Q: Before my period, my breasts get extremely sore and swollen. What causes this? Is there anything to help the pain?
A: Many women suffer from sore breasts before their periods. This is usually because they have fibrocystic breast changes, which is described as lumpy, bumpy breasts. To me, this is not a disease, because well over half of all women share this problem. The good news is that there are a number of home remedies.
First, look at your caffeine intake, including such things as chocolate, iced tea and iced coffee. Ingesting less caffeine will probably ease your breast discomfort. (Don’t worry: Eating chocolate will not give you breast cancer; it just might make your breasts a bit sore.)
Some vitamins can help a lot. I have found that vitamin E, in doses of 400-600 units per day, can be helpful. Also, vitamin B6, in doses of 100-200 mg per day, may also do the trick. You can take these all at the same time. What is also nice is that the E and B6 may also lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. One warning: Do not take more B6 than recommended because you can end up with side effects to your nervous system.
Non-vitamin helpers include evening primrose oil, at a dose of two capsules per day. (Standard capsules are 500 units each.) And one of my breast-surgeon friends starts all of her patients on kelp tablets as well.
The major question is if you should take these helpers all month, or just before the periods. Most women find that taking them all month is more helpful, but feel free to experiment.
The other nice benefit is that these remedies are also beneficial for PMS. So I think you will feel much better soon.