Gynecomastia (guy-nuh-koh-MAS-tee-uh), is swelling of the breast tissue in teen boys or men. It is caused by unevenness of the hormones estrogen and testosterone in the body system.
Gynecomastias can unevenly affect one or both breasts sometimes, and boys going through puberty and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels.
Men and boys with gynecomastia sometimes have breast pain, and gynecomastia may also bring about the feeling of embarrassment. It is important that gynecomastia is distinguished from Pseudogynecomastia or Lipomastia, which refers to the presence of fat deposits in the breast area of obese men. True gynecomastia results from the growth of the glandular, or breast tissue, which is present in very small amounts in men.
The medical community considers gynecomastia as not harmful to the body. Gynecomastia generally does not pose an immediate health risk, since most cases of gynecomastia diagnosed in men do not happen as a result of any severe underlying medical condition. However, very small cases or instances of gynecomastia may be caused by other underlying conditions such as a tumor.
Causes of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia can result from a number of reasons but the main culprit is usually an excess presence of estrogen hormones in men. Boys or men do have some amount of estrogen naturally present in their body. However, when estrogen becomes dominant, men develop feminine features like breast enlargement, as in the case of men with gynecomastia.
There are other causes as well and gynecomastia can also result as a side effect of numerous medications and abuse of drugs such as:
- Herbal drugs like dong quai, tea tree oil, and lavender
- Corticosteroids and anabolic steroids
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Heartburn drugs
- Opioids (narcotic drugs)
- Estrogen (including those in soy products)
Gynecomastia also can sometimes be associated with certain medical conditions and treatments, for example:
- Low testosterone levels
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Chronic kidney failure
Risk Factors in Gynecomastia:
Aging may promote decreases in testosterone production that can cause the problem, and as stated above, taking certain medications may increase the risk of developing gynecomastia.
Diagnosis of Gynecomastia
Diagnosis of gynecomastia is best done by a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of this kind of medical condition. There are also advanced diagnostic tests, like scanning, that can be employed if gynecomastia cannot be confirmed by physical examination alone.
Gynecomastia Treatment Options
Once you have made a proper diagnosis of this medical condition, Gynecomastia, then you should look at all available options to get rid of it. Main factors to consider when selecting treatment options include effectiveness, affordability, and convenience.
Gynecomastia shirts are the cheapest treatment option available. Their advantages are affordability and convenience. However, these shirts are only a temporary option, since once you take them off, the effect is gone. This treatment is recommended if you are looking for a quick fix since you are limited to activities like swimming with your shirt on
These are orally administered products for gynecomastia, and the unique strength of these pills is that they do not require surgery or cuts or staying at the hospital. They only cost a fraction of surgery.
Gynecomastia surgery is an expensive option. It is the most personalized and direct treatment option to get rid of gynecomastia. The gynecomastia surgeon will get rid of unwanted breast tissue and will even shape your chest in the best way possible.
Post Cycle Therapy:
Post Cycle Therapy involves Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM), Aromatise Inhibitor (AI) and a Testosterone Booster. It is a process used by steroid users to prevent and reverse gynecomastia.
Low Testosterone and gynecomastia are common conditions found among men, especially as they advance in age. Many treatment options are available and, unlike some conditions that have no real treatment options, gynecomastia can often be treated, and your quality of life can improve. Discussing treatment options with a health expert, or your doctor can help you take back control of your health and body.
Naturally addressing gynecomastia will depend on controlling or limiting the intake of estrogen-rich foods. Similarly, increasing food items that contain testosterone or promotes testosterone production will also help control gynecomastia.