Fibrocystic Breast Disease (FBD) and fibrocystic condition are the common names given to the condition where women have benign (non-cancerous) lumps in one or both of their breasts. These lumps or bumps are usually tender to the touch and can cause the breast to swell and thicken. Many women tend to experience more severe symptoms during menstruation or if hormonal levels change in their bodies for any reason. An estimated 30% of women in the U.S. have fibrocystic disease of the breast [1] and it is found to be most common in premenopausal women, usually starting between the ages of 30-50.
Most women in their reproductive years experience varying degrees of breast swelling/engorgement, fullness, or tenderness. These changes occur premenstrually and are cyclic, physiologic, and hormonally mediated [2,3]. It is important to note that fibrocystic changes in a woman who does not have a strong family history of breast cancer generally do not increase the woman’s chances of getting breast cancer. Approximately 5% of cases of Fibrocystic Breast Disease lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer. Radiology (i.e. mammography), thermography, and clinical testing (i.e. fine needle biopsy) by a physician can help decipher between the normal types of fibrocystic changes and the more uncommon cases associated with fibrocystic breast disease [4].
Causes of Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Certain hormonal changes normally cause breast tissue development [5]. This process can occur monthly in women who menstruate, for example. After the body realizes the extra breast tissue is unneeded due to a lack of conception it needs to get rid of this excess breast tissue. The body has a system for destroying the unwanted cells and breaking down the resulting debris using enzymes and inflammation. However, this process can cause scarring in some women, leading to fibrocystic-type lumps. These lumps are formed partly by excess fibrin deposition, the protein responsible for wound healing, and from inflammation that is unable to be controlled by the body.
Available Treatments
Although these fibrocystic changes cause discomfort and worry for women with the condition, no treatment has been found to completely cure the problem. Current recommendations given to fibrocystic breast sufferers are usually dietary changes, lifestyle changes, herbal supplements, heating or icing the breasts, and doses of acetaminophen or other pain relievers, all of which seem to fall short of actually treating the problem.
There is promise however, as systemic oral enzymes may help women suffering from fibrocystic conditions. Combination enzyme formulas are available that specifically combat excess fibrin in the body and help fight inflammation. They have the ability to cleanse the blood by removing harmful waste products from the body. Since fibrin is formed naturally and plays a large factor in assisting the development of scar tissue and inflammatory pain in many fibrocystic diseases, the ability of systemic enzymes to break down and remove excess fibrin can help dramatically by targeting the root cause of FBD.
Enzyme therapy is 100% natural and is available without a prescription. It is important to look for certain ingredients when it comes to finding an effective systemic enzyme formula. An effective formula must contain a strong blend of enzymes: nattokinase, serrapeptase, bromelain, protease and papain as well as cofactors like rutin, amla, CoQ10 and magnesium, to facilitate the breakdown and release of excess fibrocystic tissue.
Nattokinase, a specialized enzyme discovered in a traditional Japanese food, is highly effective at breaking down fibrin [6]. It is also able to boost the body’s own ability to break down fibrin [7,8], further adding to its effectiveness. Serrapeptase, originally isolated from the silkworm, also aids in fibrin removal and has potent anti-inflammatory properties [9]. In one study, serrapeptase reduced breast engorgement and pain in 87% of patients [10]. Bromelain is an extract from pineapple that powerfully breaks down fibrin [11], and has been clinically shown to reduce breast engorgement [12]. Rutin, another extract from citrus plants and papain, an enzyme derived from papaya both help to combat excess inflammation [13]. Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, works as an anti-inflammatory [14].
Using Systemic Enzymes for Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Based on the available medical studies, it appears that systemic enzymes are able to combat the actual processes that contribute to FBD, rather than just masking the symptoms of the condition. Since enzyme therapy is extremely safe, it may be a more attractive option than medication or dietary/lifestyle changes for some women with FBD.
For those who have been recently diagnosed with Fibrocystic Breast Disease or for those women who have suffered with it for years, a quality blend of systemic enzymes may help in all stages of the condition. The ability of the enzymes to break down fibrin and fight inflammation not only addresses the current symptoms, but also helps protect the body from even more damage [14,15]. Since existing treatments for fibrocystic breast disease are seldom effective, systemic enzymes may be a good option for women looking for natural alternatives.
Blog content provided by Arthur Andrew Medical*


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