If you’ve ever tried to describe the boob pain you experience before you get your period and your friend just doesn’t quite understand, you’re not alone. As it turns out, there are some women who have little or no breast discomfort during their periods. And then there are the not-so-lucky ones – the millions of women who have to deal with “PMS breasts.” Yes, it’s a real thing, and yes, it can hurt like hell.
Monthly breast tenderness and aches are actually way more common than most women think. International healthcare public relations firm, FleishmanHillard, conducted a poll earlier this year and found that 68% of women aged 25-45 experience premenstrual breast discomfort. Whether yours is mild or severe, your breasts could use some extra love and care before and during your period (and no, we don’t mean that kind of love).
The poll also uncovered how menstrual-related breast discomfort impacted the lives of these women. A few interesting numbers:
Once walking becomes painful, it’s obvious that the struggle is real. So, why do “PMS breasts” happen in the first place?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains that hormone changes during the menstrual cycle – namely estrogen and progesterone – lead to breast swelling. More estrogen is produced during pre-menstruation, and peaks around mid-cycle, which causes enlargement of the breast ducts (a.k.a., swollen boobs). NIH goes on to say that this swelling is “often linked with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and fibrocystic breast disease (benign breast changes).”
What can we do? NIH suggests a few self-care steps you can take:
- Eat a lower fat diet;
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea and chocolate);
- Avoid salt for one to two weeks before your period starts;
- Get vigorous exercise every day; and
- Wear a well-fitting bra day and night to provide good breast support (especially during said vigorous exercise).
While some of these life changes are simple and can help minimize symptoms, they do little to address the underlying cause of monthly breast discomfort. Another option is iodine supplementation – your entire body needs iodine to function properly, and healthy boobs, in particular, contain a high degree of iodine. In fact, 70% of the body’s iodine is concentrated in the body’s tissues, including breast tissue.
Naturopathic doctor Lara Briden, who has 20 years experience in women’s health, says that iodine “promotes the healthy detoxification of estrogen, and it makes cells less sensitive to estrogen.” So increased iodine intake can be an effective treatment for “estrogen excess/estrogen dominant symptoms such as breast pain, ovarian cysts and PMS”.
Interested in increasing your iodine intake? Consider adding foods rich in iodine to your diet, like seaweed, kelp, cranberries, raw cheeses, organic yogurt, strawberries and potatoes. In addition to diet changes, consider an iodine supplement, such as Violet® iodine, which is specifically designed to help alleviate menstrual-related breast discomfort.
PMS breasts are definitely annoying, and for some debilitating, but they don’t have to be. Visit VioletDaily.com to learn more about the non-hormone, non-prescription supplement that can help you and “your girls” reclaim that time of the month.