OK gang. We’re gonna get real personal today. I’ve suffered from fibrocystic breast disease since I was teenager. Talking about this feels awkward. But maybe my experience can help someone else going this. I’ve had cysts, lumps, tons of pain. So I’m sharing my story in hopes that it can help others struggling with fibrocystic breasts.
What is fibrocystic breast disease?
Well, it really isn’t a disease. It’s a benign condition in the breasts. If you have fibrocystic breasts, you may have painful breasts, especially around your period. This is often due to cysts that grow and shrink as your hormones shift throughout the month. Your breasts may also have a lumpy feel to them.
Fibrocystic breast disease isn’t cancer. Though it can make searching for cancer more difficult. And with me, it has led to many false alarms due to palpable lumps. So far, these lumps have all turned out to be benign cysts or lumpy tissue. But this journey has been very frightening and scary.
This condition is super common in women 30 to 50 years old. However, I had severe fibrocystic disease as a teenager. So I was really ahead of my time.
My teenager days
When I was a teen, I just assumed that my boobs were supposed to be painful. That’s all I knew. Sure, everybody must want to sleep with a bra because it’s so painful when you take yours off. Everybody must have excruciating pain right before their periods. Everyone must cringe if even the slightest thing bumps into that area.
Then when I was 18, I found a lump. I wasn’t even looking. My hand just accidently touched it. And I went to my college health center. And that’s when they explained to me that I had fibrocystic breast disease.
Little did I know at that time, but this sealed my fate. Almost every time I have a breast exam, they find some kind of lump or bump which requires additional testing. I’ve faced the prognosis of breast cancer repeatedly. So while fibrocystic breasts are benign, they can cause an immense amount of stress and turmoil. At least for me.
What your doctor will probably tell you to do for fibrocystic breasts
The first thing your doctor will probably tell you to do is limit caffeine. Caffeine can really exacerbate this condition. Keep in mind that caffeine isn’t just in coffee. It’s in teas and chocolate as well. And while I do stay away from caffeine, to be honest, doing so on its own has only led to a small improvement.
You might also be told to take ibuprofin to ease the pain. Or to wear a well fitting bra. Or to apply ice to reduce swelling. Which all definitely seem like good ideas. But I wanted something more than temporary relief. So I looked more into the natural, holistic direction for answers.
My natural approach to my fibrocystic breasts that works
For years, I was told that this or that would cure my fibrocystic disease. Eat flax seeds one person told me. Take Evening Primrose Oil, said another. On and on the advice came. But nothing offered more than a slight improvement.
That’s when I realized I needed more. I’ve had this for years and it’s been intense. What I need is pretty expansive. So you probably don’t want to copy what I do exactly. Pick and choose based on you. And, of course, talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new regimen
But the supplement plan below has helped me immensely. The pain is almost completely gone, even right before my period. My breasts are way less lumpy. The tissue feels softer. And cysts have shrank. So this protocol has made a huge difference in something that has plagued me my whole adult life.
Supplements for fibrocystic breasts
These are the exact supplements I use. If not otherwise specified, I take each supplement once daily
Evening Primrose Oil (Morning & Evening)
Evening Primrose Oil 1300mg 120 Liquid Softgels, Cold-Pressed with No fillers or Artificial Ingredients; Non-GMO & Gluten Free, Made in the USA
Wild Fish Oil (Morning & Evening)
Garden of Life Ultra Pure EPA/DHA Omega 3 Fish Oil – Oceans 3 Beyond Omega 3 Supplement with Antioxidants, 60 Softgels
Vitamin E – IMPORTANT: choose one with Mixed Tocopherols. The other varieties don’t have the same effect.
Solgar – Vitamin E 1000 IU Mixed (d-Alpha Tocopherols & Mixed Tocopherols) 100 Softgels
Optimox – Iodoral, High Potency Iodine Potassium Iodide Thyroid Support Supplement, 180 Tablets
Selenium – helps the body use iodine
Solgar – Yeast-Free Selenium 200 mcg, 100 Tablets
Vitamin D – Good for the breasts and the whole body
Garden of Life Raw D3 Supplement – Vitamin Code Whole Food Vitamin D3 5000 IU, Dairy and Gluten Free, Vegetarian, 60 Capsules
Chasteberry – Helps the hormonal balance of estrogen/progesterone
Oregon’s Wild Harvest Chaste Tree Organic Herbal Supplement, 90 Count
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds daily
Healthy Girls Breast Oil
Healthy Girls Breast Oil has honestly been a life changer for me. I can’t speak its praises loud enough. Healthy Girls Breast Oil is made out of a mixture of oils that have been researched to be healthy for the breasts.
This oil, when used as part of a lymphatic breast massage, can help strengthen the immune system, detoxify, soften breast tissue, and help with breast pain. There are many lymph nodes in the breast area. And a properly working lymph system is a necessary part of proper immunity. Lymph nodes remove toxins from the body.
