July 21, 2010

What You Might Not Hear from Your Doctor About Calcifications in Breast Tissue

There are various causes of calcifications in the breasts including injury, inflammation, and radiation therapy. Improper assimilation of calcium can also lead to clustering in tissue. Calcium is an abundant mineral found almost entirely in bones and teeth. Only a tiny amount should be in cellular fluid, blood, or muscles.

Calcium deposits in breast tissue can be detected with mammography. Appearing as little white dots, macrocalcifications are usually considered harmless. But microcalcifications, appearing irregular and clustered, are often found in areas of rapidly dividing cells. Because of this they are checked more closely for cancer.

Some women have calcifications surgically removed, but if the underlying cause of the problem isn’t addressed, they can return. Therefore, calcifications in the breasts are your opportunity to become more aware of an imbalance in your body.

In general, we are encouraged to increase our calcium, drink plenty of milk, and take supplements. But according to research conducted by German doctors Paul Gerhardt Seeger and Johanna Budwig, unless this is balanced with magnesium, calcium levels become too high and magnesium levels can remain low in the extra-cellular fluid. Your cells are then challenged to pump the calcium back out. When they can’t do this efficiently, the mitochondria in each cell can calcify.

Many calcium supplements aren’t easily assimilated. If you take too much or the wrong type for your needs, it can upset the mineral balance in your body.

Too much calcium can cause magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium has been linked to cancer, while higher levels have been shown to prevent cancer and heal precancerous conditions. When magnesium levels are low, calcium migrates out of your bones and into your body’s tissue. When levels are high, calcium moves out of the tissue and back into the bones. Healthy cells have high magnesium and low calcium levels.

If improper assimilation of calcium can cause it to cluster in tissue, it makes sense to consume absorbable calcium and magnesium to maintain balance between the two. Some of the best sources of absorbable calcium are kale, swiss chard, collard, mustard, dandelion, and turnip greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and bok choy.

Most people are not eating these vegetables in abundance, if at all. They are turning to other sources for calcium, such as dairy products. I don’t believe this is the best source, despite what we’ve been told, since Americans have a particularly high rate of osteoporosis and also a very high consumption of dairy.

If you’ve been told you have calcifications in your breast tissue, your doctor might recommend that you wait six months and have them checked again. This means you will return for another mammogram, or x-ray of your breasts, which in itself is a problem. 

Instead of waiting passively, there are a few things you can do to help yourself heal. Have your magnesium levels checked. On a side note, it’s interesting that chocolate cravings can be correlated to low levels of magnesium. Higher levels of magnesium reduce these cravings.

Get movement through your breast tissue with self-breast massage, the use of castor oil packs, exercise, and making sure your bras are not limiting your circulation. I recommend you discontinue the use of popular deodorants and antiperspirants, as it is theorized that the chemicals in these contribute to breast calcifications.

If you take a supplement, find one that is not synthetic, but made from whole foods, and be sure it is correctly balanced with magnesium.

Finally, nature has provided what we need. Eat lots of calcium rich vegetables, which your body already knows how to assimilate.

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