Gynecomastia or male breast enlargement is actually common. Around half of all male babies are born with it, but there are adult men who end up with the condition, causing embarrassment.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with man boobs and we will look at the various treatments. But first you need to understand what it is and what brings the condition about.
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The most obvious gynecomastia symptoms are swelling of the breasts. The swelling may affect one or more your breasts.
In many cases the sensation when you touch it doesn’t change, though some say the swollen tissue feels tender.
Some with severe cases of gynecomastia say the breasts are painful to touch. You should see a doctor immediately if there is pain in one or both breasts or if there is liquid being discharged from either one or both.
Gynecomastia is caused by hormonal imbalance. To be more specific, your estrogen levels go up and your testosterone goes down.
You have a small amount of estrogen in your body – all men do – but under certain circumstances and conditions, an imbalance results.
Estrogen is responsible for producing female characteristics inasmuch as testosterone is responsible for the male traits. When your estrogen level suddenly goes up it triggers the swelling of the breasts.
Testosterone and estrogen are responsible for our sexual characteristics, and that’s why too much estrogen leads to man boobs.
There are also young men who might suffer from this condition due to medication:
If you suspect medication to be the cause of your man boobs, consult your doctor for a change in dosage or an alternative treatment.
Hormonal gynecomastia may also be triggered by other substances especially if they’re abused.
Be careful when using essential oils as these substances have been proved to impact man's hormones in a way that increase a risk of developing moobs.
Chief among these is alcohol, but there are also other drugs that cause gynecomastia such as heroin, amphetamine, methadone and marijuana.
There are certain medical conditions apart from hormonal imbalance that might result in gynecomastia.
Male breast growth can occur during adolescence, but it can also affect those who are older.
The risk increases if you use androgens or anabolic steroids.
It might seem odd for anabolic steroids – substances that promote muscle growth – to cause gynecomastia. However, all anabolic steroids reduce testosterone production so you’re at risk.
We had already mentioned that Klinefelter syndrome is one of the causes of male breast swelling.
However, it’s not the only one as kidney disease, hormonally active tumors and thyroid problems also make you more vulnerable.
While there are several risk factors, no serious complications arise from it. There are a few instances wherein the swollen breasts feel tender, painful or have a discharge.
Often though there are no complications except for the psychological and emotional distress caused by enlarged breasts.
Your doctor will start by asking questions about your health, medical history and any medications you are taking or have used recently.
Tests may be conducted such as an assessment of your abdomen and breast tissues. The following procedures may be performed as well:
During the examination your physician may conduct additional tests to check if your unusual male breast development is due to other medical conditions other than gynecomastia. Among the conditions that your doctor will look for are:
There are several ways to treat man boobs, such as natural supplements which reduce the swelling. However if there is pain, the underlying cause must be treated.
As we have mentioned enlargement of the breasts could be traced to cirrhosis, kidney, and liver problems and so on.
It’s important you’re diagnosed so the proper treatment can be administered.
For adolescents who have persistent man boobs, a physician may evaluate the condition every 3 to 6 months to determine if it’s improving or deteriorating.
For the most part, adolescent gynecomastia doesn’t require treatment because it goes away eventually.
Other treatment options include the following:
If you don’t work out regularly, take your time. Don’t force the situation and give your body time to adjust. Start with 15 minutes a day and work it up to 30 minutes.
Even if you’ve got a serious case of man boobs, you’ll be able to overcome it by wearing the right clothes. Here are some suggestions:
These fashion tips are not permanent solutions. But it is something you can do while getting treatment. Because treatment can take a while to achieve results, you can wear these clothes in the meantime. Once your man boobs are gone you can wear anything you want.
Even if there is no physical gynecomastia pain, the emotional and mental anguish can be embarrassing and stressful.
For teenagers it may affect their social life and make them hesitant to establish romantic relationships. They may even be subjected to teasing. The same situation also faced by adults.
If necessary you may seek counseling, as therapy can relieve stress caused by gynecomastia. Getting treatment is also going to help your family and loved ones understand the stress you’re dealing with.
You should also not feel ashamed to talk about it with a health expert because you’re not the only one who is suffering from this condition.
If you have gynecomastia the first thing you should do is visit a doctor.
If it is pseudo-gynecomastia (i.e. due to chest fat), go on a diet, exercise and ask your doctor if there is need for any medication.
If your gynecomastia is due to hormonal imbalance you can use any of the treatments we have listed here.
Even if you don’t have male breast cancer there are other ways you could acquire this condition. While there are a lot of treatment options available there are some preventive steps you can take.
Men with breasts that is larger than average often feel shame and discomfort. However it is a manageable situation as we have shown above.
By understanding what brings it about, you can take steps to get rid of it permanently. It might take time but if you persevere you’ll get the results you want.
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