This is ReachMD, and you’re listening to COVID-19: On The Frontlines. Taken from a live webinar sponsored by Penn Medicine, this program features Dr. Ann Steiner, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn Medicine. Dr. Steiner shares how clinicians can help patients manage their breast pain from afar. Let’s hear from her now.
What we want to do is to be able to manage her symptoms without her having to come into the office. So, for instance, with breast pain we know that there can be some dietary changes, and certainly our patients’ habits have changed since they have been sheltering in place at home. They may be having more caffeine. They may be gaining what we call the “Lockdown 15,” and certainly then they’re going to gain weight in their breasts, so there are some dietary and habit changes that we can suggest to our patients with breast pain.
Linoleic acid, which is found in evening primrose oil, which is actually a dietary supplement, hasn’t been shown in prospective data to reduce breast pain, but an awful lot of women find that it does, and we haven’t really found any side effects with that, so I do recommend that women try evening primrose oil, which you take orally—also a reduction in caffeine, coffee, tea, cola and chocolate. There’s xanthine in caffeine, in coffee, things like that that can increase breast tenderness. It doesn’t lead to breast cancer, but it certainly can lead to these symptoms, so by reducing caffeine intake, they can cut down on their symptoms.
And then, finally, I’ve had a couple of patients who said that they just stopped wearing a bra when they were at home. They’re working from home. And some women have large breasts, and they need the support of wearing a bra, and they even may need to even wear it at night. And so there are a lot of lifestyle changes that women can do at home without coming into the office that can help some of these symptoms.
That was Dr. Ann Steiner from Penn Medicine. To access more episodes from COVID-19: On The Frontlines and to add your perspectives toward the fight against this global pandemic, visit us at ReachMD.com and Be Part of the Knowledge. Thank you for listening.