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 Health Hint #212
Relief for Breast Pain and Swelling
 
 
Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer



If you should discover a lump in your breast, don't panic: Chances are it's benign (noncancerous). Many benign breast lumps turn out to be cysts filled with fluid, and they sometimes cause pain. They can occur as a single lump or in clusters that give a "lumpy" feel and appearance to the breast.

The presence of multiple benign breast cysts is known as fibrocystic breast disease. Symptoms include tenderness and pain in one or both breasts about one week before a menstrual period. A nonbloody nipple discharge may also be present.

No one knows what causes fibrocystic disease, but doctors suspect it's due to an increase in estrogen or prolactin levels. For some women, breast pain can be severe and disabling.

To reduce breast pain:

Limit salt and sodium intake, to prevent fluid buildup in the breasts.
Wear a bra that provides good support. (You may want to wear a bra while you sleep, too.)
For severe discomfort, apply ice packs to your breasts two to three times a day.
If an area of the breast feels warm, with swelling and redness, contact your doctor. These
could be signs of infection, which can be treated with antibiotics.
Cut down on caffeine. Some studies indicate that women who are heavy coffee drinkers and
suffer from fibrocystic disease find relief when they cut their caffeine intake.
Oral contraceptives eliminate breast pain for some women. Or your doctor may prescribe Danazol,
a prescription medication, to reduce pain.
Vitamin E (400 international units per day) or diuretics (water pills) may reduce breast pain.

In any case, it's important to report any breast lumps or discomfort to your doctor even if you've had only benign problems so far.

 About The Author
This article has been taken from A Year of Health Hints: 365 Practical Ways to Feel Better & Live Longer, a book published by the ...more
 
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