Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast
Definition of Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast
Inflammation and tenderness in the cystic tissue of a woman's breast.
This condition is characterized by localized swellings, pain, and tenderness of the breast as well as the presence of cysts, which may vary in size. It most often occurs pre-menstrually, due to the rise of the hormone estrogen, and usually involves both breasts.
Orthodox Drug Medicine Explanation of Causation
This is the most common breast disease in women, occurring in about 20% of premenopausal females. The normal menstrual cycle is responsible for biphasic stimulation of the breasts, first through the proliferation of breast tissue by estrogens and then of the alveolar tissue by progesterone. Most women do not notice such changes, but in some females the breast symptoms are quite noticeable and uncomfortable. FBD is associated with a 3X higher risk for the development of breast cancer and caffeine consumption appears to be one of the principal aggravating factors.
Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast Symptomatology Self-Test
It is recommended that women learn to self examine their breasts, doing this easy procedure at least once a month approximately 7 to 10 days after the day menses starts. Is important to learn to recog-nize the cystic areas.
A physician should be consulted if there is uncertainty about the quality of a lump or if there is any discharge from the nipples.
signs and symptoms:
Symptoms usually occur in the second half of a woman's menstrual cycle.
- Typically FBD is bilateral.
- Pain and swelling of the breasts: may be extremely sensitive to touch or ascending/descending stairs, etc.
- Cysts are often palpable: multiple cysts are common, and are easily moved about.
- No lymphadenopathy occurs.
- Often the woman has other concurrent premenstrual syndrome symptoms: bloating, craving for sweets, anxiety/mood swings.
- (-) biopsy for carcinoma.
Medical Conditions Attributed
Conditions Leading to if left Unaddressed
Orthodox Drug Medicine Prognosis
course and prognosis
The prognosis is excellent if the reasons for the woman's premenstrual syndrome and cystic tendencies are addressed and corrected.
Cyst aspiration may relieve symptoms but they often recur if underlying causes are not resolved.
Orthodox Drug Medicine Standard Treatment
Known Side Effects from Medical Treatment
Naturopathic General Refutation of Orthodox Drug Medicine Standard Treatment
Nutritional Deficiency Causation
Metaphysical Causation (beyond the physical) includes Mental and emotional
metaphors and correlations
- Frustration at not being able to nurture or be nurtured in relationship. (Epstein, p. 70)
- Breasts represent mothering and nurturing. Cysts, lumps, and soreness are associated with overmothering, overprotection, overbearing attitudes; cutting off nourishment. (Hay, 1984, p. 157)
- Female problems represent a rejection of the feminine principle; denial of the self; rejecting femininity. (Hay, 1984, p. 165)
- Liver ~ Gan is the home of the Hun (Ethereal Soul); it relates to decisiveness, control, and the principle of emergence; maintains smooth flow of Qi and Xue (Blood); and reflects emotional harmony and movement.
> Healthy expressions are kindness, spontaneity, and ease of movement.
> Liver Qi Stagnation reflects and accentuates emotional constraint as the Liver's function of facilitating smooth flow in the body is constricted. Stagnation is associated with frustration, irritability, tension, and feeling stuck. With time this pattern tends to produce a gloomy emotional state of constant resentment, repressed anger or depression, along with tightness in the chest, frequent sighing, abdominal tension or distension, and/or a feeling of a lump in the throat with difficulty in swallowing. (Maciocia, p. 216) Xue Yu (Blood Stasis) often begins with Qi Stagnation.
- Spleen ~ Pi governs digestion and manifests in the muscle tissues; transforms food into Qi and Xue (Blood); governs the Xue (Blood) and holds it in the vessels; maintains upbearing, and relates to the ability to assimilate, stabilize, and feel balanced and centered.
> Healthy expressions are fairness, openness, deep thinking, and reminiscence.
> Spleen Xu (Deficiency) signs include slightness (deficient "form"); abundant elimination; morning fatigue; cold, wet feet (Seem, p. 28); abdomen taut and distended like a drum; craving for sweets; flatulence; nausea; mild edema; memory failure; heavy feeling in legs; easy bruising; pale lips; loose stools; muscular weakness; and, indirectly, obesity.
