Things You Can Do to Ease Breast Pain
I was intrigued to learn that diet can help with combatting breast pain – I wish I'd researched this properly years ago! Vitamin B-complex and vitamin E are apparently especially helpful.
Top foods containing significant levels of vitamin E include tofu (especially the light and silken types), spinach, almonds and hazelnuts, roasted sunflower seeds and avocado.
The great news is that vitamin E can also protect against heart disease, cancer and age-related eye damage. Not so great news is that too much of the vitamin consumed as a supplement can cause excessive bleeding.
Vitamin B-complex is a vast group of vitamins, which can be found in a variety of foods. Try to include beans, dairy products, peanuts, eggs, dark green and leafy vegetables, wheatgerm, oranges and meat and liver (if you are not vegetarian) in your diet to ensure a good vitamin B intake. And maybe take a B-complex supplement to be sure you are getting the full recommended daily amount (RDA).
While we are on the subject of supplements for menopause, some women swear by evening primrose oil but you should check with your doctor before starting to take it as it is not suitable for everyone. For instance, it may not be advisable for those suffering from epilepsy.
More Water, Less Salt
Some breast tenderness can be caused by hormone-related water retention. It sounds odd but try drinking plenty of water, which can flush the excess fluid out, and try including natural diuretics in your diet like parsley, cucumbers and celery.
It's also worth seeing if you can cut down your salt intake – your breasts might feel less sore and your heart will thank you too!
Get the Right Bras
There are other practical measures you can take, too. I was advised in pregnancy to wear a night bra – a soft supportive crop top or wireless cotton bra – and this tip can also work with sore menopausal breasts. This simple fix could help end the misery of sleepless nights caused by tender breasts.
Make sure your daytime bras are a good fit too. Go in for a proper fitting, especially if you have bulges, the back rides up or the straps dig in. Your favourite bra that you've had for years might be comfortable, but it is highly unlikely to still be offering any real support! You might need two sets of underwear if you find your breast size varies throughout the month.
It is especially important to make sure you have a good supportive bra for exercising. It will minimize pain and help stop the dreaded droop! Natural fabrics are best, or specialist sports bras that are designed to "breathe."
Avoid Caffeine and Saturated Fats
Finally, it's worth taking an honest look at your coffee and saturated fat intake (butter, crisps and fried food) and smoking habits. Cut down caffeine and saturated fats and give up smoking – it's not just your breasts that will benefit.
If your breast pain and sore nipples are severe and none of our tips help, it would be wise to make an appointment with your healthcare provider just to rule out other conditions or to discuss the possibility of drug treatment.