what is the best solution for breast tenderness in perimenopause?

What causes breast tenderness when it happens during peri-menoause, what does it mean, and what can you do to get relief naturally. That's what we're covering in today's blog post & video.

What causes perimenopausal breast tenderness?

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In Chinese medicine, pain is always caused by stagnation.  This just means things are stuck and not flowing freely in the area where you're having the pain.  

What causes this to happen in the breast area during perimenopause?  

Estrogen Dominance

This blog is part of a series on symptoms related to estrogen dominance in perimenopause, because estrogen dominance is one possible cause of breast tenderness during any part of the menopausal transition. 

  • CLICK HERE for the introductory post on what estrogen dominance is and how it relates to menopause.

Most sources will tell you that breast pain during menpause is due to the hormonal fluctuations that are happening - TRUE!  But most often it happens when those fluctuations lead to estrogen being too high relative to progesterone, which is estrogen dominance. 

Estrogen dominance creates puffy, bloated, STUCK energy.  And that stuck energy, when it gets stuck in the breast area can cause breast tenderness.  If it stays stuck there too long it can progress to fibrocystic breasts, and estrogen dominance has even been linked with breast cancer. 

The key is to get things moving freely again to relieve the pain. 

Heat & Inflammation

Another possible cause of breast tenderness is heat and inflammation. 

If your body is in a hot, acidic, inflamed state, everything gets stuck - or stagnant - more easily.  It's harder for all your energies and fluids to move around freely.  This can increase breast tenderness.  

Inflamation is the cause of many diseases and discomforts, so working with diet, lifestyle, herbs, & supplements to keep inflammation levels down to a healthy level is more improtant than ever during menpause.  

It can help, not only with breast tenderness, but with hot flashes and weight gain too. 

Section summary:  Estrogen dominance is common during menopause when progesterone levels drop too low, and it's a common cause of breast tenderness.  Increasted inflammation can also make breast tenderness worse. 

So what is the solution to perimenopause and breast pain? 

  • One: Get things un-stuck and moving for quick relief! 
  • Two:  Get rid of the cause of the stagnation, such as estrogen dominance, heat, or inflammation, that's causing the pain in the first place.

Solution Part 1 - Get Moving

Exercise and breast massage

Since things that are stuck and not moving hurt more - get moving.  

Heres how:  

  • If you're sitting alot, start setting a timer to get up and move around every 30 minutes.  All you need to do is take 5 deep breaths, march in place lifting your knees, and circle your arms a few times!  If you want to get fancy and do a Warrior 2 Yoga pose or sun salutation go for it (but it's not necessary) 
  • OR - walk or bounce on a rebounder (a mini-trampoine) for a few minutes!  These are particularly great for getting lymph moving, which is wonderful for breast tissue. 
  • Practice gentle breast massage a few times per week!  I recommend using some massage oil or practicing in the shower.  BONUS - add a couple of drops of Frankincense essential oil to your hands with oil or soap before beginning.  Click HERE or HERE for instruction on how to do breast massage. 


Solution Part 2 - Get to the root cause

To get to the root cause of your breast tenderness and stagnation, you likely want to:

ONE:  Rebalance your estrogen progesterone ratio by helping your body make and keep more progesterone and detoxify estrogen

TWO:  Decrease heat and inflammation in the body.

Here's how. 

Heal your gut and eat right to reduce inflammation

An unhealthy, imbalanced, or leaky gut can be a huge source of inflammation.  If you have any symptoms of a weak digestion like bloating, indigestion, GERD, food sensitivities, constipation, loose stool, fatigue, unexplained mood or memory issues, or any other chronic health issues you can't find the cause of - consider you may have an unhealthy gut! 

To cut down on the gut as a source of inflammation:

  • Avoid foods that trigger sensitivities (use an elimination diet like the Whole 30 to identify your sensitivities) 
  • Heal your gut with things like fermented vegetables and kefir, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and collagen-rich meat, bone, or vegetable broths.  Click here for details on how to make a gut-healing broth. (coming soon)

Click here for my blog on how to make a gut-healing broth for hormone imbalance (coming soon.)

Support liver function and estrogen detoxification

The liver and bowel movements are key for good estrogen detoxification.  

To support your liver:

Eat enough vegetables including

  • plenty of dark leafy greens (like kale, collards, and chard,)
  • cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli,)
  • and bitter greens (like arugula, dandelion greens, parsley, and cilantro)
  • plus sprouts including broccoli sprouts if you can get them.  

These foods are all rich in micronutrients that help the liver with detoxification.  Getting enough veggies will also proivide the fiber needed for really good bowel movements. 

Try having 8 - 12 ounces of warm water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon first thing each morning.  This also help support the liver! 

Support progesterone levels by managing stress with deep breathing & meditation

Estrogen dominance happens when progesterone is too low.  All during menopause, starting at the very beginning of perimenopause, you'll feel better if you help your body keep progesterone levels from falling too low.  And it's especially important for avoiding estrogen dominance and breast tenderness. 

One of the biggest ways we LOSE progesterone is by being overly stressed too much of the time. So start managing stress levels with a few minutes a day of deep breathing or meditation.  

Avoid hormone-disrupting chemicals

Xenoestrogens, hormone disrupting chemicals, confuse the body's ability to handle estrogen efficiently, and can be a real wrench in the works when it comes to getting estrogen balanced.  Look for a blog in this series where I go into detail on the most hormonally disruptive chemicals commonly found in everyday life. 

To help rebalance or prevent estrogen dominance and breast tenderness during or after perimenpause or menopause, help your body to detoxify estrogen and build progesterone efficiently. 

Action Steps:  Where to start and what to do now

Dealing with estrogen dominance can feel confusing and overwhelming, so I'm going to give you one action to focus on - and it's one of the most important changes you can make for shifting the entire balance of estrogen and progesterone in your body.  

Without this in place, none of the other strategies you use will work very well. 

Eat enough veggies

For 5 DAYS keep track of what percentage of your total food intake is vegetables?  So every time you eat write down the percentage or draw a pie chart and show the percentage. 

At the end of 5 days - average it out.  How much of your total diet is vegetables?  If it's less than one-third.  Start eating more veggies.  You'll find some of my favorite trick for including more veggies in your diet in this blog post and in my hormone balancing smoothie recipe.

Vegetables are cooling, moistening foods.  If you have enough of them in your body it can give your body the chance to tip over from a hot, acidic, inflammed state into a cool, alkaline, anti-inflammatory state. 

Vegetables also provide the micronutrients and fiber necessary for estrogen detoxification through the liver and bowel movements. 

Address the Root Cause

Even with a hormone-friendly diet & lifestyle, there's no substitute for remedies that are directly targeted at helping your body rebalance your hormones at a particular moment in time.  

The best way to do that naturally is with customized herbal remedies.  These herbs will take everything you're doing to care for your hormones and amplify it by 100.  

To learn about the power of truly customized herbal remedies that change with your hormones over time take my Free Mini Course - sign up here:

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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment.  For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/