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Breast reduction is not always a cosmetic choice; it is sometimes a health necessity. In fact, breast enlargement is a common symptom in a number of medical conditions. Ayurvedic herbs -- a go-to in India for thousands of years -- are used by practitioners to deflect conditions that cause breast enlargement in men and women.
For many women, breast enlargement is an uncomfortable byproduct of monthly hormonal changes. Although the levels of breast swelling and tenderness vary among women, the National Institutes of Health states that all women feel the effects as estrogen and progesterone levels rise during the menstrual cycle 1. Ayurvedic doctors often give shatavari -- a female hormone balancing herb of the asparagus family -- when PMS causes breast ducts and milk glands to become painfully enlarged.
The Breasts & Shingles
Breast growth in men sometimes masks underlying liver and kidney conditions, according to cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Bermant. These conditions are generally linked to hormonal changes in middle-aged men that cause increased estrogen and decreased testosterone levels. In addition, hormonal decreases in the steroid hormone cortisone can create mixed sexual characteristics in men if left untreated. Manjishta is an Indian herb that is said to combat these symptoms by cleaning the blood of toxin and waste buildup.
- Breast growth in men sometimes masks underlying liver and kidney conditions, according to cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Bermant.
- In addition, hormonal decreases in the steroid hormone cortisone can create mixed sexual characteristics in men if left untreated.
Neem & Turmeric
Women who are breastfeeding or are over age 40 are more susceptible to inflammation-causing breast conditions. Combating infection is often a necessary strategy for reducing breast inflammation. The seeds, leaves and bark of the neem tree have historically been used in Ayurvedic medicine as antiviral and antibacterial agents. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is a powerful antioxidant that works with neem by lowering inflammatory enzyme levels.
- Women who are breastfeeding or are over age 40 are more susceptible to inflammation-causing breast conditions.
- The University of Maryland Medical Center states that turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is a powerful antioxidant that works with neem by lowering inflammatory enzyme levels.
The Breasts & Shingles
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- National Institutes of Health: Breast: PMS Tenderness and Swelling
- The Chopra Institute: Shatavari
- Alkabban FM, Ferguson T. Cancer, Breast. [Updated 2019 Jun 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482286/
- Powell RW. Breast Pain. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 169. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK277/
- National Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast Pain. nationalbreastcancer.org
- Koo MM, von Wagner C, Abel GA, McPhail S, Rubin GP, Lyratzopoulos G. Typical and atypical presenting symptoms of breast cancer and their associations with diagnostic intervals: Evidence from a national audit of cancer diagnosis. Cancer Epidemiol. 2017;48:140–146. doi:10.1016/j.canep.2017.04.010
- Smith RL, Pruthi S, Fitzpatrick LA. Evaluation and management of breast pain. Mayo Clin Proc. 2004;79(3):353-72.
- Morrow M. The evaluation of common breast problems. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(8):2371-8, 2385.
- Powell RW. Breast Examination. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 176. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK285/
- Lee MD, Michelle, Owen MD, Wendi. My Breast Hurt. Should I be Worried? Society of Breast Imaging. sbi-online.org September 27, 2019
- Molckovsky A, Fitzgerald B, Freedman O, Heisey R, Clemons M. Approach to inflammatory breast cancer. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55(1):25–31.
- InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Pain management in metastatic breast cancer. 2012 Feb 14 [Updated 2016 Apr 7]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK361025/
- Rostami R, Mittal S, Rostami P, Tavassoli F, Jabbari B. Brain metastasis in breast cancer: a comprehensive literature review. J Neurooncol. 2016;127(3):407-14.
- Cingam SR, Karanchi H. Cancer, Adrenal Metastasis. [Updated 2019 Jan 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441879/
- Sanguinetti A, Polistena A, Lucchini R, et al. Male breast cancer, clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment: Twenty years of experience in our Breast Unit. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2016;20S(Suppl):8–11. doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2016.02.004
- Khattab A, Monga DK. Cancer, Male Breast Cancer. [Updated 2019 Feb 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526036/
- Yıldırım AC, Yıldız P, Yıldız M, Kahramanca Ş, Kargıcı H. Mastalgia-Cancer Relationship: A Prospective Study. J Breast Health. 2015;11(2):88–91. Published 2015 Apr 1. doi:10.5152/tjbh.2015.2492
- Ajmal M, Van Fossen K. Breast Fibroadenoma. [Updated 2018 Dec 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535345/
- Crandall CJ, Aragaki AK, Cauley JA, et al. Breast tenderness and breast cancer risk in the estrogen plus progestin and estrogen-alone women's health initiative clinical trials. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2012. 132(1):275-85. doi:10.1007/s10549-011-1848-9
- McCann B, MIaskowski C, Koetters T, et al. Associations between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine genes and breast pain in women prior to breast cancer surgery. The Journal of Pain. 2012. 13(5):425-37. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2011.02.358
- National Cancer Institute. Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Updated 01/06/16. https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/ibc-fact-sheet
Based near America's "Gateway to the West," Li St. Michael has been writing professionally since 2005. Her culturally minded articles have appeared on various websites. St. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in writing from Drury University and is set to receive a Masters degree in international relations in 2011.