Gynecomastia is a common condition that occurs as a result of enlarged breast tissue in men. This can be due to an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone and well as weight gain / obesity. The condition can affect one or both breasts.
Gynecomastia can emerge from typical variations in hormone levels in newborns, boys going through puberty, and older men.
Causes of Gynecomastia
Common causes of gynecomastia include:
- Hormone imbalance: The imbalance between sex hormones, testosterone, and estrogen can cause gynecomastia. Breast tissue expands as a result of estrogen. Even though all men make some estrogen, males typically have far higher levels of testosterone, which prevents the estrogen from encouraging the growth of breast tissue.
- Newborn baby boys: Because estrogen passes from the mother to the baby through the placenta, gynecomastia can affect newborn boys.
- Obesity: Being overweight increases levels of estrogen, which will on the other hand cause breast tissue to grow. A person who is overweight is also likely to have excess fat that can enlarge the breast tissue.
- Puberty: During this stage, there are a lot of hormonal variations in boys. Estrogen can promote the growth of breast tissue if the level of testosterone declines. Many adolescent boys have enlarged breasts to varying degrees.
- Older age: Male testosterone production declines with age. Additionally, older men have a tendency to have greater body fats, which may increase the production of estrogen. Breast tissue growth that is excessive can result from these variations in hormone levels.
Other causes of gynecomastia include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Side effects of certain medications
Symptoms of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia in adult males is typically asymptomatic. Signs and symptoms of the condition may include:
- Breast tenderness
- Swollen breast tissue
- Pain, especially in adolescents
- Nipple sensitivity if rubbing against clothes
- Enlarged breasts
Complications of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia has very few physical side effects, but it might result in emotional or psychological issues because of one’s appearance. Therefore, if an individual feels that the enlarged breast tissue are affecting his quality of life both physically or emotionally, it is recommended that they seek medical advice for possible treatment options.
Treatment of Gynecomastia
The following are the major treatment options mostly recommended for gynecomastia:
- Surgery to remove excess breast tissue
- Adjustment of hormone imbalance through medication
However, the doctor can only recommend breast surgery if the patient has had gynecomastia for a long time and hasn’t responded to other treatments and is causing an individual a lot of distress or pain.