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Breast pain can be due to various reasons and a lot of women face it before or during periods. The causes of breast pain might vary from person to person but the home remedies can help all.
10 Effective Home Remedies for Breast Pain Relief
Gentle massaging of breasts from the center of chest out towards the armpits, helps in improving blood circulation and lymph drainage (the clear fluid that carries infection fighting agents through the body). Therefore massaging helps to provide relief from breast pain. Self- massage is the easiest way and one can do it in the shower or during a bath with soaping them.
2. Alternating Hot and Cold Packs
Alternate use of hot and cold packs help to relieve breast pain due to plugged ducts, engorgement, and mastitis (inflammatory condition). One can try this method when pain peaks and won’t fade away. Anti- inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin, Aceclofenac are also helpful to reduce pain and inflammation.
3. Cool down and Manage the Stress
Human body provides an amazing amount of mirroring for what is going on emotionally. Struggles and various professional and personal increase the stress levels, which in turn affect the hormonal balance. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from stress and depression. Female sex hormone estrogen amplify the stress response in areas of the brain. So, lowering the stress levels through stress managing techniques helps to reduce breast pain in some women. Breathing exercises, regular work out, meditation, and various skills help to manage the stress levels.
4. Flax seeds
Flax seeds are considered as a good home remedy for breast pain associated with periods or menstrual cycle (cyclical mastalgia). They are an excellent source of phytoestrogens and they replace strong estrogens with weaker ones. This in turn doesn’t stimulate the breasts as much as the strong estrogens do and helps in breast pain relief. According to a study done by Phipps WR et al 1993 on the effect of flax seed ingestion on the periods, a table spoon of flax seeds per day lengthened the latter half of the cycle and effectively delayed the next cycle by a day. Flax seeds also help in constipation. Women with cyclical breast tenderness should include 2 table spoons of freshly ground flax seeds in their diets every day. Flax seeds can be ground in a blender, and stored in the fridge in an airtight container to use every day. It can be added to smoothies, vegetable or fruit salads, or even over whole grains.
5. Eat Soy foods
Eating soy foods and drinking soymilk might reduce monthly breast pain associated with periods occurring in some women. Soy contains isoflavones, which are converted in the body to phytoestrogens. These phytoestrogens are similar to estrogen hormone and influence hormonal fluctuations related to menstruation and menopause. Eating soy foods and soymilk help to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Eating more plant- based diet have also shown to improve premenstrual and menstrual symptoms such as breast pain in a study.
6. Apply Castor Oil
Castor oil has anti-inflammatory actions and helps in reducing breast pain. Massaging the breasts with castor oil or castor oil mixed with olive oil ease the pain. Application of castor oil on the breasts aids in improving the circulation, lymphatic drainage, improve the elimination of tissue toxin and enhances nutrition supply for repair and maintenance. Use of this oil 1-2 times per week improves the quality of breast tissue and relieves pain.
7. Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium micronutrient plays an essential role in energy metabolism and is crucial for overall health. It has effects on mood and stress management as well. Deficiency of magnesium causes oxidative stress which produces inflammation. So intake of magnesium rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds, legumes, tofu, some fatty fish, and avocado helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. By reducing the oxidative stress and inflammation, magnesium helps to reduce inflammation related pain and also reduces the risk of some types of cancer like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer.
8. Drink Plenty of Water and Avoid Alcohol
Drinking plenty of water helps in detoxifying the body by eliminating excess toxins and hormones from the body. So, drinking plenty of water especially in the morning and water with lemon reduce breast tenderness and pain. Alcohol increases the estrogen levels in the body and also it is one of the few dietary factor which is directly related with breast cancer risk. So, reduction in alcohol helps in reducing estrogen related breast pain as well as risk of breast cancer.
9. Cut down Caffeine, Tobacco and Salt Intake
According to a study done by Tunc Eren et al in 2016, caffeine intake exacerbate breast pain and may worsen cyclical breast pain. The similar study also correlated the effects of smoking on breast pain and found it to be correlated with breast pain. So, one should avoid excess consumption of caffeine as well as smoking and tobacco for prevention of breast tenderness and pain. Sodium increases water retention in the body and this can cause swelling in the breasts and tenderness. So, one must be careful for salt intake especially 1-2 weeks prior to menstrual cycle.
10. Fiber- rich Diet and Vitamins
Fiber- rich diet not only helps in digestion and promote regular bowel movements but also helps to eliminate excess hormones and toxic products from the body. Digestive system helps in elimination of excess estrogen in the body. Women having healthy digestive system experience much less breast tenderness than others. To improve the digestion and maintain healthy digestive system, fiber- rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, bananas, oranges, apples, carrots, beans and legumes are helpful. Vitamins B, C, D and A are essential vitamins for improving digestive health. So foods rich in these vitamins indirectly help in reducing breast pain and tenderness.