> The excessive use of the mind in thinking, studying, concentrating, and memorizing over a long period of time tends to weaken the Spleen and may lead to Xue Yu (Blood Stasis). This also includes excessive pensiveness and constant brooding. (Maciocia, p. 241) Likewise, inadequate physical exercise and excess consumption of sweet and Cold foods will also deplete the Spleen. Environmentally, the Spleen is highly susceptible to attack from external Dampness and Cold.
- Stomach ~ Wei is the Sea of Nourishment and relates to ability to assimilate, stabilize, and feel balanced and centered.
> Mental signs of Stomach channel disorder include depression, death wishes, instability, suicidal tendencies, mentally overwrought, doubt, suspicions, tendency to mania, and slowness at assimilating ideas. (Seem, p. 27)
Therapeutic Natural Foods
REGARDING THE PROPER DIET FOR FIBROCYSTIC BREASTS:
- The most effective change for fibrocystic breasts is the removal of caffeine-containing foods from the diet, such as coffee, tea, sodas, and chocolate.
- Decrease the amount of meat in the diet, especially the commercially raised type since it contains excessive amounts of hormones, which will aggravate the problem. Of course, any other source of estrogen such as birth control pills will tend to worsen the problem as well.
- Constipation can also aggravate this condition. If you suffer from constipation, increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the diet, and drink 8 to 10 cups of water a day. If you need further information, listen to our program on constipation (number 271).
- Increase consumption of complex carbohydrates and fiber: it has been found that women who have fewer than 3 bowel movements per week have a 4.5x greater risk of FBD than women having at least one bowel movement/day. (Marz, p. 435, 1997)
- Citrus peel
- Liver-cleansing foods: beets, carrots, artichokes, lemons, parsnips, dandelion greens, watercress, burdock root
- Foods rich in Magnesium, Beta carotene, Vitamins E and B-complex
- Turmeric used as a spice
- Foods high in omega-6 fatty acids: vegetable, nut, seed oils (evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, black currant oil)
- Stagnant Liver Qi or Stagnancy in the Liver channel type:
Foods that invigorate the Qi, Liver foods, sour foods, Dispersing foods, foods that open channels
- Avoid exogenous estrogens: oral contraceptives and animal products with estrogen residues. Fibrocystic breast disease may be caused by excessive estrogenic stimulation of the breasts due to abnormal hormone levels or by an exaggerated response by hypersensitive tissues to normal hormone levels.
- Avoid methylxanthines: coffee, black tea, chocolate, cola drinks. Women with FBD may have a genetically determined increased sensitivity to methylxanthines (Minton, J., Abou-Issa, H., Reiches, N., Roseman, J. Surgery 90:299-304, 1981; Ernster. Surgery 91(3):263-67, 1982)
- Estrogenic foods: animal products, apples, cherries, olives, plums, carrots, yams, nightshade family, peanuts, soy products, coconut, brown rice, barley, oats, wheat
- See Materia Medica: Foods that contain estrogen-like sterols
Meat, alcohol, hot sauces, spicy foods, fried foods, fatty foods, rich foods, salty foods, caffeine, pesticides
Special Naturopathic Food Medicines and Tonics
Special Recipe Protocols
Homeopathic Remedies and Glandulars
- Asterias rubens: lumps of the left breast; swelling of breast just before menses; nodes and indurations of mammary gland; dull aching neuralgic pain in this region; swelling of the breasts as when the menses are about to appear
- Carbo animalis: painful nodosities and indurations in the mammae; uneven nodules, hard immovable, dirty, bluish-red; tearing stinging pains extending to the side of shoulders and through arm
- Conium maculatum: from prolonged sexual abstinence; often small, pendulous breasts; firm lumps, esp. on right with constant dull heavy pain; from contusion; hypertrophy of breast, either general or lobular, followed by atrophy; hard, painful lumps; tumors in mammae, with piercing pains; < at night: gland abnormally tender
- Graphites: swelling and induration of mammary gland
- Iodium: heaviness of mammae; as if they would fall off; bluish-red nodosities, size of a hazelnut, in both mammae, dry black points at tips
- Lac caninum: breasts seem very full; soreness and enlargements of breasts, very painful and sore; sensitive to least pressure, dull constant, aching pain in them all evening; feel as if full of hard lumps; very painful when going up or down stairs
- Lac Humanum: history of difficult mother-daughter relationship; issues of nourishment
- Lycopodium: swelling of breasts with nodosities
- Phosphorus: hard, extremely painful nodosities as large as goose eggs in breasts, no inflammation
- Phytolacca: hard, painful with axillary lymph swelling; pain before or during menses; hypertrophy of breasts, breasts full of hard, painful nodosities; lump in upper part of left breast
- Silicea: hard lumps in mammae; mammae swollen, dark, red; sensitive burning pains prevent rest at night
From the following homeopathic remedies, the one that best matches the symptoms is chosen. This is taken 3 times a day while the symptoms are present, dissolving 3 pellets under the tongue.
