While most men aren’t affected by gynecomastia, it isn’t uncommon to see it occur in males of all ages.
Gynecomastia is a term used to describe swelling or enlargement of breast tissue in men or boys, which usually occurs due to a hormonal imbalance.
It can affect both breasts or a single breast. It isn’t uncommon to see gynecomastia occur when males go through normal hormonal changes, like during puberty or as a newborn when levels of estrogen are higher than normal.
Usually gynecomastia goes away by itself and isn’t considered to be a dangerous condition. However, it can be very difficult to cope with and sometimes may cause pain in the chest area.
The most common reason why men seek to reduce the effects of gynecomastia is due to embarrassment.
We know that the major reason why gynecomastia occurs is due to significant changes in hormone levels, specifically testosterone or estrogen.
But why do these hormonal instabilities occur? Let’s go through a few different things that can occur to cause these imbalances.
Natural Hormone Changes
Every male goes through natural hormone changes that can impact their testosterone and estrogen levels.
Both of these hormones are responsible for the development of specific sex characteristics, estrogen for women and testosterone for men.
Muscle mass, hair, and other male traits are controlled by testosterone. Female traits, such as the growth of breasts, are controlled by estrogen.
Many people think that each of these sex hormones is exclusive to its specific sex, but this isn’t true. Both males and females are capable of producing the opposite sex hormone, although typically in very small quantities. In males, if too much estrogen is in the system or too little testosterone is produced, gynecomastia can occur.
However, there are normal hormonal imbalances that occur during certain specific points in males’ lives.
Infants frequently develop gynecomastia because of the excess levels of estrogen that is in their system from their birth mother, although the swollen breast tissue usually goes away within three weeks.
Males who are going through puberty can also develop gynecomastia, in these cases the excess tissue should go away in about six months to two years.
Finally, older men often experience gynecomastia. Usually 1 in 4 men will be affected, and this is generally due to low production of testosterone.
Unfortunately, there are a few types of medications out there that can also cause gynecomastia to occur. Some anti-androgen medications can cause gynecomastia, as these drugs are usually used to treat prostate enlargements and prostate cancer.
Anabolic steroids can do a number on your hormonal balance and throw everything out of whack as well, so stay away from these if you can. Some men who are HIV-positive and are on a strict treatment regimen called highly active antiretroviral therapy can also develop gynecomastia due to some of the drugs used during this treatment.
Medications such as Valium which are designed to treat anxiety can also have a similar effect on male chest size.
Certain antibiotics should also be avoided, as well as some heart medications like digoxin. Pay close attention to any type of medications you take and always consult with your physician about possible side effects.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask if specific medications can be the cause of an existing gynecomastia condition.
Illegal Substances and Alcohol
Extreme use of alcohol can cause gynecomastia to develop. Alcohol abuse can also lead to other major issues, so while gynecomastia might not be a life-threatening condition, there are plenty of other reasons that should be taken into account when alcohol consumptions is in question.
The same can be said for street drugs and illegal substances. Amphetamines, Marijuana, Heroin, and Methadone can all cause gynecomastia to happen, but again this is just one of the conditions that can affect someone who is using these drugs recreationally.
There are many other, far more serious reasons to stop using these drugs as soon as possible.
Various Health Conditions
There are plenty of different health related issue or problems that can result with gynecomastia.
Conditions like hypogonadism are on top of the list of problems that are most likely to cause gynecomastia to occur; they affect your testosterone production, which is the big issue.
But gynecomastia isn’t just linked to irregular problems, it can also occur due to normal aging because of our hormone level changes.
Kidney failure can also lead to gynecomastia, especially those who are treated with regular hemodialysis.
Liver failure can also have the same results due to inability to convert certain compounds into testosterone, which results in lowered testosterone levels leading to gynecomastia.
What Are Some Treatments For Gynecomastia?
When it comes to treating gynecomastia, there are a few different options you have, specifically three.
Each of these solutions has their own set of pros and cons which vary depending on the factors involved.
What you have to do is identify what matters most to you when dealing with gynecomastia. Do you completely want to get rid of your enlarged chest or are you willing to deal with it? Is hiding your gynecomastia an option?
What about the amount of money that you are willing to spend on fixing your gynecomastia condition? You have to understand that all of these questions are different from one person to another.
The final decision is completely up to you and should not be taken lightly. Let’s take a look at some possible treatments and solutions.
Diet and Exercise
One of the best ways to ensure that you are at the best health level possible is to partake in regular exercise and control your diet.
Doing both regularly can help you maintain proper hormone levels, which can help you avoid gynecomastia altogether.
Even if you are going through the standard and commonly accepted moments in life which are known to cause gynecomastia to occur, regular exercise and proper diet can help you get back to normal chest sizes as quick as possible. Either way, there are plenty of other reasons to keep your body in shape.
One of the least expensive ways to non-permanently and immediately hide your gynecomastia condition is by wearing a specific type of a shirt or a vest that will make your enlarged chest less visible.
This is the best solution if you are looking to simply hide the problem and don’t want to take medications or go through surgery to remove the excess breast tissue which is the cause of your enlarged chest.
To be honest, because of how cheap this solution is, we strongly suggest buying at least one compression chest so that you can at least see what you will look like without being effected by gynecomastia.
This will give you a new perspective on your body and let you make further decisions regarding dealing with your gynecomastia problem.
Taking drugs designed to reduce the effects of gynecomastia is also a relatively cheap option.
Many people who don’t want to go under the knife but still want to remove the visible effects of gynecomastia choose this option.
There is no pain and no stiches or scaring involved, simply take pills for an extended amount of time and your gynecomastia will subside over time.
One thing to remember is that it might take some time to get back to your normal chest size and there are also some factors that might make this specific medication less effective. It is always suggested to speak with your doctor in regards to gynecomastia pills.
Unfortunately, sometimes no other solution works and surgery is unavoidable. It is vital to remember that surgery should always be your absolute last option and needs to be considered carefully.
It is the most effective and one of the quickest ways to remove your enlarged breast tissue, but it does require time to heal and can, although very unlikely, cause other complications to occur.
This also happens to be the most expensive options, so you probably will end up having to put quite a bit of money aside to successfully go through with the procedure.
Gynecomastia Review Summary
Gynecomastia is something that can occur normally or it can be a condition that is irregular and needs to be treated.
No matter the reason for why gynecomastia has surfaced in your life, it can be treat with a few different options. You have to determine which is best for you and hopefully the information we provided above is more than enough for you to begin preparing to make that decision.
As always, no matter how well educated or knowledgeable you are, consulting with your medical professional is always your best option. They will be able to determine the primary cause of your gynecomastia. Afterwards, they will be able to suggest the best course of action for you to take. Furthermore, they have the knowledge needed to be able to consult with you on different treatment types that are available to you.
Gynecomastia isn’t a dangerous condition. It is usually considered to be a cosmetic problem and very rarely leads to other problems, but it can be condition which can point to other issue that you should be aware of. Ultimately, everything is completely up to you.