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Breast pain and alcohol?

(11 Posts)
flow4 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:48:43

I am wondering if anyone knows anything about a possible link between alcohol consumption and breast pain...?

I developed breast pain a few months ago - in both breasts - ranging from tenderness to a really nasty burning feeling (which reminded me of mastitis).

The first thing to say is that I saw my GP and was referred for a mammogram promptly - so I know it is not cancer or anything 'serious'. The consultant's opinion was that it was 'fibrocystic breast changes'.

While I was waiting for my referral, I had a sense that my breast pain might be made worse by alcohol. I was drinking a whisky nightcap one night, and I felt an unpleasant burning sensation in my left breast: it gave me the sense that the whisky was flowing through the duct, which was obviously not literally possible, but was how it felt. confused

It was such a powerful sensation that I decided to give myself a break from alcohol, and I cut back my consumption very sharply while I was waiting for the mammogram - from 15-20 units per week to nothing, though perhaps having one drink every 2-3 weeks.

The breast pain stopped, and I didn't really miss alcohol, and it felt like a good 'detox', so I have continued to drink very little... I had even forgotten why I cut back... Until yesterday...

I have just had a short break with friends, and drank 3 days running (Tues/Wed/Thurs nights) for the first time in months - probably 15-20 units in those three days. Yesterday I noticed pain in my left breast again, in the same place as before, and the same burning sensation - though not as bad as it was at its worst.

To me, this seems to strongly suggest that the alcohol consumption is causing the pain.

So my questions are...
- Has anyone else experienced this?
- Does anyone know of an established link between alcohol and breast pain?
- If so, is there any evidence that the alcohol is causing damage?

Thanks in advance.. smile

MrsSham Sat 23-Feb-13 23:06:49

I know there is a link with alcohol consumption and breast cancer. And also have in the past read about studies that nipple pain and thrush and mastitis is increased with in breast feeding mothers who consume alcohol. Have you searched google scholar to find any imperial evidence?

MrsSham Sat 23-Feb-13 23:09:20

How old are you could it be menopausal? That may be the link if so, menopause and alcohol consumption?

flow4 Sat 23-Feb-13 23:09:46

Thanks, MrsS. I knew about the link between alcohol and breast cancer too , which was why I decided to cut down. I'll have a look on Google scholar...

MrsSham Sat 23-Feb-13 23:12:55

You many not have access to lots of studies but many come up free as PDF.

MrsSham Sat 23-Feb-13 23:15:32

It is strange as I cam on to post about pain in my left breast and your post just happened to come up. I too drink a fair bit so will be interested in this if you manage to find any links.

I think I may have an infection of some sort, I have a heavy cold and possibly a virus, sore throat and stuff nose and my glands are up under left arm. But my left breast is so sore and heavy. It hurts to touch.

flow4 Sat 23-Feb-13 23:18:55

That does sound like an infection sad

flow4 Sun 24-Feb-13 10:39:12

Well, I've had a good search via Google Scholar and 'normal' Google. There isn't anything obvious or clear-cut - I haven't found anything that says "Alcohol causes breast pain".

But some sources ( like this ) suggest that alcohol can increase oestrogen production... And raised oestrogen (especially in relation to progesterone) can cause breast tenderness and is a risk factor in breast disease, including fibrocystic breasts and some cancers ...

So it does seem there might be some sort of link between drinking alcohol and breast pain...

I'm still very interested to hear whether anyone else has experienced anything like this...

LizzyA Fri 10-May-13 13:07:13

Interesting. I've just returned from a mammogram due to ongoing breast pain and found this post via a google search.

I drink quite a lot and have wondered if that's the cause of the pain. Time to cut down whilst I await the results......

Cez007 Fri 24-Oct-14 07:58:36

Omg this is like reading my story, I've had vertically the same experience!! How are you now?? Was it the alcohol??

kimmyr Wed 11-Nov-15 11:18:39

I have experienced this recently the last two times I've drank alcohol, and both times in my left breast. It swelled on the left side, and I felt pain into my nipple. I'm waiting to see my Dr. And hopefully it's nothing... I have rheumatoid arthritis and have a comprised immune system. So a lowered immune system mixed with alcohol might cause this. Whatever the case it's unpleasant...

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