- Sepia 6C: For breast swelling associated with increased irritability.
- Phytolacca 6C: For multiple nodules or when the breasts are hard and sensitive.
- Conium 12C: For breast swelling with a sticking pain in the nipples.
Note: A wide range of homeopathic medicines can be helpful for individuals with fibrocystic breasts. Consultation with a health care professional trained in homeopathic prescribing will usually be the best way to select the correct medicine.
- star tulip
(Gurudas, pp. 212, 235)
Botanical Healing Tea Formulations
Ionic Liquid Mineral Formulations
Raw Juice Therapy
- Carrot (Walker, p. 146)
- Carrot and spinach (Walker, p. 146)
- Carrot, beet, and cucumber (Walker, p. 146)
- Lemon juice in warm water
Nutraceutical Natural Food Supplements
THE FOLLOWING SUPPLEMENTS ARE USED FOR FIBROCYSTIC BREASTS AND CAN BE TAKEN UNTIL SYMPTOMS IMPROVE:
- A multivitamin – taken daily, according to the manufacturer's suggestion. When choosing a multivitamin, make sure it is free of sugar, yeast, and artificial ingredients.
- Vitamin B6 – 100 milligrams twice a day.
- Vitamin B-complex – 50 milligrams 2 times a day.
- Vitamin E – 600 Units per day.
- Beta-carotene – 150,000 Units per day. Pregnant women (or women who may become pregnant) should not take more than 15,000 Units a day.
- Flaxseed oil – 1 tablespoon or 2 capsules per day.
- Choline and Methionine – 1,000 milligrams each, daily. These are amino acids used in an attempt to aid the liver in correcting the hormonal imbalance that leads to cyst formation.
- Iodine – 2 micrograms per day or 1 kelp tablet, which contains iodine.
- Vitamin E: 800 IU per day Vitamin E normalizes elevated FSH and LH levels commonly seen in FBD.
(Abrams, A. New Engl. J. Med. 272:1080-81, 1965)
- Magnesium: 300 mg per day
- Vitamin B6: (50 mg/day) Research has consistently shown the adverse effects of estrogen on Vitamin B6 function. Vitamin B6 is critical in the production of many proteins, prostaglandins and neurotransmitters in the body and also effects the activity of endorphins. Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the liver to properly process and excrete estrogens so a positive-feedback scenario can develop where estrogen levels continue to increase.
(Doll, H., et al. J. Royal College of General Practitioners 39:326, 364-68, Sept. 1989; Abraham, G., Hargrove, J. Infertility, 3(2):155-65, 1980)
- Progesterone: Fibrocystic breast disease may be caused by excessive estrogenic stimulation of the breasts due to abnormal hormone levels or by an exaggerated response by hypersensitive tissues to normal hormone levels. The administration of natural progesterone is suggested by John Lee, MD to be a protective therapy that can reduce breast tenderness and fibrocystic changes.
Transdermal progesterone cream (450 mg P/oz) usage depends on current hormonal and menstrual status. The following are general recommendations that should be confirmed or modified through observation of patient's response and changing levels of absorption. Salivary hormonal testing may provide valuable information to help assess need for natural progesterone and to evaluate the amount of transdermal progesterone cream (450 mg P/oz) to use.
Women in their reproductive years:
Begin using transdermal progesterone cream (450 mg P/oz) after ovulation. Adjust the following recommendations to coincide with ovulation day.
