Understanding Causes of Gynecomastia


Gynecomastia is a male condition that, generally, doesn’t bring serious health problems. Marked by an unusual swelling of the breast among boys or men, the condition is mainly caused by a hormonal imbalance. Young boys going through puberty may start developing this as a result of hormone level changes. But newborns, as well as older men, may also exhibit some swelling, which may be caused by other factors.

The condition, which is colloquially termed as “man boobs”, may be accompanied by some swelling or pain, but the biggest challenge to having gynecomastia is in coping with it. Naturally, men may feel embarrassed about having enlarged breasts. And although it can diminish naturally, or through a change in diet and lifestyle, and perhaps even medical treatments, understanding the causes of gynecomastia should help with managing it.

Hormones. A human being’s body chemistry comprises both testosterones, the hormone associated with male development, and estrogens, known as the female hormone. Contrary to popular belief, a man’s body chemistry also produces estrogen hormones, albeit in low levels. But when its testosterone levels decrease, or the estrogen levels are too high, this creates a hormonal imbalance that triggers the development of conditions mostly associated with females, such as the development of breasts.

Hormonal imbalance affects every age group.

  • Some infants are actually born with swollen breasts because they have absorbed estrogen from their mother. The swelling usually disappears a couple of weeks after birth.
  • Boys going through puberty may commonly see some swelling, which can go away over time or with proper diet and exercise.
  • Older men between 50 to 80 years old are more prone to gynecomastia as hormones undergo huge changes. It’s part of the natural process of aging and studies have shown that one in four men do develop the condition at this age.

Medications. Taking medications can produce side effects that trigger swelling of the breasts. Some of these include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Chemotherapy
  • Prostate medication
  • Steroids, androgens and anti-androgens
  • Heart medication and blockers
  • HIV medication

Medical Conditions. Some men develop gynecomastia as a result of a health condition, like hyperthyroidism or hypogonadism, or illnesses that affect the kidneys and liver. Tumors affecting the adrenal glands, thus altering the balance of the male-female hormone, may also cause man boobs. Even malnutrition can contribute to breast swelling since inadequate nutrition can lower hormone levels.

Vices. Substance abuse, such as addiction to Illegal drugs and excessive alcohol drinking, bring side effects that create an imbalance, messing up the body’s system.

Genetics. Enlarged male breasts may be common in the family, which increases the chances of other male members also developing this. The condition, however, may be a sign of other illnesses, so its best to have this checked by the doctor.

In many cases, breast enlargement in younger men goes away within three years even without the need for treatment. But older men, whose metabolic rate has slowed down, may need to stick with a diet plan or do chest exercises in order to get rid of the condition. When this becomes bothersome or recurrent, however, a surgery called mamaplasty would be another option.

A healthy body is without any traces of gynecomastia. Do you want to know how to get rid of it? Visit www.gynecomastia-surgery-cost.com for more information.


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