View Full Version : Soy = Breast Pain?

May 7th, 2008, 02:17 AM

I have a question for all the women out there (and any men that have an opinion, due to personal experience with other symptems they believe are a side effect of soy consumption).
Has anyone noticed more severe pms symptems (such as breast pain or tenderness) when consuming large (or even moderate) amounts of soy products?

I've noticed over the last 6 months or so that i have SEVERE breast pain and tenderness near my period, and up to three weeks before it! (it gets worse as my period nears). I'm not on the pill and not taking any hormones.

So I had no idea what this was from, and no idea what to do about it. Then I heard that Bif Naked was diagnosed with breast cancer, (she is a non-drinking, non-smoking vegan) and the next day read an article about how soy mimics the female hormone estrogen, and may increase breast cancer. :eek:

It was like a light went off! I realized that my breast pain is probably due to my high soy consumption. So I immediatley cut out almost all soy products, and as my next period approached, I had no pain or tenderness!

So obviously, I've figured out the problem. I have a sensivity to soy, and it is acting like estrogen in my body, etc etc. But the problem is that I am a vegan! I love everything soy. There is already so many foods that I do not eat, I really dont want soy products to be one of them. :(

Recently, I slacked a bit with my avoidence of soy, and the tenderness around my period came back.... so its definatley due to soy.

My question is, has anyone else experienced this, and if so, what was your solution to the problem? And, if theres anyone who hasnt experienced it, but is perhaps a medical professional or something like that, do you have any advice or suggestions?


May 7th, 2008, 02:34 AM
My mom has issues with consuming soymilk and breast pain. She's also right around menopause, though... So I have no idea how that could/ would change the situation.

Although, I do know I have other sensitivities - sinus congestion or pain, throat mucus, and chest congestion. I avoid soy products with the exception of soybeans as they dont give me any problems. I'll sometimes put a bit in my coffee in the morning, but thats about all I can handle. It's really not that difficult to avoid soy once you start substituting it with other stuff. You may find that some less processed soy products don't give you problems - like the soy beans or maybe tofu?

I've read articles that soy can "mimic" the action of certain hormones, but so can the shite in cows milk! I'd avoid it altogether, especially if you know its the cause.

May 7th, 2008, 03:25 AM
This is very interesting. I was having a lot of pain and swelling as well but didn't attribute it to my soy intake. I consume a lot of soy and have not cut down on it. But what I do now is drink a strong brew of tea w/ milk thistle in it and my symptoms have virtually disappeared. I forget where I read it but I recall hearing that milk thistle was good for those symptoms.

May 8th, 2008, 03:20 AM
Well, it hasn't been proven yet that the body mistakes phytoestrogens for estrogen. We don't know for sure if it affects the body at all. In reality, we are surrounded by these estrogen-like molecules, both natural and artificial.

It is interesting that there seems to be a correlation with you.

May 8th, 2008, 06:41 AM
hmmm... interesting stuff...

i will try milk thistle perhaps, and yes i definately dont eat the super processed stuff anymore, but do sometimes eat edamame and tempeh, etc.

thanks :)

May 8th, 2008, 06:36 PM
I always heard milk thistle was for male hormone stabilization, not female... ?

May 8th, 2008, 11:32 PM
I always heard milk thistle was for male hormone stabilization, not female... ?

Hmmm...I haven't heard that. According to my natural books and info I got online, milk thistle got it's name from it's ability to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers. One of it's uses is treatment of menstrual irregularities.

Mar 31st, 2010, 02:16 AM
In December I was having a lot of breast pain and my Dr found a lump in my breast - they did a mammogram & an ultrasound and found it was just a fluid filled cyst. The only thing that was different in my diet was that I had been consuming soy milk regularly in lots of soy lattes and soy milk in a cup of tea or 2 each day. Plus it was the holidays, so there was more Earth Balance and soy substitutes in recipes. I stopped using soy milk & products in December and my pain decreased after by about 95%. The cyst is is either very small or gone now I think - I read it can take up to a year for the fluid to dissipate back into the breast tissues. I ate a little bit of tofu at a Thai restaurant when we were traveling the other day and I've had more pain recently - I think that it may be connected... I think I will really stay away from all soy now. I haven't managed to get 100% of soy out of my diet though - soy lecithin seems to be an additive in almost everything :( Anyhow, just wanted to share this story in case it helps anyone out!

Jul 19th, 2010, 09:59 PM
I was having breast pain and tenderness, only in my R breast, and my doctor said I had very slight gynecomastia which is not at all unusual in men my age (over 55) and it was slightly more so in my R breast, and he asked if I changed anything about my diet recently and I said I added soy milk and he said he doubts it's the cause but maybe try removing it. I tried removing it. It was just about the only soy product I used. I did not even use soy oil in any significant amount in prepared foods. However removing the soy milk did not help at all. I still had the pain. Then I tried just a single serving of 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric because I read somewhere that turmeric might help and within 24 hours the pain and tenderness I had had for months, was completely gone. I still find this hard to believe and think "well it must be a coincidence," but that's what happened. It has been years and the pain has not returned. Of course this is unscientific. But the effect was dramatic. Months and months of annoying pain and tenderness, at the same level. Then completely gone within 24 hours after one small dose of turmeric.

I just mixed turmeric powder in cold water and drank it. Will this work for anyone else? Does it work for gynecomastia in men but not for similar breast pain or tenderness in women? I have no idea. I can't remember exactly what I read about turmeric, in re to breast pain or gynecomastia.