Men with the boobs have been the victim of brutal jokes for many years. Gynecomastia, commonly referred to as ‘man boobs’, is the condition where the breast tissues of the men grow significantly, hence giving the appearance of woman like breasts. Around 30% of men experience this issue in their life. This is a common occurrence in middle-aged men who are around 50 to 60 years and in infants.
Among the many reasons behind the men’s breasts growing in size, here are some of the most common ones.
Causes of Gynecomastia
Obesity can give rise to Gynecomastia in two ways.
1. If a man is obese and eventually loses weight, the tissues and the skin around the breasts may sag giving an impression of large breasts.
2. When a man is fat, the fat tissues in the body produce a hormone called leptin. When the leptin levels are high, it leads to the decrease in the production of sexual hormones, which will affect the sperm, and testosterone production. This, in turn, increases the production of estrogen, which causes the development of big breasts.
When a boy hits puberty, his hormone levels start varying. In case if the level of estrogen becomes higher than testosterone, it could lead to the growth of the breast tissues. Gynecomastia is a common condition among teenage boys. Generally, as they grow up, the hormone levels will go back to normal and so will the size of the breasts.
Some men use steroids to get bulky muscles and for bodybuilding. The anabolic steroids usually used to obtain such results can bring in several side effects. Sometimes, the testosterone generated by an overdose gets converted to estrogen. This leads to tenderness in the breasts at the beginning and eventually results in the breast growth.
Some take drugs, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to estrogen but again that will mess up the body. Men also require estrogen for ensuring sexual wellbeing and maintaining bone strength. Blocking the production of estrogen or conversion of testosterone to estrogen will have side effects on the body.
4. Side-Effects of Certain Medications
Few medications which when consumed will work as an anti-testosterone, hence blocking the amount of testosterone in the body. Though there is no direct indication signifying a proper relationship between the medications and Gynecomastia, studies indicate that certain drugs taken for liver, heart, HIV and hair losses have a considerable effect in the enlargement of the breast tissues.
5. Severe Illness
Certain severe diseases associated with heart, kidney and liver may lead to hormone imbalance. It can decrease the production of testosterone in the body. Some liver diseases produce excess proteins, one among which is responsible for binding the testosterone meaning; there will be a further reduction of free testosterone in the body. Such liver problems could multiply the side effects and lead to a chronic cause of Gynecomastia.
6. Old Age
This is one of the frequent occurrences of Gynecomastia. As men age, the testosterone production in the body reduces in comparison to the estrogen which leads to the growth of breast tissues. This condition is avoidable in old age if the men lead a proper lifestyle without the issues of overweight. The fat accumulation in the body sends estrogen in an over-drive leading to the Gynecomastia. If men ensure to keep their fat content in check, then they can avoid this condition.
7. Other Causes of Gynecomastia
● Herbal products: The use of certain herbal products that contain tea tree oil or lavender oil in body lotions, soaps, shampoos or any cosmetic products can cause Gynecomastia.
● Excess drinking: Overconsumption of alcohol or intake of drugs like marijuana and amphetamines will also lead to breast enlargement.
● By birth: Many infants may be born with enlarged breasts but on most occasions, this goes in a few months.
What Are the Treatment Options?
During the onset of Gynecomastia, you will experience tenderness in the breasts after which the breast tissues start to enlarge. If you consult a doctor when your breast feels tender, you can stop this condition.
If you have Gynecomastia for more than a year and if no medications seem to work, then surgery is the next option. You can consult a plastic surgeon to perform a surgery where the surgeon will remove the excess fat and tissues from the breasts. The percentage of men going for male breast reduction surgery has increased in the past few years.
usually it is a permanent procedure. if your lifestyle is healthy the gland usually don’t recur. the fat may come to some extent with obesity.
How Can You Prevent Gynecomastia?
If you do not want to be one among those suffering from Gynecomastia, then you should take some measures to protect yourself.
● Stay away from drugs that cut down the testosterone percentage.
● Exercise and maintain a proper diet to check yourself from becoming overweight.
● Lead a healthy lifestyle without any severe illness.
● Limit your sugar intake, which could affect the testosterone production.
● Get enough Vitamin D, which is essential to produce testosterone.
Abiding by these steps will keep your hormone levels balanced and avoid Gynecomastia.
To conclude, due to various harmful lifestyle changes we entertain in our lives, the condition of Gynecomastia is steadily on the rise. It is preventable only if we take proper measures to take good care of the body and keep it in the prime condition.
The information is being provided by plasticsurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Ashutosh Shah, Plastic Surgeon on: 12-JUN-2020