What is Bilateral Gynecomastia?

by Matt on October 16, 2014

Gynecomastia is a medical condition characterized by the growth of breasts in men or boys. This article explains what bilateral gynecomastia is, the symptoms, causes and available treatments.

Bilateral gynecomastia symptoms and treatments

If you’re asking what is gyno, it is a medical condition characterized by breast swelling in men and boys. It is brought about by an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen and can affect one or both breasts. Older men, boys going through puberty and even infants can suffer from the condition due to normal hormonal changes, but there are other possible causes. If you have bilateral gynecomastia it means that both your breasts are enlarged, contrary to unilateral gynecomastia when only one side of the chest is bigger than normal.

What Are Signs and Symptoms of Gynecomastia?

The most common sign is a swelling of the breast glands. Usually, that’s the only indication, but in some cases it feels tender. If the tenderness sensation persists or you feel pain or there’s a discharge in any or both the nipples, see your doctor immediately.

What Can Be Causing Man Boobs?

There are many possible reasons for bilateral gynecomastia, but mainly it is due to a lower testosterone production compared with estrogen. This might be due to certain conditions that hinder testosterone production or leading to an increase in estrogen generation.

There are many possible reasons for hormonal imbalance including the following.

  • Natural hormone changes

Men produce estrogen too, albeit in small amounts. However, some individuals produce them in a higher level, resulting in swelling of the breasts.

  • Breast Swelling in Infants

Nearly 50% of all infant males are born with gynecomastia, though the swollen tissue recedes in three weeks. In some cases though, it persists to adulthood.

  • Medications

Certain medications can produce bitch tits, as the condition is called by bodybuilders, like the anti-androgens for treating cancer. Spironolactone, finasteride, flutamide and anabolic steroids may cause breast swelling as well.

The condition may also develop in HIV-positive men that undergo highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Among all HIV medications, the one most associated with the breast swelling is efavirenz, but others may be culpable as well.

  • Other Drugs

Breast swelling has also been reported among those who take anti-anxiety medications, tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics and ulcer medications like cimetidine. If you asking yourself “do I have gynecomastia?”, check the symptoms listed above and if you are taking any of these meds.

  • Alcohol and Street Drugs

Alcoholic beverages, heroin, methadone, marijuana, amphetamines and other street drugs may also lead to breast swelling in men.

Risk Factors and Complications

Older men and adolescents are the most susceptible to this condition, as well as those who take steroids or any of the aforementioned drugs. In addition, conditions that affect testosterone production like pituitary insufficiency or Klinefelter syndrome can induce gynecomastia.

Tumors like those involving the pituitary gland, the testes and adrenal glands produce hormones that change the balance of your body’s estrogen and testosterone levels. Those with kidney ailments or in danger of kidney failure are also susceptible to gynecomastia. According to the latest studies, those who undergo hemodialysis may suffer from this condition as well.

Men are also at risk of developing swollen breasts if they have liver complications and if they’re taking medications for cirrhosis. Lack of food, improper diet and in some cases,   use of plant oils, lotions or soaps with herbs may trigger gynecomastia.

If you’re wondering if gynecomastia goes away, the answer is sometimes it does, but more often than not and you’ll need treatment to get rid of it.

Tests and Diagnosis

If you want to know how to get rid of gyno you should visit a doctor and undergo tests and diagnosis. Your doctor will inquire about your drug history, medical history and any health problems that run in the family. You will also undergo a physical examination to rule out other possible ailments that might be affecting you.

Depending on your condition, your abdomen and other body parts may be examined as well. Several tests may also be performed such as mammograms, blood tests and CT scans.

What Are Available Treatment Options for Bilateral Gynecomastia?

If you want to know how to lose man boobs naturally, check your diet, because very often overweight men develop this condition due to fatty chest deposits. If that’s the case, you need to exercise and work out and get on a proper diet. It will also help if you change your sedentary lifestyle and be more active.

  • If you want to take medications to treat the condition, your doctor may prescribe raloxifene or tamoxifen. Keep in mind though that these were approved by the FDA for use for breast cancer and not gynecomastia.
  • Another option is surgery, and you usually have two options: mastectomy and liposuction. In liposuction, the breast fat is removed but the breast gland tissue is kept. If you undergo mastectomy it is the breast gland tissue that’s removed. While these can be effective, both procedures are expensive and impractical. In addition, they require significant recovery time.

Regardless which surgical procedure is used, there are many other possible complications such as contour deformities, painful scars, seroma, necrosis of the areola and many others.

The treatment for gynecomastia is dependent on the severity. For mild cases, a change in lifestyle, exercise and proper diet may be recommended. If it doesn’t work, you can try pills and creams as they are usually more effective. The success of your treatment however, will depend not just on the medication used but the time frame, with the earlier the treatment is started the better.

There are a lot of treatments available but gynecomastia pills and creams are the most effective and practical, as they are more affordable than gyno surgery and just as potent. Furthermore, pills and creams don’t have any of the side effects and discomfort that surgery brings. Even if you have the money, surgery isn’t really a viable option considering all the risks involved, which is why they are hardly availed of.

If you’re going to buy a gynecomastia cream or pills, make sure you do some research first. Read reviews and visit the company website and learn as much as you can about the product, in particular, the ingredients used. The good ones list each of the ingredients and provide you with the necessary information, so go through those.

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