Days 14 ( ovulation) - 20: use 1/4 teaspoon of transdermal progesterone cream (450 mg P/oz) twice a day.
Days 21-27: use 1/2 teaspoon transdermal progesterone cream (450 mg P/oz) twice a day.
Days 1-14: do not use transdermal progesterone cream (450 mg P/oz).
- Flax oil: 2 Tbsp per day
- Iodine SSKI (supersaturated solution of Potassium Iodine): 30 mg = 1 drop. Give 1-10 drops per day; Jonthan Wright says to start out with 6-8 drops/day, then cut back. This will have a definite effect on the estrogen quotient. Above 300 mg per day inhibits thyroid. (Marz, p. 436, 1997; Eskin, B. JAMA 200:115-19,1967)
- Evening Primrose Oil: 1500 mg twice daily (Pashby, N. Lancet 2:373-77, 1984)
- Vitamin A: 150,000 IU per day as trial (Band, P. Prev. Med. 13:549-54, 1984)
- Vitamin B complex
- Lactobacillus acidophilus, esp. if bowel problems are also present.
- B-complex (Marz, p. 436, 1997):
- Lipotropic factors (Marz, p. 436, 1997)
- Angelica sinesis: hormonal tonic useful to normalize cyclic hormones and control hyperestrinism (Stansbury)
- Arctium lappa: alterative, stimulates hepatic and adrenal function and balances estrogen (Anderson Geller)
- Alaria esculenta: supports thyroid function which is sometimes associated with female diseases, inhibits breast cancer (Stansbury; Moore, pp. 20, 208)
- Medicago sativa: helps balance estrogens and control hyperestrinism (Heron)
- Phytolacca decandra (toxic): hard mammary swellings, topically and internally
(Felter, pp. 532-534; Mitchell, p. 41; Stansbury)
- Turska's formula:
Bryonia alba (toxic), half dr.
Aconitum napellus (toxic), half dr.
Gelsemium sempervirens (toxic), half dr.
Phytolacca decandra (toxic), 1 dr.
dilute with water to 4 oz.
instructions: 1 tsp. four times per day Must be used long term. (Turska)
- formula: hormonal tonic:
Taraxacum officinale, 1 dr.
Arctium lappa, 1 dr.
Vitex agnus castus, 2 dr.
Angelica sinensis, 2 dr.
Phytolacca decandra (toxic), 2 dr.
instructions: 30 drops three times daily increasing to 60 drops premenstrually or when symptoms are at their worst (Stansbury)
- formula: Topical application: tinctures of:
Phytolacca spp., 6 dr.
Althea officinalis, 2 dr.
Symphytum officinale, 2 dr.
instructions: apply gently once a day for 3 x week or as needed (Anderson Geller)
HERBS USED FOR FIBROCYSTIC BREASTS:
- Iris Versicolor and Poke Root – in a tincture form (which is a liquid herbal extract), 5 drops of each tincture 3 times a day. This can be continued for up to 3 months.
Caution – these herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy.
Bio-Identical Hormone Restoration Therapy and Compounding Pharmacy Prescription Items
Suggested Clinical Therapies
- Chapman's reflex: see breast cancer
Suggested Home Therapies
Brain Washing Therapy Session
Rife Vibrational Medicine Frequencies
- lemon (helps to dissolve blood clots; acts as a chronic alterative) on front of body and posterior aspect of pancreas
- yellow (acts on the intestines, pancreas as a digestant, cholagogue with respect to the digestive fluids, i.e. bile, hydrochloric acid, etc.; apply on digestive area including posterior aspect
(Dinshah, 1985, p. 47)
- notes: A, C, C#, G, G#
- chords: A Major, C Major (Gimbel, p. 116)
- home-made pudding (Chavez)
- I take in and give out nourishment in perfect balance. I am free to be me, and I allow others the freedom to be who they are. It is safe for all of us to grow up. (Hay, 1984, p. 157)
- I rejoice in my femaleness. I love being a woman. I love my body. (Hay, 1984, p. 165)
process paradigm: (experientially oriented)
- What is the symptom preventing me from doing? What is the symptom making me do? (see process interview: female reproductive system)
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