You’ve got to trust when we say you are not alone on this. According to an Article released in a study done in 2020, nearly 40% of all men above the age of 44 suffer from Gynecomastia. Quite simply put, Gynecomastia refers to the enlargement of male breasts due to localized fat, skin, and various tissue in the chest area.
So what exactly causes gynecomastia, what are the symptoms, and how can you treat it?
Not to worry we’ll answer ALL your questions below.
Firstly, What Are the Most Common Causes For Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is most commonly caused by an imbalance between the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Estrogen controls female traits, including breast growth. Testosterone controls male traits, such as muscle mass and body hair. Although each of these hormones produces the usual traits seen in males and females, males produce a small amount of estrogen and females produce a small amount of testosterone. Male estrogen levels that are too high or are out of balance with testosterone levels cause gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia occurs naturally at different times in a male’s life. These phases are:
- After birth. Newborn boys are still under the effects of the estrogen they received from their mothers while developing in the womb. More than half of newborn males are born with enlarged breasts. The gynecomastia goes away within two to three weeks after birth.
- At puberty. Hormone levels are changing during puberty (usually 12 to 14 years of age). Breast enlargement usually goes away six months to two years after the start of puberty.
- At mid-life and beyond. Breast enlargement often peaks in men between the ages of 50 and 80. About one in four men in this age range have breast enlargement.
Other Causes For Gynecomastia
There are quite a few other conditions as well that might lead to eventual Gynecomastia. They are the following:
- Lack of proper nutrition
- Tumors in the testicles or adrenal glands
- Liver disease
- Kidney failure
It’s important to make a distinction here between gynecomastia, which refers to the enlargement of the glandular tissue in the male breast, and lipomastia, which is the presence of fat deposits in the breast area of obese men. Because lipomastia has different causes and symptoms, it needs to be treated differently.
Drugs That Can Cause Gynecomastia
The following medications are most commonly known to increase the risk for gynecomastia (breast enlargement and tenderness) in males.
1. Aldosterone Antagonists
- Eplerenone (Inspra) [up to 1%]
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
1. Typical or First Generation
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
- Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
- Haloperidol (Haldol)
- Perphenazine (Trilafon)
- Thioridazine (Mellaril)
- Trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
2. Atypical or Second Generation
- Aripiprazole (Abilify; Abilify Discmelt)
- Asenapine sublingual tablets (Saphris)
- Clozapine (Clozaril; Fazaclo)
- Finasteride (Propecia; Proscar)
- Iloperidone (Fanapt)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa; Zydis, Zyprexa Relprevv)
- Paliperidone (Invega; Invega Sustenna)
- Quetiapine (Seroquel; Seroquel XR)
- Ziprasidone (Geodon)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet) [1-4%]
3. Digoxin (Lanoxin) [<1%]
4. Efavirenz (Sustiva)
5. Estrogen use
6. Ethanol (Alcohol)
7. Ketoconazole (Nizoral) [<1%]
9. Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Is Surgery Really The Right Path To Follow?
Not everyone is a good candidate for gynecomastia surgery. You have to have a normal body weight and your breast development must have stabilized. That said, it’s perfect for someone who has already done everything in his power to reduce the fatty tissue around his chest, but still sees no significant progress and no way out from the embarrassment.
If you want to improve your appearance, boost your self-confidence, and stop feeling insecure about your chest, then we say go for it!
6 Most Common Myths About Gynecomastia
Myth 1: Gynecomastia is Linked to Excess Fat – Although it might be the case sometimes, for the majority of people A hormonal imbalance is usually the reason why excess breast tissue tends to develop.
Myth 2: Lifestyle Choices Have Nothing to Do with Gynecomastia - Many people don’t know that excessive alcohol consumption is linked to this condition. Making healthier lifestyle choices is one way to prevent this condition from developing later in life.
Myth 3: Steroids Can Be Used to Treat Gynecomastia - When men have high levels of oestrogen in their bodies, they tend to want to take steroids to counteract this imbalance. However, steroids can actually trigger this condition to begin with, which is why it’s not a viable treatment option.
Myth 4: With Enough Exercise, the Condition Will Subside – Again this is true for some cases where excess fat is the sole reason for why the breasts have enlarged and exercise can certainly help with that. But in cases where excess breast tissue is present, surgery is the only effective treatment option.
Myth 5: Gynecomastia Always Returns - Gynecomastia surgery offers permanent results, so this is not something that you will need to deal with again. There are some rare cases where the condition has reoccurred but this is very unlikely.
Myth 6: Gynecomastia is Very Difficult to Treat - Gynecomastia is not a condition you need to live with. It is highly treatable and surgery produces exceptional results. Along with surgery, there are other ways to enhance your results such as reviewing your medication and adjusting your eating plan.
We hope this blog has helped you reach a consensus as to what route to take if you or one of your family members are facing Gynecomastia.
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