- Women's Health
How to Treat and Prevent Breast Cysts: Avoid Caffeine and Other Causes
Nutritional research has discovered a number of very effective breast cyst treatments which have the added benefit of no side effects and improved overall wellness of being. This is good news for the thirty to fifty percent of pre-menopausal woman between the ages of twenty and fifty affected by the disease. The first concern for many is breast cancer but these cysts are benign and associated with hormonal changes and diet.
In most cases breast cysts disappear after menopause because their development is associated with fluctuations in hormone levels. They are easily identified as tender, soft, often painful, movable cysts that vary in size, which are most prominent the week before and after a period. To alleviate any fears about breast cancer, monthly breast self-exams can be performed. If a lump is discovered through ultrasound or infrared breast scan, there is no need to panic because most lumps are found to be benign. If you discover lumps that suddenly increase in size and don't change during your menstrual cycle, have severe pain or unusual skin conditions you should see your physician immediately.
There are a number of possible causes of breast cysts. Nutritional deficiencies in iodine, vitamin B6, E, coenzyme Q10 and essential fatty acids are contributors to the disease. A diet high in meat, dairy, processed sugars and unhealthy fats have also been implicated. High fat and carbohydrate consumption increases estrogen levels which contribute to breast pain. Overweight women have an additional challenge because stored fat manufactures estrogen.
Diets that lead to sluggish bowels and an overworked liver contribute to the formation of breast cysts. Woman who have less than three bowel movements a week increase the risk of cystic breasts by a factor of five. The liver is responsible for breaking down hormones. If the liver is unable to perform properly estrogen can build up in the body and promote breast cysts. Other causes include stress, bowel toxicity, lack of exercise, drugs and alcohol, excessive caffeine intake, weak immune system, chemicals in foods, irregular periods and suppressed emotions.
Studies have been done recently that show that iodine deficiency is linked to breast cysts. Iodine treatment has reduced breast pain and cyst size in patients who have normal thyroid levels. It is believed that breast tissue that lacks iodine sets off a series of events that develop small cysts which eventually harden. Iodine has been found to reverse cystic breast disease and restore cystic spaces to their normal size. Kelp is an excellent source of iodine. Iodine found in kelp has many health benefits including increased fat burning ability during exercise and greater stamina.
A diet high in fiber from natural sources such as raw fruits and vegetables, whole grain products and beans are effective at increasing elimination of estrogen in the body. Cruciferous vegetables interfere with estrogen's ability to bind to breast tissue. Foods that promote breast health are flaxseed oil, garlic, cabbage, rosemary and tumeric. Eat foods that promote liver health and detoxify the body such as onions, leeks, carrots, kale, beets, lemons, artichokes, cauliflower and broccoli. Drink plenty of pure water to prevent constipation and benefit from high fiber foods. Regular exercise will improve circulation and help detoxify the body. Useful supplements include B complex, Vitamin E, selenium, coenzyme Q10, dandelion, evening primrose oil and milk thistle.
Avoid antiperspirants because they prevent drainage of toxins through the sweat glands and cause them to drain into the breasts. Look for natural deodorants that don't contain parabens because of their link to breast cancer.