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Fibrocystic Breasts

picture of a woman with fibrocystic breast disease who has lumpy dense fibrous breasts
Fibrocystic Breasts May Feel Tender

Fibrocystic Breasts or Lumpy, Dense, Tender Breasts

What are fibrocystic breasts?

Fibrocystic breasts are lumpy, dense, fibrous breasts. Imaging by your doctor determines that they are benign.

What Are The Symptoms of Fibrocystic Breasts?

Fibrocystic Breast Symptoms

The symptoms of fibrocystic breasts include:

  • breast lumps or fibrous tissue that blends into the tissue around it
  • painful or tender breasts
  • breast lumps that vary in size
  • lumpiness or tenderness that varies throughout your menstrual cycle
  • lumps may be particularly bad from mid-cycle to just before your period starts

Is it dangerous to have fibrocystic breasts?

Fibrocystic breasts themselves are not hazardous to your health.  They are a problem though because:

  1. They can make proper imaging of the breasts more difficult.  This can mask more serious issues in the breast.
  2. Fibrocystic breasts are a symptom of a need for better hormone balance.
  3. The hormonal imbalance that causes them can also increase your risk for breast disease, or other hormone-related health issues.

What causes lumpy breasts?

The causes of fibrocystic breasts aren’t one hundred percent clear. However, higher caffeine intake, and hormonal imbalance, often estrogen dominance (relatively speaking higher estrogen and lower progesterone) seem to play a role.

Higher blood levels of insulin may also play a role since an insulin-lowering drug seems to help.  The best way to lower your insulin level without drugs is by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

Higher male hormone levels in women with PCOS seem to help protect the breasts by moderating the effects of estrogen.  Ensuring a proper balance of all of the sex hormones is part of naturopathic treatment for fibrocystic breasts.

What is the natural treatment for dense, lumpy or painful breasts?

Natural treatment for dense breasts involves:

  1. Improving your liver’s metabolism of hormones. This helps to address the hormone imbalance that may be contributing to fibrocystic breast development.
  2. Reducing caffeine intake to once per day.
  3. Eating a healthy, whole foods, high fiber, low glycemic index diet.

Any lump in your breast should be examined by your medical doctor.  He/she can then order an ultrasound or mammogram to determine whether it is just fibrocystic breast tissue.

For help with this or any other health problem, book an appointment here or call the clinic for more information at 416-481-0222.

by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

Picture of Toronto Naturopath Doctor Dr. Pamela Frank, Best Naturopath in Toronto many times over
Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Pamela has been in practice as a naturopathic doctor in Toronto since 1999. She has been the recipient of numerous “Best Naturopath in Toronto” awards. She is registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

Dr. Pamela Frank uses a natural treatment approach that may include acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, diet, vitamins, supplements, and other natural remedies to restore balance and provide long-term resolution of almost any health problem.

Fibrocystic Breast Disease Research

Breast Dis. 2017;37(2):49-53. doi: 10.3233/BD-160256.
The evaluation of the effect of metformin on breast fibrocystic disease.
Talaei A, Moradi A, Rafiei F.

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Jan;154(1):161-79.
Fibrocystic breast disease: pathophysiology, pathomorphology, clinical picture, and management.
Vorherr H.

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Jun;28(6):468-71. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2011.633658. Epub 2011 Nov 21.
Is hyperandrogenemia protective for fibrocystic breast disease in PCOS?
Ozkaya E1, Cakir E, Cinar M, Kara F, Baser E, Cakir C, Kucukozkan T.

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