A Case of Chronic Mastitis
Margaret Beeson, ND
“In May of 1998 I was diagnosed with blood poisoning in my left breast. A red painful line was emanating from the lower left side of my breast and moving toward my underarm area. I was given a treatment of antibiotics and thought that was the end of my problem. In fact, as I found out, that was only the beginning. Each appearance of a painful red line was accompanied by a large cyst in my breast. Whenever I would have one of the cysts aspirated, the cycle would start again. The only thing to alleviate the symptoms was a course of antibiotics. This went on for two years.
Finally, to rid myself of the discomfort, which was similar to a constant headache or toothache, I had a partial mastectomy. Within one week I had more bright red lines emanating from the area of the mastectomy.
At this point I was sent to Mayo Clinic. Many cysts, approximately 25, were aspirated and sent to Mayo’s world famous lab. Unfortunately, again there was no definitive diagnosis. This time I was put on a 4-month regimen of antibiotics. At this point, I had been on the strongest oral antibiotics available for the better part of 1_ years. Within 24 hours of the last day of the antibiotic, my symptoms reappeared. Cysts seemed to be “coming up” across my chest;I couldn’t wait to get back to my office to take more antibiotics. The pressure from the cysts made me feel as though I couldn’t catch my breath. My OB/GYN was great and ordered a course of tamoxifen. While it helped, it was not “curing” the problem. She also insisted I see Dr. Beeson.
At first I was reluctant to do that, not knowing anything about naturopathic medicine.However, she persisted and I had my first appointment. I knew within that first hour that Dr. Beeson was going to change my life.”
This is one of my favorite cases because it so beautifully illustrates the principles of naturopathic medicine. Simple digestive tract and liver detoxification with hydrotherapy, done gently and consistently for a sufficient period of time, resulted in a complete cure for this woman.
The patient is a 51-year-old female who had a history of chronic constipation all her life,which had been worse in the last two years, with a stool only one to two times a week. She had migraine headaches for two years, and recent onset acne. Otherwise, she had been a healthy, single mother of two teenage boys, with no prior surgeries, other than the partial mastectomy. She had been experiencing irregular menses, associated with perimenopause. Her diet was reasonable, with minimal coffee, alcohol and sugar. She liked her work as an insurance agent, but described it as stressful, with long hours. She was taking Danocrine 200 mg bid and Excedrin for migraines weekly.
Lab tests furnished by the patient from her GYN were unremarkable, except for a borderline TSH of 3.27 uU/ml. FSH indicated perimenopause at 10.6 mIU/mL (nl 1-9), and her serum estradiol of 114.7 pg/mL was within normal parameters for a perimenopausal woman.
Mammograms continually identified breast cysts and the patient had a great deal of fear and anxiety about breast cancer.
“Within months, I started to improve. It was not particularly easy and does involve a little time, but I can see that my overall health, including the cysts, is improving because of this regimen. At one point, I had a setback and felt as though I could not tolerate the pain any longer. I was scheduled for a radical, subcutaneous mastectomy of both breasts. Dr. Beeson explained to me what my life would be like without the lymph glands that were to be removed. I found out that they’re in our bodies for a reason. She said, “Give me two weeks.” and she was right! I started my program of therapy (in the style of the regimen I used when I first started) and was feeling pain-free soon. I haven’t used antibiotics for years!”
Over the next two years we continued in the above manner. She stopped the Danocrine one month after her first visit. Her stools became regular within the first month of treatment, but were intermittently irregular during the next two years. Her headaches disappeared completely within six months. The severe setback reminded her of the connection between her breast/lymph tissue and her digestive system and liver.
She gradually became completely asymptomatic and has remained without reoccurrence five years later. Today, both breasts remain intact from her first visit to our office.
Margaret Beeson, N.D.(Bastyr 1989)founded the Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic in 1992 where she has a family practice with special interests in women’s health (midwifery certificate, 1991) and the link between dental health and chronic illness. Dr. Beeson currently serves on the Alternative Health Care Board for the State of Montana and is a member of both the Montana Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.