Nutritional Aids for Fibrocystic Breasts

Fibrocystic breast disease is termed common, and this is a condition where non-cancerous changes of the breast tissue have occurred. The most common symptoms are breast pain, and the most common area of pain is in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. Women describe this pain as diffuse, and the pain may radiate to the under arm or upper arm. With painful breasts some women have the pain only with their periods, and some all month long. Women ages 30-50 are most affected and women don't generally have this condition in menopause, unless they are on hormone therapy. Young women develop breast ducts which then branch into lobules that are the organs that make the milk, and then there is tissue between these ducts and lobules. Women with fibrocystic changes eventually have this normal tissue replaced with fiberous change and cyst formation. The cysts can swell to produce lumps and this  is when they become painful. No specific cause has been determined, but pain and discomfort follows the menstrual cycle and various theories involving estrogen, progesterone, or even prolactin have been proposed as the ultimate cause. Nutritional treatments and dietary strategies have been reported to both decrease pain and decrease the swelling that occurs with the breast and the breast lumpiness. Although the evidence is not as strong as some scientific evidence, the following nutritional additives/supplements/nutrients have been reported to be helpful for the pain and nodules of fibrocystic breast disease (some prefer to call it Fibrocystic Breast Condition (FCBD or FCBC):

1. Selenium
2. Calcium
3. Iodine
4. Magnesium
5. Vitamin D
6. Vitamin K
7. Vitamin B6
8. Vitamin B12
9. Folic Acid
10. Borage oil or other form of gama-Linolenic acid (GLA)
I also suggest in addition to stay within the daily recommended amounts of these nutrients, to get as much of your nutrition from food (so calculate the food sources of these nutrients as well, don't just add pill forms), to watch for hidden sources of these nutrients (like providone-iodine mouth wash), to be sure that you have your gyno check out the pain so that you aren't misinterpreting your symptoms and be at risk for a more serious condition. Patients also have been known to have an overall low fat diet would have less breast pains. If you keep your overall fat intake to 15% of your calories one study said that these women had even less pain than those on about 20% of fat, and they had even less pain than those women who took in about 35% of their calories from fat. Essential fatty acids are important including getting your omega-3 fatty acid sources like evening primrose oil or black currant oil for total intake, particularly if they are from marine sources.For those getting nutritional management, they may just report fewer days of breast pain, rather than lower levels of breast pain on their painful days. If you have active thyroid disease always consult with your gyno before adding in iodine supplementation.


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