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I have really intense breast pain that correlates with my menstrual cycle. My doctor calls it “cyclic mastalgia.”

Q. Dear Terry, “I have really intense breast pain that correlates with my menstrual cycle. My doctor calls it “cyclic mastalgia.” I’ve tried using a heating pad, ice packs, and pain relievers with temporary relief. I’m hoping you have some suggestions on how to reduce the pain with natural approaches. Any advice?” – E.Y., Philadelphia, PA

A. Dear E.Y., Cyclic mastalgia is experienced by up to 70% of menstruating women. The pain generally starts about seven days before menstruation and then decreases. I believe that through our exposure to xenoestrogens (estrogen mimicking compounds), many people are considered “estrogen dominant.” This means that estrogen levels are higher in comparison to other sex hormones, like progesterone. When estrogen becomes out of balance in women, it can lead to a variety of issues, including the cyclic mastalgia you are experiencing.

While estrogen is necessary for good health, it goes through a life cycle that can transform it into unhealthy and unfavorable forms. Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a compound from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage that, when combined with other powerful botanicals, can help to maintain the right form of estrogen, while increasing detoxification of the wrong forms of estrogen.

To assist with the detoxification of xenoestrogens and other unfavorable forms of estrogen, I believe curcumin is incredibly important. The liver is the detoxification door through which the “estrogen trash” needs to pass on its way out of the body and to prevent it from accumulating in the body. The curcumin I recommend is blended with turmeric essential oil for enhanced absorption and even better cellular protection.

I think French grape seed extract is also very important for improving hormone balance. It is a known aromatase enzyme inhibitor, which prevents the conversion of androgens into estrogens. The grape seed extract I think is best contains low-molecular weight oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) that are much easier for the body to absorb and utilize.

I recommend taking 120 mg of DIM that has been clinically studied, plus 250 mg of curcumin and French grape seed extract, once or twice per day.

Lastly, you may want to consider adding iodine. Iodine has been researched for its effects on cyclic mastalgia. Iodine has a high affinity for glandular tissues like the thyroid, ovaries, prostate, uterus, and breasts. Iodine can help with the swelling, tenderness, and discomfort that can accompany cyclic mastalgia. One clinical study showed that participants with breast pain experienced significant decreases in their pain after supplementing with iodine for three months.

Many integrative practitioners, who use therapeutic levels of iodine, recommend anywhere from 3 to 12.5 milligrams (mg) per day. Because particular areas of our body prefer different forms of iodine, I believe that a blend of potassium iodide, sodium iodide, and molecular iodine from kelp is best.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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