Men with large breasts have been considered less masculine for years. Many think that this condition, known as gynecomastia, is due to being overweight but it is actually a condition that can develop under many circumstances unrelated to overall physical fitness. Men who have this issue have been harassed and live with the embarrassment of gynecomastia every day. Thankfully there are many ways for men to rid themselves of their breast issues. Let’s start with what gynecomastia actually is.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes an increase in breast tissue in men. Men who have normal amounts of breast tissue will have unnoticeable breast glands since they tend to lie underdeveloped during their lifetime. Many people who have not experienced it believe this condition is due to extra fat around the nipples or just being overweight. Because gynecomastia increases the tissue in the breast, it may have very little affect if one tries to work out or exercise to get rid of it.
What Are The Health Risks?
Good news is there are hardly any serious problems created by gynecomastia. Most people who have this condition will experience pain or soreness, but that is the true extent of pain and health issues that come along with gynecomastia.
Most often boys with this issue are made fun of or feel embarrassed about their appearance. A study done by the Boston Children’s Hospital shows that patients with this condition had lower scores overall; on standard quality of life tests and physical health assessments. Because there is such a stigma in today’s society to look a certain way, boys and men find that it is often hard to cope with gynecomastia. Many will choose to get rid of their gynecomastia through surgery or treatments if it continues to persist.
How Do You Develop Gynecomastia?
There are many causes that can lead to gynecomastia at every age of a man’s life. From very early on, even newborns can develop this condition. The Mayo Clinic says that over half of newborn infants are born with gynecomastia. Infants who have gynecomastia usually have offset levels of estrogen from their mother and eventually it will go away after two or three weeks go by.
Another cause of temporary gynecomastia starts at puberty. Again, hormone levels will be offset by a boy’s changing body. Unfortunately, this kind of breast enlargement in this phase of boy’s life can take up to two years to go away. This is a relatively common condition that most boys going through puberty will experience some time during their puberty years as their bodies begin to grow and change immensely. It is said that only 8% of boys will continue to have signs of gynecomastia after their puberty years. The remaining 92% of boys will experience this process in puberty and grow out of it fairly quickly without ever having symptoms again.
In men, gynecomastia becomes more common as aging progresses. As men grow older, their testosterone levels start to falter. When this occurs, estrogen levels may become higher than testosterone levels which will lead to an increase in breast tissue even at a very old age. Mayo Clinic says the peak years for gynecomastia to occur in older men are between 50 and 69 years of age.
Medications and Every Day Products:
It is said up to 10 to 20 percent of gynecomastia patients could have developed their condition through the medications they have been taking throughout their life. Different kinds of medicinal treatments that range from HIV treatments to antibiotics could be a cause of gynecomastia in all ages of boys and men.
Not only is medicine a contributing factor to developing gynecomastia, but using skin care products, shampoos, and more that contain tea tree and lavender oils could lead to this condition. Because these plants also have estrogens, their hormones can have an effect on the body’s hormonal balance and contribute to developing excess estrogen.
How Do I Know If I Have This?
There are a few symptoms that can alert you of your gynecomastia if you did not know you had it before.
- Swollen breast tissue
- Tenderness of breasts
But when do you know if you need to see a doctor about your condition?
- Discharge from one or both breasts
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, in one or both breasts, it is best to see a doctor about your developing condition.
How Can I Treat My Gynecomastia?
There are many treatments for gynecomastia today. Even for someone who has a severe case of gynecomastia, there have been great successes with the following treatments depending on the original cause of their condition.
This most intense treatment of gynecomastia is one that is considered a simple and safe procedure by plastic surgeons. There are two different types of surgery that one could undergo to get rid of their excess breast tissue.
A mastectomy is the removal of all breast gland tissue. It is considered to be the less invasive surgery for gynecomastia patients as it is done endoscopically. With only small incisions used to remove the breast tissue, patients undergoing this surgery will have less recovery time comparatively to the second type of surgery.
A liposuction is surgery that removes only the excess breast fat and not the entire breast gland tissue. The surgeon will insert a small tube into the breast fat and remove the excess. This surgery requires excision which will leave scarring around the nipple. The chest, after surgery, will be bruised and swollen. It usually takes about six weeks for post-surgery recovery after liposuction.
If a patient’s gynecomastia is not severe, a doctor may recommend taking medication to reverse their condition. Medications such as tamoxifen and raloxifene are inhibitors that are often used to get rid of excess breast tissue.
For men who are much older, a simple fix to get rid of gynecomastia is taking a testosterone supplement that could reverse the symptoms of this condition. By putting testosterone back into the body, men can see their hormone balance even out and their breast tissue return to normal.
For those who are experiencing gynecomastia because of the medications or products they use, the simplest and best way to get rid of symptoms is to stop using the medicine or product that caused it. By finding another brand or switching to a different regimen, men can see their gynecomastia significantly decrease over time.
Even though exercise is not always helpful to every gynecomastia patient, some who have started seeing symptoms of this condition can stave off excess estrogen production by working out. Studies have shown that overweight people produce more estrogen than healthy and fit individuals. If a gynecomastia patient is considered overweight, working out could help eliminate some, if not all, of their symptoms depending on their original cause and type of gynecomastia.
In recent years there have been many over-the-counter supplements/nutrients for gynecomastia treatment, including popular breast reduction pills like Gynexerol, Gynexin, Gynectrol and the new chest sculpting cream Gynexol. These products generally contain natural ingredients, don’t require any doctor prescriptions, and are easy to buy online.
If the gynecomastia is due to low testosterone levels, then taking an effective testosterone-boosting supplement is also a great way to help reverse the condition, and enhance other aspects of your overall health as well.
Gynecomastia Does Not Define You
Those struggling with gynecomastia symptoms should not feel defined by their condition. The psychological effects of gynecomastia can be devastating to patients who do not know their options or who are afraid to see a doctor. By making an effort to talk to a physician or surgeon, men with gynecomastia can see a change in their daily lives.
There are many treatments and options out there that make living with gynecomastia easier. By finding the originating cause of gynecomastia, boys and men who struggle with their symptoms can easily be treated. With the continual medicinal progress we see today, the treatments for gynecomastia are increasingly less invasive and require far less recovery time making it an easier process for all involved.
At the end of the day, men who have gynecomastia should not be seen for their condition but for the people they are. Society today has placed an unbearable burden on physical appearance. Gynecomastia symptoms may be uncomfortable and easily seen by others, but men who take control of their situation can see decreases in their gynecomastia more quickly than those who are afraid of what people think if they ask for help.
Do not let gynecomastia define your masculinity and talk with your doctor if you have any issues or symptoms. Getting started on a treatment early means getting better results sooner. If you are ready to leave those man boobs behind talk to your doctor today!