Some of the home remedies for breast tenderness include evening primrose oil, soy, dehydrogenated fats, corn silk, uva ursi and buchu, flaxseed, chaste berry, cabbage leaves, vitamin E, weight loss, mineral intake, reduced salt, warm compress, ice pack and a reduction in harmful dietary elements.
What is Breast Tenderness?
Breast tenderness, in simple terms, means softness in the breast tissues that is accompanied with pain. It is characterized by discomfort, heaviness, soreness and increased the sensitivity of the breasts. Females approaching menopause, breastfeeding mothers, and those undergoing pregnancy or menstruation often suffer from breast tenderness.
Causes of Breast Tenderness (Breast Pain)
Breast tenderness can be caused by the following factors:
Breast cysts: As a result of aging, fat replaces the breast tissue in a woman. This process is known as involution. Sometimes, as a side effect of this process, a cyst develops on the breast, which makes the breast lumpy and causes pain.
Hormones: Sometimes, women experience breast pain caused by fluctuations in the hormones. Any abnormality in the estrogen and progesterone levels in the body can cause you to feel breast pain, lumpiness, swelling, etc. Breast tenderness is accompanied by hormonal fluctuations that are cyclic in nature.
The change in the levels of hormones can be attributed to several factors, some of which are mentioned below.
- Puberty in girls as well as boys
- When a female approaches menopause
- Pregnancy, especially in females who are too young
Breast surgery: If you’ve recently gone through a breast surgery, then it is expected that you will experience some pain in that area.
Ill-fitted bra: another reason for breast pain can be blamed on an ill-fitted bra. A size too small, or a size too big, can both be harmful to your breasts.
Mastitis: While breastfeeding, you can experience pain in the breasts. This pain is caused by an infection of the milk ducts. This is known as mastitis, and along with severe pain, it also causes cracking, itching, and burning on the nipples. Breastfeeding can also cause pain because of engorgement and improper latch.
Menstruation: Breast tenderness is a condition that arises just before menstruation occurs in females.
Other causes include:
- Shoulder pain
- Chest congestion
Symptoms of Breast Tenderness
Breast tenderness is characterized by following symptoms:
Swelling of the breasts
Sensitivity is increased when touched, or when pressure is applied
Discomfort when accompanied by movement
Soreness in breasts
Even after childbirth, breasts swell due to the milk developing inside. This often leads to tenderness and pain, injury, premenstrual syndrome, mastitis, and alcoholism. Changes in the fibrocystic breast can also cause tenderness. Being cyclic in occurrence, breast tenderness is usually not a very serious issue, but in case nipples discharge pus or fluid, a mass or lump is felt, or if pain persists for a long time, then medical consultation should be obtained. Simple home remedies for breast tenderness are available that definitely provide relief from pain and discomfort to a large extent.
Home Remedies for Breast Tenderness
Several home remedies for breast tenderness are mentioned below.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose contains essential fatty acids that are needed for reducing pain in the breasts. Take a few drops of this oil and apply it on the breasts gently.
It is advised to switch to margarine oil as per the Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies. All sorts of poultry and meat products, along with the cooking oils that are normally used for cooking purposes, contain halogenated fats. These halogenated fats curb the body’s requirement of gamma linoleic acid (GLA) through a metabolic pathway. GLA, in turn, is needed for preventing breast pain and it is, therefore, good to use de-halogenated fats like margarine oil to reduce breast tenderness.
Soya in the form of soy milk, soybeans or soy burgers is beneficial for breast health. These are a rich source of isoflavone compounds that reduce tenderness of the breast. It is therefore advised to increase the intake of soy products by females suffering from breast tenderness.
Corn Silk, Uva Ursi, and Buchu
Make a mixture by adding a spoonful of flaxseed to a glass of water. It can also be added to ice cream, yogurt or fruit juice. The sole aim is to consume 1 spoonful daily and the pain in the breasts will subside in a short time.
One should include chaste berry in their daily diet sheet, as it is known to decrease both cramping and breast tenderness.
Obtain leaves from raw cabbage and apply them to swollen breasts. Cover them with some cloth or cotton. These leaves have the ability to help you get rid of the pain caused due to swollen breasts.
Reduce Salt Intake
It is strongly advised that females suffering from breast tenderness should reduce their salt intake.
Warm some water, soak a towel in it and apply it to the breasts for 10-15 minutes. This reduces breast tenderness and the associated pain. It does so by increasing the blood circulation in the breast.
According to Medline Plus, a cold compress or an ice pack should be used in case of injury. Ice packs are especially good for alleviating fibrocystic breasts as well. Crushed ice should be taken and placed in a clean cloth that is to be wrapped around the breasts.
Food products like ice cream, chocolate, and soft drinks should be avoided as much as possible. It has also been found that a reduction in your intake of caffeinated products like coffee and tea are associated with a decrease in breast tenderness and pain.
A diet rich in vitamins like vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and especially vitamin E is needed to alleviate the pain in breasts. It is well known that a daily supplement of 200 to 400 International Units of vitamin E is beneficial for this condition.
It has been observed that a decrease in body weight can alleviate breast pain to some extent. The probable reason could be that as more animal fat is consumed, the less estrogen is excreted into the body. Moreover, most of this fat gets accumulated in the breasts, which show an increased sensitivity to hormones. Thus, it is always good to lower your weight in order to prevent pain in your breasts.
Selenium, calcium, and magnesium are good for reducing tenderness of the breasts. Magnesium has the inherent ability to get rid of the cyclic pain in your breasts due to the menstrual cycle and thus, should be incorporated into your diet whenever possible.