Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition when the woman experiences lumps in her breasts. The lumps can be very painful and cause a lot of distress in the woman, especially during menstruation when they become more pronounced and tender. A lot of factors are associated with the formation of fibrocystic breast disease. The most common are however attributed to faulty diet and fluctuation of hormones.
Fibrocystic breast disease is not life threatening and the presence of such a lump does not make you more susceptible to breast cancer later on in life.
How Do I Identify Fibrocystic Breast Disease?
This benign and non cancerous formation can be easily identified with a physical examination. Fibrocystic lumps can move about freely inside the breasts. The area will be tender when you touch with localised pain. Some women experience some kind of discharge from the nipples as well.
Fibrocystic lumps are more painful during the menstrual periods as the lumps increase in size and cause more distress and discomfort. Lumps of this type are found in 1/3rd of the women population and hence a very common occurrence. Fibrocystic breast disease is more common among young females of reproductive age.
What Are The Effects Of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Apart from the pain and discomfort during menstrual periods, fibrocystic breast disease is not very problematic. During menstruation, the estrogen and progesterone hormones in the body fluctuate tremendously. The increase in these hormones makes the breast swell up which is what causes the pain and tenderness during these days. However, once the menstruation stops, the hormone levels go back to normal again, causing the breasts to shrink and go back to normal.
This swelling and shrinking action that takes place with every menstrual cycle will cause some changes in the milk glands. The glands swell and cause water retention inside the breasts. This is what leads to fibrocystic breast disease.
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Causes Of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Apart from the hormone connection that is associated with fibrocystic breast disease, another cause that can be attributed to the disease is lifestyle factors like diet. A diet that contains excessive amounts of salt, saturated fats and caffeine can cause dehydration in the body. The body reacts by storing water in the tissues, including that of the breasts. Along with the hormone fluctuations, this will lead to fibrocystic breast disease.
Apart from the action of estrogen and progesterone in causing fibrocystic breast disease, there are other hormones as well which are involved in the process. During the process of menstruation, the insulin hormone and thyroid hormone help in increasing blood flow to breast tissues, making them swell. As the excess water in the cells are removed by enzymes in the body, the non function of these enzymes or improper function of the enzymes will result in fibrocystic breast disease.
Intake of contraceptive pills is also sometimes known to allievate fibrocystic breast disease. Pills are hormone based and contain synthetic forms of estrogen hormone which can prevent aggravation of fibrocystic breast disease.
Though fibrocystic breast disease is not a dangerous condition, the presence of many lumps in the breasts will sometimes camouflage other lumps that may be cancerous. Therefore, make sure that you know the anatomy of the lumps and keep tract of any new lump formations that are hard and does not move.