Fibrocystic breast disease is a benign breast disorder, which means it is not harmful. The term “fibrocystic breast disease” is misleading and, frankly, scary. That is why many medical professionals now call this condition “fibrocystic change.”
If you suffer from painful, fluid-filled cysts in your breasts, don’t assume you have a benign breast disorder. Just to rule out anything more serious, see your doctor and have a breast exam including a mammogram.
Once your doctor has ruled out a serious condition, there are things you can do to help yourself. One of the easiest is looking at your diet and making some changes.
B-Vitamins: When you think about estrogen, you don’t usually think about your liver. But some doctors now link estrogen-related disorders, like fibrocystic changes, to liver function. To keep your liver healthy, you need B vitamins. In fact, fibrocystic-change symptoms improved in one study where test subjects received supplements of this group of vitamins. To eat foods high in the B-complex vitamins, choose whole grains, beans, peas, and liver.
Vitamin E: There is some evidence that daily doses of vitamin E, between 100 and 1,200 international units (IU), can reduce the number of cysts you develop and even how large they become. If you’re thinking about taking supplements, check with your doctor first. Vitamin E supplements can raise blood pressure in some people. Green and leafy vegetables, wheat germ, whole-grain products, nuts, and seeds are a good, safe ways to add vitamin E to your diet.
Magnesium: Some experts think a supplement of magnesium is helpful in treating breast cysts. Eat nuts, legumes, whole grains, dark green vegetables, and seafood for magnesium the natural way.
Low-fat: Studies show that women with various forms of breast disorders eat more high-calorie, high-fat foods, especially the saturated fat found in meat and dairy products, than women who do not suffer from benign breast disorders. It may be that saturated fats and excess calories cause a higher production of female hormones. These in turn, causes lumps and cysts to form in your breasts. A good rule of thumb is to make dietary fats only 30 percent of your daily calories. It is also important that you lower your percentage of body fat by maintaining your ideal weight. If you take care of the rest of your body, your breast will benefit as well.
Caffeine: Experts suggest you cut caffeine completely out of your diet for about three to four months. Read labels on pain medication some pain relievers contain hidden caffeine. After four months many women notice fewer or smaller lumps and less pain.
Excess fluid: Just before you get your monthly period, your body signals your kidneys to retain fluid. This extra fluid makes you feel bloated, and it can cause discomfort in your breast. Certain foods act like natural diuretics; which means they help your body eliminate fluid. Adding some natural diuretics to your diet, especially just before your monthly, may provide short-term relief from the pain and heaviness of breast cysts.
Foods that are considered natural diuretic are grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, lemon water, and watermelon. In addition, limit your salt and drink six to eight glasses of purified water each day to flush out excess sodium. Herbs and herbal teas that have a mild diuretic action are rose hips, parsley, ginger, and dandelion.
This information is for informational purpose only and is not intended to replace the care or advice of a physician.