Print Posted By Admin - Blog Contributor on 11/30/2017 in Category 1

The Truth About Gynecomastia

The Truth About Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia may not be a term that is familiar to you but you have probably heard the term “man boobs”. While that term is thrown around as a joke or as a means of poking fun at someone, the condition itself can actually be attributed to a medical condition.

Though being “out of shape” and overweight can certainly create the appearance that a man has breasts that more resemble those of a woman, it is not true gynecomastia. That condition is often referred to as pseudogynecomastia.  Gynecomastia is actually a disorder that creates those same physical characteristics except that is caused by an imbalance in a male’s hormones. Estrogen levels surpass the testosterone levels and can signal the breasts to grow. The condition can present itself in both breasts or just one, which creates a lopsided effect.

All the dieting and exercise in the world is not going to help a man suffering from gynecomastia. The condition can occur anytime there is a change in hormone levels. For example, newborns can experience gynecomastia as a result of the estrogen from their mothers. In those cases, the condition corrects itself as the infant’s hormones adjust over the weeks following birth. Teens going through puberty also may develop gynecomastia. Again, as in newborns, the condition usually corrects itself but it can take up to two years to do so.

Adult men can develop a hormonal imbalance due to aging or some other unrelated condition. The chances of developing gynecomastia increase dramatically once a man reaches 50 years of age.

Some medications can cause the hormone fluctuation. These include:

  • Prostate medications
  • Anxiety medications
  • Medications used to treat AIDS
  • Antibiotics
  • Ulcer medications
  • Heart medications
  • Alcohol

If you are taking any of these prescription medications and start to develop enlarged breasts, you should speak with your physician immediately to discuss alternative courses of action. Alcohol consumption should be eliminated, if not stopped completely.

Other disorders can also trigger breast enlargement:

  • Overactive thyroids (hyperthyroidism)
  • Organ failure, especially liver or kidney
  • Cirrhosis
  • Aging
  • Tumors

Males who have this condition are not in danger as it is not physically harmful except for some generalized pain in the chest area. The condition, however, can be life-altering. While it’s deemed okay to have big pecs, it’s not okay for a guy to have big boobs.

A man (or boy) dealing with gynecomastia can suffer greatly on a psychological level. The stigma of being a man with breasts can be debilitating. Men are supposed to have six-pack abs and Tarzan chests, not floppy breasts. Being taunted and teased creates overwhelming feelings of inadequateness and leads to paralyzing self-esteem issues.

There is help for those for whom the condition does not resolve itself. Prior to undergoing treatment, a number of tests will be required. Those tests may include ultrasounds, mammograms, CT scans and bloodwork.

Certain breast cancer drugs have found to be beneficial in treating gynecomastia. In cases where the condition is caused by an underlying disease like a thyroid condition, getting that disease under control with medications can resolve the enlarged breast tissue.

In yet other cases, when medications and time have not provided any significant improvement, surgical intervention is an option.

Depending on the amount of tissue involved, there are typically two courses of action. The first option is liposuction. This works just like one would assume – the excess fat is sucked out of the breast area to reduce it.

The second option is more involved and would require a mastectomy. This is the same procedure women undergo for advanced breast cancer issues. The breast tissue is removed entirely. This would be for more severe cases and this option should be seriously weighed by the patient and in-depth consultations with a physician are advised.

If you are plagued with gynecomastia and would like to seek treatment, there is help and there is a solution. Let us help you find it.

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