By Robyn Srigley, BA, PTS, CNP, NNCP
Big or small, round or droopy– breasts are a part of our lives every day! Whether we wish they were bigger or smaller or perkier, they are here to stay and we should love them with all we’ve got! It’s pretty common knowledge that most women at some point feel PMS symptoms (up to 90%). One of the major symptoms is breast pain or tenderness.
This is something I’ve ALWAYS suffered with. Some cycles, it would be just a little discomfort or swelling, and sometimes I’ve had cycles where I can hardly move or breathe without pain. For me, it was part of my PCOS, a hormonal imbalance that plagues women with severe PMS, among other things. So how can we kick this pain in the boob to the curb?
There could be many causes of breast pain in relation to PMS. I’m going to talk briefly about the top 3 causes. Take a gander and see where YOU fit in!
1. Estrogen Dominance
I’ve talked before about the delicate balance between our two major reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen dominance results when we make too little progesterone, and estrogen gets excited, multiplies and floats around all over our bodies. Major symptoms of estrogen dominance include water retention, breast tenderness, mood swings, weight gain on hips and thighs, loss of libido and a host of other symptoms.
So- reduce excess estrogen and kick painful boobs to the curb!
2. Nutrient Deficiency
In Western society, our food supply is most often deficient of nutrients. An apple just doesn’t have the same nutrient value now as it once did 60 years ago. Many of us are chronically nutrient depleted, leaving us tired, angry and overweight. This nutrient depletion heavily influences the pain in our poor little (or BIG!) boobies. Bring up your nutrient status with key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B6 and Magnesium (which you can learn more about below) to beat breast tenderness.
3. Birth Control Pill
The birth control pill (BCP) is often touted as a cure-all drug- you won’t get pregnant, your acne will clear up, your moods will stabilize and excess weight will just fall off. Sound like a miracle? Think again! The birth control pill depletes us of important nutrients like Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Magnesium, and Zinc. We already know that some of these nutrient deficiencies can lead to breast tenderness. Plus- the BCP gives us a heavy dose of artificial hormones, which often causes estrogen dominance, and an inability for our bodies to balance itself with hormone production.
Besides swelling of the boobs or pain, there are other PMS symptoms that point towards to the same causes that we can heal naturally. All of these symptoms are categorized into specific PMS types. Didn’t know there were PMS Types? Get the PMS Type Chart free as part of our Learn to Ditch Your PMS Cravings webinar training and see where you fall. Breast tenderness falls into PMS-H, for hyper-hydration. Other symptoms of PMS-H include edema (water retention), bloating and weight gain.
We can all use a little tweak of our diet every now and again. It’s possible that your food intake isn’t providing you with the proper nutrients for your body to produce and process hormones. For breast swelling and tenderness, try including more leafy greens in your diet (like kale and swiss chard). These wonder-vegetables provide lots of magnesium, B vitamins, iron and other breast-health goodies.
Next make sure you are getting adequate water intake, 6-8 glasses per day. While this may sound wrong to do when you’re already retaining water, the science is actually sound. When your body doesn’t get enough water, it will hold on to as much as it can, so you don’t dehydrate (or worse!). When you consistently fill your body with enough water, it easily let’s go of the excess.
Lastly it’s best to reduce your dairy and caffeine consumption. Dairy inherently contains hormones that affect us when we eat or drink it. This can lead to estrogen dominance, a major cause of boob pain, as we already talked about. Caffeine contains chemicals that dilate blood vessels and therefore can increase swelling and pain of the breasts. Try herbal teas like red raspberry to replace the coffee and help balance hormones!
Vitamins and Minerals
There are two nutrients I want to talk about here- and I bet you can guess what they are! We keep coming back to them again and again- Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. Vitamin B6 helps our tender Ta-Tas in two ways. First, B6 helps to increase progesterone production, which will help to reduce excess estrogens in our blood stream. Secondly, B6 helps to reduce water retention. Taking this regularly sometimes results in weight loss of excess water weight we may be holding on to.
So how about Magnesium? Magnesium also helps our body reduce excess fluid build-up. It has been shown in scientific study to reduce breast tenderness and swelling when taken consistently for at minimum 2 menstrual cycles. Give it a try at 200mg per day in the bis-glycinate form.
I hope these suggestions help you bring a little more love to your lady lumps. Embrace your curves (or lack thereof!) naturally with confidence and zero pain.
Robyn Srigley, BA, PTS, CNP, NNCP is The Hormone Diva! Robyn helps women replace anxiety with joy to open possibility in their lives and to have a positive impact on the next generation. As a holistic nutritionist, Robyn helps women with a variety of struggles including PMS, menopause, PCOS and endometriosis in her coaching practice. You can connect with her on her website The Hormone Diva, or on Facebook or Twitter.
Birth Control Pills and Nutrient Depletion. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Leaf Lady: http://www.leaflady.org/bcpillnutrition.htm
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