The heart pumps blood through our body. But there is no pump for the lymph system. We actually have to move our lymph through exercise. But there is no “workout’ for your boobs. So a lymphatic breast massage is done to get the lymph in that area moving for healthy breasts.
I’ve tried many things in my day. And this product, with the breast massage has made a huge difference for me. Every month I feel less swelling and pain. Which is why I really recommend this product to anyone who is looking to improve their breast health. Oh, and a little bottle can last up to 6 months.
There is hope
I’ve had about as severe fibrocystic breast disease as you can have. And while I’m not “cured”, things are a lot better than they were. Like I said, I have less lumps, less pain, less swelling, and just feel healthier. I’ve been doing this regimen for almost a year, and every month I just feel better.
So if you’re going through a similar journey, keep going forward. There are natural things you can do to alleviate symptoms. And when you do, it feels really good.
*Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only endorse products in which I believe.
RoseMary Griffith says
Ouch, Erica. This is actually the first I’ve heard of this. I have dense breasts. As small as these buggers have been all my life since I started having mammograms in my thirties (mom & paternal aunt both had breast cancer), I’ve heard time and again about my dense breasts. Hearing this in the pre-internet, easy access to the Mayo Clinic for information was alarming. I’m glad that you have found a routine that is working for you and hope that the pain continues to decrease every month.
It’s really common. About 50% of women experience it at some point! But maybe many don’t know it by its proper name.
Ashley @ GrowingSpangs.com says
This post is very timely for me. My family history runs deep on fibrocystic breast tissue, so when I found a pretty obvious lump months ago, I wasn’t concerned, as a 31 year old. I have pretty sizable breasts, another inherited trait, and they have always hurt. Two weeks ago, I finally went in for my physical, and she referred me to get an ultrasound, just to make sure. Ultrasound showed it wasn’t a cyst, and my heart sank. So, I was a 31 year old getting a biopsy and mammogram. It turned out to be a non-cancerous mass, but it was a big wake up call on taking care of myself and listening to my body. I’m going to try out the breast oil, I haven’t heard about it before. Thanks!
Ashley, So sorry to hear you just went through all of that. I know how scary that is and how frustrating it is when you feel you’re too young to be going through this.. I would definitely check out the breast oil. I can only speak from my own experience, but I really felt it’s done wonders for me.
Soma Grismaijer says
Hi Erica. I suggest you add to your recommendations that wearing tight bras is a leading cause of breast pain and cysts, and cancer. Women need to stop the cause if they wish to end this problem. And the major cause is a tight bra.
I am a breast cancer researcher and co-author of Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. Applying massage oil to the breasts gives probably works mostly because of the massage, which helps relieve lymphatic congestion in the breasts. But you haven’t addressed to cause of the congestion. Tight bras impair the lymphatic drainage from the breasts, causing the fluid to back-up. This causes pain and the fluid-filled cysts. Over time, the cysts become scarred and fibrous. The breasts also become progressively toxic for lack of proper lymphatic function. (The lymphatics cleanse the tissues of toxins , cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, cell debris, and more.)
Breasts were not designed by nature to be fibrocystic, and in cultures where there are no bras there is very little breast disease. I suggest women try being bra-free as much as possible. Those who have tried this report that pain and cysts disappear within days, if not weeks. The breasts lift and tone as well once the bra is no longer artificially supporting the breasts. We need to stop thinking of breast disease as “normal”. It is statistically normal in a bra-wearing culture, but it is not normal from a biological standpoint.
By the way, numerous studies done internationally now show wearing tight bras is a leading cause of breast cancer, with bra-free women having about the same risk of breast cancer as men. The tighter and longer the bra is worn the higher the risk rises, to over 100 times higher for a 24/7 bra-user compared to a bra-free woman.
If a bra is leaving red marks or indentations in the skin, then it is too tight. Never sleep in one. And try being bra-free for one month to see what it feels like to be without constriction. Your body will thank you. For more see my website BrasAndBreastCancer dot org. You can also join an International Bra-Free Study at BraFreeStudy dot org.
I hope this information helps. When I discovered a lump in my breast it got me involved in researching the cause and discovering the bra link, which we write about in Dressed to Kill. My lump went away once I stopped wearing bras. This information is a lifesaver.
Director, Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease
Unfortunately women who have large breast can not go breast free because if you work or exercise that will become an issue. I am a 36 triple DDD. I would love to go breast free but have also experienced pain as was the case yesterday and I have fibrocystic breast. The pain without the breast was just as bad as with it because my breast hang. They are not perky anymore. I am 50 and had a full hysterectomy at 35. My mother died of breast cancer and I am so scared every time I get a new lump.
I barely wear a bra and when I do it’s loose because I don’t like them . I have lots of massive cysts in my breasts so that theory isn’t true for me .