can help to ease the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease.
- Getting regular exercise is important, as it helps to regulate hormone levels and reduce inflammation. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
- Reducing stress is also beneficial, as high levels of stress can contribute to hormone imbalances. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation to help reduce stress.
- Wearing a supportive bra can also help to ease pain and discomfort associated with fibrocystic breast disease. Make sure to choose a well-fitting bra that offers plenty of support.
Yoga Asana for Treatment of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Regular exercise is important for overall health, but it can also be helpful in managing the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Yoga is a great option as it helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Some helpful yoga poses include:
– Cobra pose
– Cat-cow pose
– Child’s pose
– Downward facing dog pose
Practicing these poses regularly can help to ease breast pain and reduce the formation of cysts. As always, consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
Breast Massage for Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Breast massage has been shown to be beneficial for those suffering from fibrocystic breast disease. This is because the massage can help to break up and release the cysts that form in the breasts. Additionally, breast massage can help to increase circulation and reduce inflammation in the breasts. This can provide relief from the pain and discomfort that is often associated with fibrocystic breast disease.
Directions to carry out Self Breast Massage
If you would like to try self-massage for fibrocystic breast disease, it is important to do so carefully and correctly. Always wash your hands thoroughly before beginning the massage. You will also want to make sure that your breasts are uncovered and that you have a good amount of medicated cream or herbal oil handy.
To begin the massage, start by using your fingertips to gently massage the area around the breast, working your way in towards the nipple. Use circular, clockwise motions. Once you reach the nipple, you can use a light pinching motion. Continue massaging for 5-10 minutes.
If you experience any pain or discomfort during the massage, stop immediately. Otherwise, once you have finished, wash your hands and breasts again with soap and water.
Self-massage can be a great way to find relief from the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. However, it is important to massage carefully and correctly in order to avoid further pain or discomfort.
Contraindications for Breast Massage Therapy in Fibrocystic Breast Disease
There are certain contraindications that need to be considered before beginning breast massage therapy for fibrocystic breast disease. If you have active cancer in the breasts, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding, then you should not receive a breast massage. Additionally, if you have any open wounds or sores on the breasts, it is best to avoid massage therapy until they have healed.
If you are considering breast massage therapy for fibrocystic breast disease, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional first. They will be able to determine if massage therapy is right for you and can provide guidance on how to safely and effectively receive a massage.
If you experience any unusual changes in your breasts, it is important to see a doctor for an evaluation. With proper treatment, fibrocystic changes need not be a cause for concern.
If you are interested in trying Ayurveda for your condition, it is important to consult with an experienced practitioner who can tailor a treatment plan specifically for you.
Consult with Medhya’s Ayurvedic Health Experts to get your personalised health plan involving prescription for Ayurvedic medicine, diet, yoga and lifestyle guidelines.
Can fibrocystic breasts turn into cancer?
Fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer are two different conditions that can develop in any type of breast tissue. However, having fibrocystic breasts does not specifically increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Fibrocystic breasts are commonly benign (non-cancerous), and most breast cancers do not occur in benign tissue. In addition, many women with fibrocystic breasts never develop cancer. If you have fibrocystic breasts, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine whether you are at increased risk for developing breast cancer. While the vast majority of cases of fibrocystic breasts are benign, it is always best to err on the side of caution.
Can you have fibrocystic breast on one side?
Yes, you can have fibrocystic breast on one side. It is not uncommon for fibrocystic changes to be asymmetrical, meaning they occur in only one breast.
Although it may seem strange that you would only have these changes on one side, keep in mind that your two breasts are not exactly alike. One breast may be slightly larger than the other, or have different-sized or shaped lobes (the sections of the breast). These differences may make one breast more likely to develop fibrocystic changes.
Another possibility is that you may have developed a breast cyst on one side. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in any area of the body. Unlike fibrocystic changes, which affect multiple breast lobes, cysts occur in one spot. If you have a cyst, it will feel like a round, smooth lump that’s attached to the surrounding tissue. Cysts can range in size from very small (about the size of a pea) to very large (about the size of an orange).
Although most cysts are benign (not cancerous), a small percentage may be cancerous. Therefore, if you have a lump on only one side that is hard, tender, and attached to the skin or underlying tissue, please see your doctor right away so he or she can determine whether it’s a cyst or something else. Finally, remember that fibrocystic changes are very common and usually pose no threat to your health. However, if you have any concerns about your breast health, please see your doctor for evaluation and advice.
How can I find relief from fibrocystic breast pain all the time?
Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine and the sister science of yoga has been practiced for millennia in India. Ayurveda is based on the belief that health and well being are achieved by balancing the mind, body, and spirit.
According to Ayurvedic principles, fibrocystic breast pain is caused by an imbalance of the Pitta dosha. Pitta represents fire and water elements and is responsible for metabolism, digestion, and transformation in the body. An excess of Pitta can lead to inflammation, overheating, and pain. To find relief from fibrocystic breast pain, it is important to reduce pitta in the body through diet, lifestyle, and herbal remedies.
Some simple dietary changes include avoiding spicy and acidic foods, increasing intake of cooling foods such as cucumber and coconut water, and drinking ginger tea. In addition, reducing stress through yoga and meditation can help to balance the Pitta dosha.
Finally, there are a number of herbs that can be taken in pill or tincture form to reduce Pitta in the body and ease fibrocystic breast pain. These herbs include turmeric, licorice root, fennel seed, dandelion root, and milk thistle seed. By following these simple recommendations, you can find relief from fibrocystic breast pain and restore balance to your mind, body, and spirit.