Understanding Fibrocystic Breast Changes
If one can indeed find comfort in numbers, know that more than half of all women will experience fibrocystic breast changes at one point or another during their lifetimes.
Once called fibrocystic breast disease, the condition was later found to not be a disease at all. In addition — and this is more good news — it is noncancerous and fairly common among women of childbearing age and as old as 50. Symptoms include breasts that feel lumpy or rubbery or are firm to the touch. And when we say “firm,” think of scar tissue.
In addition to this nodular or glandular breast tissue, another form of fibrocystic breasts includes round, fluid-filled cysts that can become enlarged — especially before menstruation. The condition, which can be found in one or both breasts, can also count among its symptoms a thickening of the breast or breasts, tenderness — especially on the top portion of the breast — as well as sharp pain, burning or itching.
Of course you should see us here at Restoration Healthcare whenever there are changes to your breasts that include lumps, cysts or pain — especially if you discover a new issue, suffer increasing pain, or observe continued breast changes at the conclusion of your period.
A specific cause for fibrocystic breast changes hasn’t been determined, but we believe estrogen is a major factor since it stimulates growth. Scientists believe high levels of estrogen battle with lower levels of progesterone to promote fluctuations in hormone levels during menstruation, which can lead to fibrocystic breast changes.
Once we determine that the symptoms you are experiencing are non-life threatening, solutions are readily available. Our own medical director, Dr. Sunny Raleigh, is an excellent source of knowledge — and solutions — to issues that face women today, including fibrocystic breast changes.
Once we have all available data in hand, we may suggest you look into bio-identical hormone replacement or natural Progesterone treatment as a means to deal with the suspected estrogen dominance. That said, we are quick to dismiss Progestin — a synthetic form of Progesterone that doesn’t convert to cortisol and therefore doesn’t work to help the adrenals in adrenal fatigue.
According to our experience working with patients, the body can’t break down Progestin before it becomes toxic. (As an aside, if you’re not under our care and you test positive for estrogen dominance, don’t be afraid to question your doctor’s prescription of Progestin, sharing what we’ve presented above.)
Depending upon your specific situation, Dr. Raleigh may suggest use of a topical application of natural or bio-available Progesterone cream — which is available here at Restoration Healthcare without prescription. While most doctors prescribe an oral form of Progesterone, we suggest a topical cream. That’s because our experience tells us oral delivery can place a harmful burden on the liver.
And as you might suspect from us, we prefer to address a patient’s dietary and hormone response, along with lifestyle, rather than watching and waiting for the results of mammography and biopsies alone. Among our patients dealing with fibrocystic breast changes was a 50-year-old woman who visited one of the top women’s health doctors at Hoag Hospital where she sought treatment of her condition. She told us the physician never suggested any diet or lifestyle change, choosing instead to attack the issuing with Big Pharma-like solutions. After a few months of that treatment, she turned to us, and just a month or so under our care, the patient no longer exhibited fibrocystic breasts.
If it’s a second opinion you seek — or even a primary opinion — we suggest a visit with our medical director, Dr. Raleigh, who can assess your condition as we explore a healthy, non-toxic approach to letting you take control of your health.
And if it helps to know, Dr. Raleigh has been practicing the art of osteopathic manipulative medicine since she earned her degree as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences over 10 years ago, and is consistently receiving rave review from patients here at Restoration Healthcare since we started offering Functional and Integrative Medicine services in Irvine last year.