Early January I discovered a lump in my breast.
This alarmed me, but I was aware that lumps can appear depending on your cycle, so I decided to wait a month and then go to the doctor.
I took my first trip to the doctor in February, the lump was still there, but no apparent discomfort. Knowing the story of a couple breast cancer survivors, I was quite concerned, but I'm lucky enough to be able to say that it's just a cyst. I have to return once every 3 months for a check up though, to see that there are no strange developments.
Apparently getting cysts in your breasts (and other parts of your body), is quite a common thing to occur, but I do want to stress that if you find any lump that wasn't there before, to go to the doctor as soon as possible to get it checked out!
You might think, what do breast cysts and the post title have in common? Well, I didn't only have a cyst, but I would also have really sore breasts for the first couple of months of this year.
I've had it before, but not as bad, and there was only relief the first week after my menstruation. If you don't have breasts, you probably won't know how painful that can be. They were, essentially, two painful, bruised, even a little swollen, little bags attached to my chest. Running hurts, sleeping on whatever side hurts, jumping hurts, bending over hurts. Practically everything that causes a shift in boobs hurts.
Because a pregnancy would be an event of biblical proportions (but hey, I might just be the new Mary, you never know!), I figured that there must be a different cause. I took a look at my diet, and it became pretty clear. Let me just give you an example:
Breakfast: Cereal with soy milk
Lunch: Bread with soy containing spreads
Dinner: Soy containing meat replacements
Dessert: Soy custard
Well look who's getting a soy overdose! Oh no! I never really paid that much attention to how much soy products I actually consumed, but it was a lot! And let Soy have plenty of "Phytoestrogens" which act just like our body own estrogen. Your body actually thinks it's your body own estrogen! This doesn't mean that eating soy products is bad per se, phytoestrogens may actually be beneficial for your health. But all in moderation, ofcourse. It may have caused the cyst, there's no true way to determine that, but I'm almost 100% sure that it caused my breast pain.
So I decided to cut out soy products as much as possible, there were some quick changes, and some slow changes. The biggest change was my skin. I broke out in my face and my psoriasis on my elbows flared up. After a couple months both are starting to settle, one elbow is quite soft again and my face is clearing up. May was the first month where I didn't have tender breasts for 3 weeks straight, but my menstrual cycle is a little more irregular than it was. I'm hoping all will go back to normal, but I'd rather have a couple pimples than being unable to do anything due to sore breasts.
The hardest part, however, is kicking off of soy. I try to stay away from dairy as much as possible, and over here there are no dessert alternative that doesn't contain soy. So now we make it at home, after trying many different milks. I've decided that I like almond the best, and homemade almond dessert is so much better than store bough soy dessert. It's a lot less convenient though, and I do have to admit that I miss tofu a whole lot.
So if you consume a lot of soy products, like I did, please keep an eye on the effect it may have on your body!