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September 30, 2011

Breast shape and your health

Filed under: Breast shape — Dr. Natalie Kather @ 7:42 pm

Many women step out of the shower and pause for a moment in front of the mirror to glance at their breasts. They look at the shape and the wonder is this the right shape? Are they healthy? Should they look different? Is there anything I can do to change them?

We women are often taught to look at our breasts and make sure that the nipples are pointed in the same direction, that there is no dimpling, or any area on the skin that looks like an orange peel. These are important features, as they herald or suggest possible breast masses or lumps. The concern about breast lumps, of course, is whether these lumps are cancerous, precancerous, or just a hormonal fluctuation effect.

To state that breast size is entirely related to hormones is very narrow sighted. Many women will tell you from their experience, that they can feel changes in their breasts depending upon what they eat or drink. It is not uncommon to hear a woman relate her caffeine intake to how swollen her breasts feel. Breast tissue is as responsive to our diet as any other part of our body. It requires good nutrition, healthy weight, avoiding effects that cause inflammation, avoiding oxidizing processes like smoking, and healthy hormone balancing. Some of this healthy hormone balancing can be a result of eating particularly breast healthy phyto nutrients.

A good example of addressing breast shape and supplementing breast tissue with the nutrients it needs includes a client of mine who has had multiple breast biopsies, all of which were benign, to assess multiple breast cysts. To cysts have persisted in this caused her to have itching on her breast for a few years. Since iodine is a mineral that breasts really like a need for good health, I recommended that she topically apply liquid over-the-counter iodine to her breasts daily. Within a couple days the itching had resolved. I anticipate that as she supplements iodine, as I have done with my other clients with breast cysts disease, the shape of her breasts will change. Her breasts will become less lumpy, have less cysts, and perhaps take on a smoother contour.

Some breast shapes are the result of inadequate hormone effect. I think of my clients, and previously myself, who have inverted nipples or secondary mound breast shape retained from pre-puberty. In this case, we think about issues of arrested development, and sex hormone level testing may provide direction about the treatment path.

As the woman stands in front of her mirror critiquing her breasts’ shapes, these are the appropriate questions that she can ask herself about the reflection she sees in the mirror.

  1. Does my diet create a breast shape that is healthy, free of lumps and bumps, free of discomfort?
  2. How do my breasts change throughout the course of my menstrual cycle?
  3. Do I need to lose fat and gain muscle so that I can have healthier breasts?
  4. What steps to I need to take to stop smoking so that I can significantly decrease my risk of breast cancer?
  5. Do my breasts ever feel bloated, such as an inflammatory reaction to food I’ve eaten or recent infection?
  6. Do I have tiny red vessels the parents in the skin over my breasts, which suggests inflammation?

With this sort of attention, a woman can seek medical care when appropriate and choose a lifestyle and environment that promotes healthy breasts, and live a long happy life with healthy beautiful breasts.

 

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