Sore, aching, burning, numbing sensations in the muscle and tissue, breast discomfort affects 70 percent of women prior to and during menopause. A common malady of menstrual and ovulation cycles, women often ignore breast pain symptoms. Pain that rushes into the arms, legs, or back, is seldom ignored, but breast soreness is often dismissed as a “time of the month symptom”. Unless breast pain comes with the diagnosis of breast cancer, which rarely occurs, women simply tolerate breast discomfort.
Reproductive hormones control a variety of monitoring systems within the body. As these hormones prepare women for fertility, menstruation and menopause they alter the functioning of blood vessels, brain chemicals, nerve tissue and organ lubrication. Unaware of the impact of fluctuating hormones, most women find breast discomfort to be an occasional annoyance. Women, who eat foods devoid of nutrition, drink sugary and caffeinated beverages, however, experience intense and long lasting symptoms of breast discomfort.
Breast PainBreast discomfort symptoms include tightness, soreness, burning, swelling, and aching. Symptoms vary depending on lifestyle, family heredity, and breast size. For some women, this discomfort is consistent with their menstrual or ovulation cycles. Additionally, many women spend a little time ensuring that their bra fits comfortably and securely. Women should consult a medical health professional when they experience lasting breast pain to allay worries of a serious health condition.
Pregnant women or women who have recently given birth expect the swelling and aching sensation of engorged breast tissue, sensitive aureoles, and nipples during breast-feeding. Breast pain or discomfort that continues beyond these reproductive periods may result from poor diet or other health issues.
Hormone ImbalancesReproductive hormones such s estrogen and progesterone prepare women’s bodies for childbirth. Women between the ages of 45 and 55 experience a significant decrease in reproductive hormones, signaling the end of fertility. With no further, need to support the body for two, estrogen decreases brain chemicals, organ lubrication, blood vessel flexibility and nerve transmission. Prior to menopause, these hormones increase breast size to accommodate breast milk, expanding blood vessels and nerve tissue that results in soreness or burning breast tissue. These hormonal imbalances symptoms occur during women’s cycles of peaking and ebbing hormone levels.
Non-cyclical Breast PainFor a small percentage of women, breast pain or discomfort arise from injury to the breasts, fibrous cysts, large, and heavy breast tissue pulling on the chest muscles. Medications can also cause breast soreness such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and hormone replacement therapy, and cholesterol and heart medications.
Women who suffer from health conditions such as alcoholism, mastitis, or metabolic diseases can experience breast soreness. These women may also note pain, numbness, and inflammation in the muscle and tissue surrounding the breast. Additionally, excess caffeine, sugar, and alcohol increase the body’s production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These stress chemicals combined with hormonal imbalances expand blood vessels, nerve tissue, and blood flow and oxygen levels throughout the body, preparing women for danger when there is none.
The majority of women, however, find that eating a healthy diet packed with vitamins and minerals drink water and exercise, decrease breast discomfort. Foods rich in soy such as tofu, eggs, soybeans, and yams can help their body to balance waning hormone levels. Drinking 64 oz. of water each day dilutes stress hormones and reduces breast tissue tenderness and inflammation. Exercise, especially cardiovascular workouts decrease stress hormones and flood the body with endorphins that reduce pain. Stress hormones hide in excess fatty tissue in women’s bodies. Losing even 5 lbs. can decrease breast tenderness, significantly.
Know how to shop when experiencing symptoms of menopause such as breast pain - choose the right bra for breast pain.