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    What does burning pain in both breasts mean?
    merilynn1 posted:
    For the past two months, I have had a burning sensation in both breasts. Nipples are sensitive, and I have been icing them, which
    sometimes helps..sometimes not. But it is mostly the burning.
    mhall6252 responded:

    Ouch, sounds painful! You really should get this checked out by your doctor. And probably sooner rather than later. It's better to know what's wrong, if anything, than to "wonder" what's wrong because it's natural to assume the worst. So please, make an appointment and get some answers. Then come back and let us know how you're doing.

    Philomena McAndrew, MD responded:
    Dear Merilyn1

    There may be many reasons for a painful burning sensation in both breasts as well as nipple sensitivity.

    It is important to distinguish if this condition persists daily for more than a few weeks and appears to be worsening over time, which would indicate the need to seek medical attention. Breast pain may be cyclical which would indicate that it is related to hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle. That pain is often described as dull, heavy or aching and it may be accompanied by breast swelling or lumpiness. This is more common in women under 45. Non-cyclical pain is unrelated to any menstrual cycle and may present as burning or soreness. This may also be continuous or possibly intermittent and is generally not in both breasts at the same time.

    Most of the time it is difficult to identify the exact cause of breast pain, but the more common causes may be reproductive hormone changes, anatomical factors such as breasts cysts or breast trauma, or there may be an imbalance of chemical elements in the body. There are certain medications which also can cause breast pain since they contain hormones that contribute to breast growth and tenderness. Besides oral contraceptives and infertility therapy some antidepressants have been known to contribute to these symptoms.

    If these symptoms do continue for several months it is reasonable to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Breast pain often resolves on its own within a few months and very few women require specific therapy. If no specific aggravating cause can be identified, then certain changes and home remedies may be useful. Using hot or cold compresses on your breasts may reduce symptoms. Wearing a firm support bra as well as a sports bra during exercise and while sleeping may reduce the sensitivity of the breast. Limiting caffeine and chocolate can often reduce pain, especially related to premenstrual symptoms. Decreasing fat in the diet to less than 20% of total calories may improve breast pain that is caused by alteration of the fatty acid balance. Some early studies have shown the possible benefit of vitamin E in breast pain but the medical literature to date is inconclusive.

    Philomena F. McAndrew, M.D.

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