What Is Mastalgia?
Mastalgia, or Breast Pain, is a common experience for many people. It is a condition characterized by discomfort or tenderness in one or both breasts. It can manifest in various forms, ranging from a sharp, burning sensation to a mild ache.
In most cases, the pain is cyclical and linked to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. There is also non-cyclical mastalgia, which may be caused by injuries or infections.
While mastalgia is a common experience, it’s essential to differentiate between occasional breast tenderness and persistent or severe pain, which could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
What Causes Mastalgia?
- Hormonal Changes: Changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle can lead to a type of mastalgia known as “cyclical breast pain”, this is actually the most common type of breast pain.
- Breast Cysts: Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast.
- Breast Trauma: injury to the breast tissue.
- Breast Surgery: surgeries on the breast, such as breast augmentation, reduction, or biopsy.
- Mastitis: This is an infection of the breast tissue that can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, warmth, and redness of the breast.
- Breast Cancer: some forms of breast cancer, such as inflammatory breast cancer, can cause pain. However, breast pain is not a common symptom of breast cancer.
- Medications: Antidepressants, antipsychotics, and postmenopausal hormone therapies.
- Breastfeeding Issues: Issues such as engorgement, plugged milk ducts, and breast infections.
- Costochondritis: This is a condition characterized by inflammation of the cartilage where the ribs meet the breastbone.
- Fibrocystic Breasts: Multiple cysts throughout one or both presenting as lumpiness of the breast(s).
- Tight-fitting Bra: If a bra that doesn’t fit properly can cause discomfort and pain.
- Muscle Strain: Pain from the chest muscles or ligaments can sometimes feel as though the pain is coming from the breast. This can occur when someone starts working out and doing exercises such as push ups, bench press, etc.
Breast Pain Remedies
Chaste Tree: This is particularly useful in balancing out hormones which may be causing cyclical breast pain (See Study).
Curcumin: Effective in PMS, which may cause breast tenderness. It it also a potent anti-inflammatory which helps for pain in general (See Study)
Ginkgo Biloba: Improves PMS and cyclical breast pain (See Study)
St. John’s Wort: Improves PMS and cyclical breast pain (See Study)
Nigella Sativa: Improves breast pain and is a potent anti-inflammatory which helps for pain in general (See Study)
Flax Seed: Rich in phytoestrogens and may help manage hormonal fluctuations that cause cyclical breast pain (See Study)
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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