Women who experience breast pain during menopause may become concerned about the actual causes. This is a fairly common symptom that can develop anytime from the onset of menopause, through the completion stage. Over half of all women experience this symptom at some time in their lives. Symptoms are generally not severe for most, but for the 10% that bear the brunt, it can become a debilitating condition. Understanding the causes of breast pain, and the available treatments to ease the discomfort provides women with the options of alleviating the pain and worry.
About Breast Pain
Breast pain can occur at any time, but is most commonly reported in women who are undergoing hormonal changes. It can happen with PMS, early pregnancy, lactation or menopause.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Pain
Breast pain which is caused by fluctuations in hormones is marked by tenderness and swelling with a feeling that the skin is stretched tightly across the tissue. Breasts may also become hot to the touch with the sense that the tissue is inflamed. This can include either one or both breasts. Some women experience a constant ache while others have pain off and on.
Understanding Female Breast Pain as Menopause Symptom
When women understand that the causes of their breast pain are hormonal, there is a relief on one hand, that the condition is not due to a potentially life threatening illness such as cancer. However; since hormone levels are decreasing, the likelihood that the condition will persist without treatment is high. Knowing about the treatment options which are available provides hope for remedy that will alleviate or resolve the underlying causes of breast pain during menopause.
What Causes Breast Pain?
Breast pain can be caused by many different things including injury, large and heavy breasts, the development of infections such as mastitis, some medications and or drugs, synthetic hormones, cysts, or hormonal fluctuations.
Why Does Menopause Cause Breast Pain?
Menopause may cause breast pain because of the decreasing levels in estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect upon the tissues of the body, such as joints and other tissues. The decrease in this hormone means that the likelihood of inflammation rises and this is why menopause may be the cause of breast pain.
What Does it Mean if My Breasts Hurt?
Breast pain can indicate an injury or possibly an infection, particularly if you’re a nursing mother. It can also occur if your hormones are out of whack. Some foods, substances such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol have been known to contribute to breast pain. Breast pain is not generally an early symptom of breast cancer, but it’s always wise to consult with your physician to rule out any serious possible causes. If your breasts hurt for an extended period of time, it may be time to consult your health provider.
Tips for Dealing with Breast Pain
There are several different ways to deal with breast pain. First of all, a physical checkup by your health provider is recommended to try to identify what may be causing the pain. Identifying any activities or foods that seem to trigger breast pain is a good first step. Sometimes, simply making a few lifestyle changes can help to alleviate breast pain. Another tip includes wearing a well-fitting bra which provides good support and is comfortable.
Breast Pain Diagnosis and Treatment
After receiving the diagnosis of hormone induced breast pain, there are three main treatment categories which are effective at alleviating if not stopping breast pain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as balanced diet, plenty of rest, exercise, and avoiding foods and activities that trigger breast pain may take care of the issue. Some women for example, have found that overuse of caffeine causes breast pain.
Alternative medicine offers a variety of therapies such as massage, foods and supplements which contain estrogen like properties that help restore balance to the body’s chemistry, acupuncture, and relaxation exercises. Natural remedies are recommended above traditional hormone replacement therapy because they carry fewer health risks and are most often, less expensive.
Breast pain is a common symptom of menopause. Although there are many other causes that can contribute to this condition, quite often, the underlying cause is hormonal fluctuations. Decreases in estrogen, which helps to ease inflammation makes breast tissue more susceptible for becoming irritated and painful. If breast pain continues for long periods, a visit to your physician can help to isolate the cause and identify the most effective treatment plan to stop the pain and discomfort. There are many natural ways to put your body back in balance and alleviate or stop breast pain. Just because breast pain is a common part of the body’s natural processes during menopause, it doesn’t mean that you must suffer when there is safe and effective relief available.