I've been grain and nearly totally sugar free for 5 months, and have added red meat back to my diet after nearly 20 yrs. I have seen tons of health benefits - healthier skin, digestion, mood, weight and inches lost, etc., but am confused about my increasingly sore and fibrocystic breasts.
I've searched this and some other sites; read about iodine and how it can help reduce cyst-like activity, as a result of less iodine after a period of paleo nutrition. I've started w/about 140 mg of Potassium Iodide per day for the last 4-5 days, and am only becoming more uncomfortable, likely due to pms kicking into high gear. I also discovered and am being seen by my dr for a lump in my left breast (likely just a cyst, to be biopsied next week).
Have any of you paleo women seen an increase in breast tenderness or fibrocystic breast tissue? Any other remedies in addition to iodine? Thanks in advance!
How many drops is that of the iodine? Is it Lugol's? It may be too much to start off with. Sometimes it's better to start off slow so that your body gets used to it. If I take any more than 3 drops/day of my mixture, I get nausea - others have different reactions.
I would also suggest finding a good hormonal doc to assess your progesterone, estrogen and other hormonal levels. It could be that you are estrogen dominant. Do you get bad cramping as well, heavy flow, PMT teariness or irritability?
Mine seem to be better with progesterone supplementation and Paleo, but it seems to change month to month which makes it difficult to pinpoint a good solution.
Sounds like this is something you might need professional help with - the solution could be as simple as bioidentical progesterone cream or sublingual troches.
Are you using the right kind of iodine? This is from Dr K's blog:
"One clinical finding I always ask about is the presence of fibrocystic breast disease. When it is present I immediately think the woman is likely suffering from an undiagnosed iodine deficiency. I distinctly remember in medical school seeing a woman’s fibrocystic disease cured in less than an hour by an ancient physician who taught us how to examine a women’s breasts. She had volunteered to be a guinea pig for us during our medical education, and on this day we could not examine her without making her scream and cry because her breasts were so tender to palpation. Our MD proctor was about 80 years old and he too was a volunteer helping us learn our craft. He stopped me from examining her breasts and asked her a few questions and then he asked us to leave the room. He applied Lugol’s solution to her vulva and her nipples and we were able to examine her without any pain a half hour later. It made a huge impression on me. He asked her if she was on any thyroid meds and if she had bad energy or weight gain. A lack of iodine was the source of her painful breasts. Her labs did not reveal any major issues when we saw her. I never forgot this lesson on the thyroid"
Start low when supplementing iodine, like 500mcg/ day, then you can double up every month or so until you reach the iodine level desired. If symptoms appear, go back to a lower dose for a while. Make sure you get sufficient selenium which protects against iodine toxicity (200 mcg/ day is a good level to aim for). Magnesium could also be helpful against general pms symptoms. Aim for 200 mg magnesium per day.
Estrogen dominance can definitely be an issue for some. My friend used topical Progesterone cream (Pro-Gest) twice daily per package directions and her fibrocystic breast pain disappeared.
Nutritionally, Vitamin D deficiency is likely implicated, since Vitamin D is a hormone pre-cursor. Get your level checked and aim for 50-80 ng/ml.
In my blog on the top ten paleo supplements I talk specifically about this issue based upon an incident that occurred when I was learning to do a breast exam. I think you might find it very helpful. Is is in section number 7.
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