Many women today suffer from a condition known as fibrocystic breast disease, which is characterized as an excess “lumpiness”, or ‘masses’ that accumulate in the breasts and cause them to be painful. These masses tend to fluctuate in size and are typically worse during the menses. Dietary causes of fibrocystic breasts include exposure to methylxanthines such as caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, which are naturally present in coffee, tea and chocolate. Low iodine and vitamin B6, in addition to a diet high in refined carbohydrates is also known to worsen this condition.

 

One of the most common Chinese medicine patterns of fibrocystic breast disease is known as liver qi stagnation. The symptom profile or pattern of disharmony that this syndrome entails includes: breast and abdominal tenderness, moveable small breast lumps, irritability, slightly red tongue sides and a radial pulse (on with wrist) that feels wiry like a guitar string. A very common Chinese herbal formula known as Xiao Yao San or Rambling Powder is often used (which only takes 2 minutes to consume) in addition to acupuncture (which takes longer).

 

The 2 minute orthomolecular medicine interventions include:

Lugol’s iodine solution: at a dose of 2-4 drops per day for up to 3 months (in addition to thyroid function monitoring)

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate form): 25mg/day

Omission of methylxanthine containing foods.

A lowered carbohydrate diet.

 

 

Tune in next week when we’ll talk about Restless Leg Syndrome.

 

Be Well and Be Zen

Alex Audette TCMP, R.Ac.

 

References:

Gaby., Fibrocystic Breast Changes., Nutritional Medicine (2011)., Ch. 223., ps.817-20, ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH.

Maciocia., Obstetrics & Gynecology in Chinese Medicine (1998)., ps 772-77, ISBN0-443-05458-4., Churchill Livingstone.

R.C. Atkins, 1999., Dr. Atkins Vita-nutrient Solution: Nature’s Answer to Drugs., p. 351 Simon & Shuster Publishers., ISBN 0-684-81849-3.

 

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