Gynecomastia (Enlarged Men Breast) Symptoms and Treatment

Gynecomastia is often known as "Enlarged Men Breast". People often misunderstand it as pseudogynecomastia or lipomastia, which deposition of fat in breast area of obese men. Gynecomastia is enlargement of glandular tissue, not the fatty tissue. It is a common disease in men of all age groups and happens due to hormonal imbalance. It occurs on both sides but sometimes it can affect only one side. Enlargement of one side is usually greater than other. Men often face psychological problems due to gynecomastia, as they feel awkward if somebody notices it.

Don't worry if you are going through Puberty
If Gynecomastia happens during infancy and puberty, then it usually disappears on its own within six months to two years. Hormonal changes during infancy and puberty can make it happen, but as the hormone level returns to normal, the enlarged male breasts disappear.

What causes Gynecomastia ?

Imbalance of estrogen and testosterone hormone in men results in Gynecomastia. Estrogen is female hormone, while testosterone is men hormone. If estrogen hormone level rises in men due to some hormonal imbalance then it enlarges glandular tissues in the chest and gives it a rubbery and firm feel of enlarged men breast. Sometimes it can also cause pain in the affected region.
Gynecomastia can occur due to :

  • Some disorders in testes can result in decreased testosterone production, which results in relatively high estrogen level.
  • Testicular cancer can also release such hormones that causes gynecomastia.
  • Sometimes drug abuse is also found responsible for gynecomastia. 
  • Some Medications can also result in gynecomastia, such as anabolic steroids, narcotic drugs, heartburn drugs and anti-anxiety medication. 10 to 25% cases occur due to medication.
  • Eating a lot of soy products can increase estrogen in men causing enlarged men breast.
  • Herbal products like dong quai, lavender and tea tree oil.
  • Diseases like hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver can cause hormonal imbalance which results in gynecomastia.
  • 25% gynecomastia cases occur due to unknown reasons.
Some steroids can also cause Gynecomastia, so don't use them to be bodybuilder. Some sellers are also selling blouses for men to hide their enlarged breast due to this disease.

Gynecomastia Symptoms

  • Male breast enlargement is the most easily visible symptom which can be easily noticed in front of a mirror.
  • Soft, compressible, and mobile chest tissue under the areola of the nipple.
  • It can occur in one or both sides.
  • Increase in the diameter of the areola.
  • Stress is another symptoms, but it usually happens either due to feeling of awkwardness or due to fear of breast cancer.

You must know that 1% of breast cancer cases occur in men and increased estrogen level is also a symptom of breast cancer.

Gynecomastia Treatment

  • Adolescents don't need any particular treatment as it cures on its own within 6 to 18 months.
  • In cases of mild gynecomastia, lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition and regular exercise can cure the condition.
  • If gynecomastia is diagnosed within first two years then some medication to increase testosterone and lower estrogen hormone can be prescribed by doctor.
  • In severe cases surgical removal of glandular breast tissue is done and then further measures are taken to normalize the hormone levels.

Many Health Insurance companies in US deny coverage for surgery of gynecomastia as they consider it as a cosmetic surgery.

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