Fibrocystic breast disease is almost an epidemic in America. It's uncomfortable and worry some because your breasts develop these weird knobby cysts that not only feel strange, may be painful but worry you because they could be cancer. The fact is fibrocystic changes in the breast are quite common. Many women (and even an occasional men) can develop fibrocystic breast disease. While they are not breast cancer, and rarely ever turn into breast cancer, they are often associated with ovarian cysts and uterine fibroid tumors. The reason for this is simple, it is because the underlying cause of fibrocystic breast disease and these other health concerns, generally have the same origin, an excess of the female hormone estrogen or what is often referred to as estrogen excess or estrogen dominance. Because of this over-stimulation of the breasts by an excess of estrogen either created in the body or caused by taking estrogen hormone replacement, some women get such painful breasts that their breast can't even be touched and the simple act of wearing a bra can be excruciatingly uncomfortable.
Too Much Estrogen From the Out Side
Since there are two problems that can cause fibrocystic breasts each has to be treated differently. If it is caused by too much “exogenous” estrogen (that is, estrogen taken orally with hormone replacement, or birth control pills; or by injection, patch or other source such as a medication or in a cosmetic formulation) this has to be considered and the dosage adjusted correctly to undue the increased stimulation of the breasts caused by the mediation or in the cosmetics.
While this is often a simple matter, it is not always a simple thing to do. This is especially true when estrogen is used to treat one problem while making another problems, fibrocystic changes in the breast, a new problem.
Too Much Estrogen From the In Side
A great majority of the women with fibrocystic breasts have this problem because their body is making too much estrogen, or their body is making the right amount estrogen but they have become too sensitive, to the estrogen their body is making. Most commonly they become estrogen sensitive because of chemical changes in their body that stimulates estrogen production and hence create estrogen dominance which then acts to over stimulate their body.
There are a number of reasons why this happens and one of the main factors is foods and chemicals we eat or ingest that overstimulate estrogen production or interfere with the normal breakdown or excretion of estrogen, hence causing estrogen levels within the woman’s body to rise and over stimulate her breasts, uterus, ovary and other organs. One of the most common problems women suffer from is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which occurs for this very same reason. It is also interesting that there is a strong relationship between PMS and fibrocystic disease of the breasts.
Balancing Your Estrogen and Progesterone
While we think of too much estrogen as being the main problem we also need to consider that when estrogen and progesterone, also a female hormone are in balance, PMS and fibrocystic breasts are much less of a problem. Progesterone acts to reduce the over-stimulation so that when either too much estrogen is being produced to too little progesterone is being made then fibrocystic breast and PMS are a much grater problem.
Dietary Reasons for Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Certain foods and chemicals act to either stimulate estrogen production or decrease estrogen breakdown which helps to maintain control over estrogen levels.
In order to help reduce over-stimulation of the breasts we recommend the following:
- Avoid coffee another caffeinated products (except for green tea) as they cause estrogen levels to rise.
- Avoid alcohol as all alcohol beverage cause estrogen levels to rise.
- Avoid eating or drinking anything hot in plastic containers
- Take an excellent probiotic, probiotics help to fix the underlying cause by allowing your body to eliminate the excess estrogens.
- Avoid eating unfermented soy products like tofu, soy milk, meat substitutes and soy protein
- Ensure you have sufficient fiber in your diet in order to bind excess estrogens in your colon so they cannot be reabsorbed.
- Avoid antibiotics (unless you absolutely need them as they also can effect estrogen breakdown and excretion)
- Avoid foods that your body has any type of sensitivity to (get tested if you don't know)
- Increase your intake of broccoli and cabbage, they help reduce estrogen levels
- Take a high quality product containing DIM (diindolemethane, a derivative of cabbage) and Ca-D glucarate. They can help a lot.
- Make sure you are not constipated, and I mean not at ALL constipated
- Take at least 2000-5000 IU's of a high quality vitamin D each and every day
- Take at least 100-300 mgs of a high quality, highly absorbable CoQ10 each and every day
One secret weapon rarely talked bout by medical doctors is iodine or iodide. For most women, 50 milligrams daily should help a lot. Many women are deficient in iodine and iodide in America. Breast tissues are extremely sensitive to iodine and iodide and require both to function adequately. Most men and women deficient in iodine and iodide have high, toxic, tissue levels of halides. Halides belong to a family of chemicals which include fluoride/fluorine, chloride/chlorine, bromide and bromine. When individuals are deficient in iodine/iodide their body is more receptive to the halides and will tend to absorb them more easily. Halides then bind onto the iodine/iodide receptors blocking iodine/iodide form binding and doing their good work. If halides have reached high levels then it may be necessary to take high doses of iodine/iodide for a while to force out toxic halides and allow your body to properly metabolize and use iodine/iodide. Bromines are commonly found in white bread products since they are used as an anti-caking agent. Splenda is a chlorine molecule bound to sugar using Splenda regularly can result in toxic halide levels. Men and women who swim or drink chlorine treated water are also subject to iodine deficiency. Finally, fluoride toothpaste and water with fluoride can also cause halide toxicity which can end up allowing increased estrogen levels which can overstimulate the breasts, uterus, ovaries, thyroid and your metabolism in general.
These for we strongly suggest restricting foods, water, toothpastes that are high in fluorides, bromides and bromines.
While all of the above are important. They can quickly be overshadowed if you are talking too much estrogen in your hormone replacement therapy, using birth control pills that are estrogen dominant or using topical hormone creams or salves for your skin that are high in estrogen. When ever estrogen is taken in any form, it must be counterbalanced by an equal or greater amount of progesterone. Often one of the simplest treatments for immediate treatment of breast pain is adding more progesterone orally or topically to the mix. This is not the end, this simply allows you to be more comfortable while you initiate the other steps listed above.
We also strongly recommend that other than modifying and improving your diet as stated above, do not try to manipulate and or adjust hormone levels on your own. This can lead to larger more dangerous problems. Find a competent physician who can help you and understands your needs and how to help you get there.
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