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Finding a lump in your breast can indeed be shocking and scary. While malignant tumors need to be removed surgically, not all of the tumors are cancerous or life-threatening.
Have you heard of 'fibroadenoma'? They are usually lumps about 1 cm to 2 cm in size and don't cause any pain, and can be felt like a small marble underneath the skin, on the side of the breast. But they may still require some sort of treatment.
Fibroadenomas, or these benign lumps, are usually found in young women of child-bearing age. They generally shrink or disappear without any particular treatment after menopause.
Although the reasons behind the formation of these lumps are not clearly known, researchers attribute it to estrogen dominance. Use of oral contraceptives, hormonal imbalances, and certain stimulating foods are also considered to be the cause.
During pregnancy, or hormone replacement, fibroadenomas grow quickly, but they disappear following menopause.
It is believed that natural remedies and lifestyle modifications can go a long way in preventing the occurrence of these breast lumps, and also in reducing the size of the lumps so formed. As all of these are natural and can be easily adopted by one and all, they are devoid of side-effects too.
By Diet Control
• Cut down considerably on meat intake
Try to adopt vegetarianism. If you love to indulge in meat, begin to cut down on your meat consumption slowly, working your way into giving it up altogether. This is because most commercial meats come with added hormones that alter hormonal balance in women. Try switching to a plant-based lifestyle, where the focus would be more on organic green leafy veggies and fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
• Reduce or avoid intake of estrogen-like compounds
Avoid intake of soy products, as too much estrogen can lead to fibroadenomas. Discuss with your doctor about possible supplements to be taken in case you have high estrogen levels. It is said that natural B-vitamin complex has antioxidants that can regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce excess androgens in the adrenal glands.
• Avoid refined sugars
Refined sugars are unhealthy anyways and we all know that. Added to that is the fact that refined sugars can accelerate the growth of mammary gland tumors, according to recent researches.
• Drink fresh organic vegetable juices daily
Wheatgrass is said to be great in reducing breast lumps, as are other breast-friendly veggies such as kale, dandelion, spinach, celery, cucumber, and parsley.
• Avoid fried/fatty/processed foods
It is better to avoid deep fried, fatty, and processed foods that are high in salt and refined sugars, as they contain harmful carcinogens.
• Avoid stimulants like caffeine, sweetened drinks
Experts suggest that it is better to avoid stimulants like caffeine, soft drinks, and chocolate as they may cause the development of breast lumps. Although there is no scientific evidence to prove this, it is recommended that avoiding such foods can reduce breast lumps.
• Have iodine-rich foods
Choose to consume foods such as bananas, prunes, green beans, and cranberries that are rich in iodine, as iodine deficiency may lead to the development of breast lumps. This is because when there is low iodine in the body, breast tissues get sensitive to estrogen, leading to the growth of breast lumps.
• Some women experience a remarkable improvement in the pain and tenderness of their lumps when taking vitamin E supplements. Consume foods high in vitamin E like broccoli, tomatoes, red bell peppers, olive oil, leafy greens, etc. Talk to your doctor in case you need to take a supplement.
• Evening primrose oil has shown plenty of positive results in alleviating pain and tenderness associated with breast lumps. Discuss the appropriate dosage and duration with your doctor.
• Certain herbs such as dandelion, milk thistle, and false unicorn root are said to be helpful in regulating hormones. However, they should be used only after discussion with a health expert.
• Castor oil has been used for ages to reduce painful lumps in the breast. The oil is generally applied topically as you would apply a lotion.
• As fibroadenomas are benign tumors associated with high estrogen levels and low progesterone levels, it has been noticed that application of natural progesterone in the form of cream or gel resolves lumps in the breasts, in some cases.
• One of the primary reasons for the appearance and growth of breast lumps is stress. This, coupled with insufficient sleep can be a sure trigger and contribute to breast lumps. The best way out is to try and practice yoga, particularly deep breathing and meditation to get your stress levels under control. Acupuncture is also said to be beneficial as it improves circulation.
• Make sure that you do some good physical activity for 30 to 45 minutes daily. Also, set some time aside for yourself and practice your favourite hobby, be it cooking, walking with your pet, reading your favourite books, or gardening. All these are not just great stress-busters, but they also pep-up your moods and keep you happy.
• If you are on birth control pills, get off them, and see if there is a difference.
Note: Apart from following the said simple lifestyle modifications and natural remedies, you should regularly examine your breasts for any lumps. At the first sign of a lump in your breast, you should first contact your doctor to get it tested for malignancy. In case of malignant tumors, an early detection can save lives. The tips suggested are only for benign breast lumps.