Saturday, January 14, 2006

More Thoughts About Fibrocystic Breasts

So the common things they say to do if you are having PMS and fibrocystic breasts are:

Increase calcium consumption

Decrease caffeine consumption

Make sure there isn't a thyroid problem

Cut back on refined sugars

Increase dietary fiber

Increase B-vitamin consumption

Increase magnesium consumption

Drink more water

Use natural progesterone cream

Increase vitamin E consumption


So I used to eat a fair amount of dairy and I had bad PMS but cutting back to almost none hasn't made any difference so dairy doesn't seem to do anything for me favorable. Less dairy does seem to help with my allergies and digestion so I'm going to stick with that plan.

I've always been a very moderate consumer of caffeine, I didn't drink coffee or cola. I do eat chocolate and have some black or green tea but in moderation. So, that didn't seem to make any difference at all -- in fact I recently started drinking a little more coffee than usual (a few time a week instead of once a month) and it's made no difference.

I've had my thyroid checked several times including a full thyroid panel last summer as it comes up as related to many of my conditions (fibroids, elevated estrogen, PMS) -- each time the test results were so normal it was boring. My mother has thyroid trouble so I thought for sure this might be related for me but evidently not.

Due to my naturopathic and TCM treatment I was told to cut back on refined sugars. It's helped me to feel better but I was never a total nut about eating candy or anything. I've made a concious effort to be careful about my intake of simple carbs. Still I've got sore breast in my luteal phase.

Increase of dietary fiber does seem to help me feel better generally but it hasn't seemed to help with the breast issue at all. Since this helps your body to eliminate excess estrogen I'm sticking with this for general health.

I eat a largely vegetarian diet (though I am an omnivore) and the foods I eat contain a lot of vitamin B and magnesium. Stress depletes b-levels and my work can be stressful and sometimes I don't get enough foods rich in vitamins B or magnesium but I really do try. I was never on birth control pills which can rob the body of B vitamins and magnesium so that's not an issue with me. I have been trying to be better about taking my vitamins but the best I usually do is 4 times a week -- better than nothing in my book.

I am bad about drinking enough water every day -- mostly when I'm at work. I'm much better than I used to be I think.

Natural progesterone cream didn't really seem to do much to help, maybe a little, but it mostly makes my breasts seem to swell more, not necessarily become more lumpy or sore.

And then there's the Vitamin E thing. It's in my prenatal and that on it's own doesn't seem to do anything.

But then there's that DIM/Vitamin E thing. It really did seem to help over the past three days. Today I'm spotting so AF is just around the corner but previously I used to not have my breast stop hurting until I had full-blown AF. It seems so curious to me. And some of the links I've found mention that vitamin E can increase estrogen levels, and also that DIM might do the same -- it just doesn't seem to be doing that to me -- it seems to be helping something hormonally.

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