Things your breasts say about your health (Part 1)

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Things your breasts say about your health (Part 1)

Your breasts can communicate a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Use these signs to learn what your breasts are telling you — and see your medical care provider if you suspect something is up. (A quick note for hypochondriacs who are concerned about breast cancer: Generally speaking, symmetry is good and change that exceeds that of your normal cycle could be cause for concern.)

It could mean you’re gaining weight

After puberty, your breasts grow when the rest of you gets bigger. Weight gain could happen for any number of reasons: You could be eating more, moving less, skimping on sleep, or super-stressed. While a couple pounds here and there are usually NBD, an excessive increase in body fat can up your risk of developing various cancers, according to The National Cancer Institute.

weight
It could mean you’re gaining weight

It could mean you’re getting your period, you just started a new birth control, or you’re pregnant

Hormonal changes can trigger a breast tissue growth spurt, explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., an ob-gyn and clinical professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. ​As long as both breasts are doing the same thing, it’s probably no reason for concern.

It could mean you’re losing weight

Because your breasts are made up of fatty tissues, breast bulk can be the first thing to go when your weight loss efforts start to work. If you’re effortlessly shedding pounds and cup sizes, and you can’t figure out why, see a health care pro to rule out the scary stuff, like an over active thyroid or a chronic disease.

allergic
You might be allergic to something

You might be allergic to something

like the underwire in your bra, which may be made of nickel, which is a common irritant. Or it could be soap residue or an itchy sweater. Many women have a breast cancer phobia and freak at the slightest sign of irritation. “Just remember that hydrocortisone cream doesn’t cure breast cancer,” says Dr. Minkin. Treat your rash with a topical hydrocortisone cream. If it goes away within a few days, you’re good to go. (Otherwise, you know what to do: See your doctor.)

It could mean you have inframammary intertrigo

It’s a fancy way of saying the crease between the bottom of your breast and the skin beneath it is rubbing and causing inflammation — a common occurrence in the summer. An antibiotic or steroid cream, OTC cortisone, or Neosporin can reduce inflammation while the right-size bra can keep your breasts off your chest to separate the skin in the first place.

To be continued…