Cystic Disease
By Judith G. Cobb
Reprinted from Nature’s Field

Cystic disease, which includes cystic mastitis, chronic cystic mastitis, and fibrocystic disease affects 15 to 20 per cent of women in the 20 to 50 year old age bracket. It is characterized by lumps or a granular feeling in the breast(s) and pain, all of which generally gets worse premenstrually. A less common symptom is a bloody, brown, green, or yellow discharge from the nipple.

This condition is caused by hormones (estradiol and estrone) which are produced by the ovaries and settle into estrogen receptor sites causing irritation in the breasts. A well nourished liver can convert these hormones into estriol, which is non-irritating and binds up the estrogen receptor sites preventing estradiol and estrone from getting in and causing problems. Some researchers have suggested that women who have cystic disease have a higher risk of cancer. Dr. Saifer has reported in The Yeast Syndrome that Candida albicans can either result from or play a role in fibrocystic disease.

Since we do not understand the exact chemistry of the hormone involvement in cystic disease, we do not know the exact treatment either. The most highly favored theories suggest that the hormones create a fluid imbalance, not unlike the fluid retention of PMS. Of course the orthodox approach to this problem is diuretics. However, if the pressure becomes unbearable in a cyst the fluid can be drawn out with a needle. Hormone imbalances could also be the culprit, and a low dose hormone therapy can help to keep the hormones stable throughout the menstrual cycle. This, however, has its long term health risks.

The most common drug used in the treatment of cystic disease is danazol. This drug is also used in the treatment of endometriosis, infertility, excessive menstruation, and precocious puberty. It works by decreasing the pituitary hormones that stimulate the ovaries. This is turn means the body produces less estrogen which means there is not as much estrogen to affect the breast tissue. As with all drugs, there are side effects, several of which are unacceptable to most women. Proceeding from the most to the least common there are menstrual irregularities, unnatural hair growth, nosebleeds, dizziness, hoarseness, deepened voice, flushed or red skin, muscle cramps, enlarged clitoris, vaginal burning, itch, swollen feet, decreased breast size, headache, acne, weight gain, and jaundice.

Natural therapies can be used in this condition. Dr. Lendon Smith has outlined a program that may be beneficial. Tyrosine, an amino acid, helps the thyroid to produce thyroxin. This condition seems to have a heavy endocrine involvement (hence the danazol) and this indirectly implicates the thyroid. Tyrosine is present in potatoes, apples, sesame seeds, and mushrooms and is recommended by Smith as a part of the program. Smith goes on to recommend using kelp to help balance the thyroid, folic acid to protect the body from the excess of estrogen, choline, inositol and B6 to help the liver do its job, vitamin E to enhance oxygen use which inhibits estrogen, zinc to keep the copper levels down in the body (women with excessive estrogen or who are on the pill tend to have elevated copper levels), bioflavonoids to compete for the estrogen receptor sites, and magnesium to help shrink the cysts. He reports that it takes about two months to decrease the size and tenderness of cysts.

Caffeine, soft drinks, chocolate, and nicotine should all be eliminated from the diet. A well fitting brassiere could also be worn day and night to help control the discomfort.

C-XHerbally, female hormone balancers could prove beneficial as could herbs normally reserved for males. A good place to start would be the female balancing formula C-X made of black cohosh, blessed thistle, false unicorn, ginseng, licorice, sarsaparilla, and squaw vine.
The formula of black cohosh, cayenne, ginger, golden seal, gotu kola, kelp, licorice, horsetail and uva ursi (PS II) can also be helpful in this condition.

Additionally, Louise Tenney recommends adding such supplements as essential fatty acids (Super Oil), chlorophyll, spirulina, and lecithin. Barley grass juice powder should also be considered here. As with many imbalanced hormone conditions finding the right program could take a while. The comfort is still there, however, in the knowledge that the aforementioned herbs will not cause the serious side effects of many of the orthodox therapies.

Breast Health

Breast Assured offers a blend of herbs and nutrients selected to support and protect women's reproductive health, especially breast health. The carefully selected ingredients help to balance female hormones and promote normal breast function. 
The active compounds and the metabolites that compose Breast Assured act as antioxidants, block estrogen receptors and boost immune function. 

Breast Assured may also improve the menopausal experience for some women due to its ability to support the body's efforts to maintain a balanced hormonal profile. 

Fibrocystic Breasts

This condition involves cysts that develop in the breast tissue and cause swollen, tender or painfal breasts. A common problem, over 30% of women between 30 and 50 develop breast cysts. Fortunately, they are usually benign and only 10% of fibrocystic conditions develop into breast cancer.

Again, avoiding xenoestrogens and enhancing liver detoxification is the starting place for natural therapy. Because caffeine tends to aggravate this condition, it should be avoided. Essential fatty acids, like Super Omega-3 EPA are also helpful for cystic breasts, as are Vitamin E and Vitamin B6.

To reduce breast swelling and tenderness, it is important to improve lymphatic drainage by wearing correctly fitted bras. Lymphatic Drainage Formula and exercise will also help.

The indigenous North American herb stillingia is one of the best treatments for tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis, both said to be exacerbated by environmental pollutants.

Note from Béatrice Duplantier-Rhea N.D.
NF-X and CANDIDA CLEAR for fibrocystic breasts and most important also is the diet. No cafeine, flour and flour related food, milk, sugar and non organic animal proteines.

Additional Suggestions

Used with the tips for protecting yourself from xenoestrogens, the following practices can reduce your risk of feminine health problems, including breast cancer.
** First, consume good fats such as Super Omega-3 EPA, Flax Seed Oil, organic coconut oil and butter from grass fed animals.
** Second, avoid excess alcohol and caffeine. They can contribute to reproductive disorders.
** Third, reduce stress by filling your life with pleasurable activities.
** Fourth, pamper yourself regularly.
** Fifth, regular exercise will also help maintain both your reproductive and general health.

Griffith, H. Winter. Complete Guide to Prescription and Non-prescription Drugs, The Body Press, Los Angeles, California, 1988
Lauersen, Niels, and Whitney, Steven, It’s Your Body: A Woman’s Guide to Gynecology, Playboy Press, New York, New York, 1977
Smith, Lendon, Feed Yourself Right, Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, New York, 1984
Tenney, Louise, Health Handbook, Woodland Books, Provo, Utah, 1987
Trowbridge, John Parks, and Walker, Morton, The Yeast Syndrome, Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1986

This information is for educational purposes only. Consult with a qualified health practictioner for all serious or persistant illness. Copyright © 1999 by Robinson & Horne, L.C., P.O. Box 1028, Roosevelt, UT 84066. This material may be duplicated for educational purposes only (not for resale) provided it is not altered in any way.
Distributed by: Four Winds Nutrition &