Due to our unhealthy lifestyles and a polluted environment, many men and women of today’s generation are victim to hormonal imbalance conditions. Amongst men, hormonal imbalance can lead to a condition called gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes the male breasts to swell. Triggered by an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone, it can affect one or both the breasts, and in some cases, it can affect them unevenly. Young boys going through puberty can develop this condition, as can older men. It does not affect any other functions, but in extreme cases, individuals may feel pain. And in the growing years, those with gynecomastia often feel embarrassed about the condition.
Causes of Gynecomastia
One major trigger for gynecomastia is the decrease in levels of testosterone compared to estrogen. A decrease in testosterone or increase in estrogen can be caused due to various reasons.
Natural Hormonal Changes
Infants: It is a common scenario to see male infants born with large breasts, which is caused due to the effects of a mother’s estrogen. The swollen breast tissue reduces within two to three weeks of birth.
Teenagers: Gynecomastia is seen in young boys at the time of puberty. In most of the cases, the situation is cured without a treatment.
Men between the ages of 50 and 69: The rate of gynecomastia high in men between the ages of 50 and 69. A recent study suggests that one in four men is affected by it.
Medications: Anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, antiandrogens, and a variety of other medications can cause gynecomastia.
Health conditions: Tumors, aging, kidney failure, liver failure, and hyperthyroidism can trigger gynecomastia. In all cases, inconsistent changes in hormones lead to gynecomastia.
Precautions to Take
• Check your prescribed medications – consult your doctor to avoid medications that cause enlargement of breasts.
• Regulate your alcohol consumption.
• Avoid illegal drugs like androgens and steroids.
Symptoms of Gynecomastia
• Enlargement of male breasts
• Presence of tenderness and sensitivity around the male breasts
After conducting blood tests and scans, the doctor can conclude whether or not you have a severe case of gynecomastia. If gynecomastia is caused due to prior health conditions like malnutrition or cirrhosis, special care is required.
Among young boys, if the condition isn’t triggered by known health causes, it is advisable to wait for a period of time. However, if the condition worsens and causes a considerable amount of pain, medications are prescribed. Tamoxifen, raloxifene, and aromatase inhibitors are helpful to reduce the enlarged breasts.
Surgery is used to remove the excess breast tissue. There are two surgeries available:
• Liposuction is used to remove the excess fat from breast but does not affect the breast gland tissue.
• Excision surgery is used to remove the excess breast gland tissue. It is performed with a scalpel through small incisions.
Gynecomastia ameliorates on its own over time in many cases. However, if an individual experiences swelling, pain, tenderness, or any nipple discharge in one or both the breasts, immediate attention is required.
Set Up Your Consultation
During a consultation with Dr. Dev Wali, a board-certified plastic surgeon, you’ll be able to ask questions about male breast reduction surgery and gynecomastia. Set up your consultation – contact us today for an appointment.