Caffeine Consumption & Breast Health…Is There A Link?
Have you ever been told that the breast pain that you were experiencing or the breast lump that you discovered may have been associated with your caffeine intake?
The relationship between caffeine intake and breast health has been a prominent research topic sparking high interest amongst physicians and clinical researchers for countless years.
One of the main areas of study in regard to the connection between caffeine intake and breast health has been to determine whether or not the consumption of caffeine has any correlation to fibrocystic breast disease.
Fibrocystic breast disease is a benign condition in which breasts are characterized by glandular tissue that has a lumpy and rope-like texture. Fibrocystic breasts can be diagnosed by a clinical breast exam as well as by mammography, ultrasound, and MRI Imaging. Fibrocystic breast disease is very common, affecting more than half of all women ages 20-50.
Many women with fibrocystic breasts experience pain, swelling, and tenderness. However, there are women who do not experience any symptoms at all.
Fibrocystic breast disease is caused by the breast tissue’s response to fluctuations in hormone levels, which is why fibrocystic breast changes tend to be more bothersome before your menstrual period, and why it is rare for postmenopausal women to experience changes unless they are undergoing hormone therapy.
According to Mayo Clinic, Most researchers and physicians have determined that caffeine is not a direct cause of fibrocystic changes in the breasts, but large amounts of caffeine can lead to changes in hormone levels that may affect the formation of breast cysts or cause breast pain.
Although caffeine may not be a cause of fibrocystic breasts, studies conducted in this area of research have determined that there is evidence that caffeine can exacerbate pain and tenderness associated with fibrocystic breasts. Many women find relief from pain, swelling, and a decrease in the size of breast lumps associated with fibrocystic breast disease after reducing their caffeine intake.
It is important for all women to conduct a monthly self-breast exam and to never dismiss a new lump, pain, or tenderness felt. If you discover any new changes during your self breast exam, do not delay a clinical breast examination by your physician. Although caffeine has the potential to worsen fibrocystic breast symptoms, never dismiss a new lump discovered or a new pain felt because you think it may be due to your caffeine intake.