If you have
cyclic breast pain that comes and goes with your
menstrual cycle or
fibrocystic breast changes, home treatment measures
may be enough to help you manage any pain or discomfort. (If you have missed a
menstrual period and have tender breasts, see your doctor for a pregnancy test
before using home treatment.) The following home treatments may be helpful.
Wear a supportive bra or
sports bra to restrict the motion of tender breasts.
Reduce dietary fat to 15% or less of your dietary intake. This
may reduce breast pain over time. For most people, though, this is a drastic change in their
usual diet. Discuss extreme diet changes with your doctor.
Try a nonprescription pain reliever to help relieve pain. Your
choices include acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as
ibuprofen. If this does not help, try applying an NSAID cream to your breasts 3
times a day.1 You can get NSAID cream with a prescription from your
Alternative medicines or supplements may help some women relieve breast tenderness, discomfort, or pain. As
with all alternative therapies, it is important to follow the directions on the
label. Do not exceed the maximum recommended dose. If you are or could be
pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking any medicine or supplement.
By Sarah MahoneyNo, we're not picking on you - just trying to make you feel better. Seven
tips to help you roll with the punches this season.
There was a carpool mix-up: I thought it was my night to pick up the kids
outside the gym; another parent thought it was his. "What happened?" he
snarled, shaking his head. "Why are we both here right now?" As
chauffeuring snafus go, this was small potatoes. It isn't like we left our boys
standing in the snow. So why am I still smarting over his tone...
You can buy vitamin and mineral supplements and herbal remedies
in drugstores, grocery stores, and health food stores. Be sure to tell your
doctor about any alternative medicines or supplements that you may try. Ask him
or her how much is safe for you to take. Also be aware that some of these
substances may interact with other medicines you are taking.
Magnesium. Some women take magnesium supplements to help with certain symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). These supplements may help some women improve PMS mood swings or breast tenderness. But there is no evidence that magnesium relieves breast pain.
Vitex (chasteberry). Although the action
of vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) on the body isn't well
understood, it does seem to change hormone levels that affect
estrogen production.2 Several months of
daily use are usually needed before it relieves symptoms. Possible side effects
include acne, itchy skin or rash, nausea, headache, and fatigue.2, 3
Avoiding caffeine. Studies have not shown that
avoiding caffeine relieves breast pain and generalized lumpiness.4 But some women feel that they have less breast pain and
lumpiness when they decrease the amount of caffeine they consume. Removing
caffeine from your diet may have other health benefits.
vitamin E. There is no evidence that vitamin E relieves breast pain.1
Taking medicines that reduce water retention
(diuretics). There is no evidence that diuretics relieve breast pain.1
Evening primrose oil. The oil of evening primrose is a rich
source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. The latest
research has shown that evening primrose oil is no better than a
placebo, even after 6 months of treatment for breast