Gynecomastia is a common condition that causes the development of enlarged breasts in males. Approximately 40% to 60% of males in India suffer from this condition. The occurrence of gynecomastia is so prevalent because most people are not aware of all the things that contribute to the development of male boobs. So, today, our primary focus will be learning about all the things that can lead to gynecomastia.
Things That Contribute to Gynecomastia
The first step to resolve the problem is to identify its causes. There are various factors, such as genetics, age, weight fluctuations, hormonal changes, medications, etc. Primarily, these factors can be categorized into health-related factors, age-related, drug-related factors, and physiological factors.
1. Health-Related Factors
Many health conditions can lead to gynecomastia if they impact the production of male and female hormones in the body. Such conditions include:
- Injury to the testicles affects testosterone production
- Thyroid problems that impact sexual development
- Tumors in lungs, adrenal glands, or pituitary gland
- Obesity increases the production of estrogen
- Kidney failure and liver diseases
- Klinefelter’s Syndrome
There can be other conditions too that may lead to this problem. The best thing would be asking a doctor.
2. Age-Related Factors
Gynecomastia in infants occurs due to the female hormone estrogen that they receive from their mother in the womb. As the child starts to grow, the hormone levels stabilize, and a perfect balance between male and female hormones is established that cures the condition automatically.
During puberty, one-half of the teenagers experience gynecomastia around the age of 13 to 14. Puberty often causes the estrogen levels in males to increase, which results in the development of breast tissues. Fortunately, the condition often resolves without intervention within two years. The problem persists only in 10% of males by the time they reach 17.
After reaching adulthood, men rarely develop enlarged breasts. But as they get older, their reproductive health declines, which reduce the level of testosterone in their body. This leads to hormonal imbalance, which ultimately causes gynecomastia in adults.
Adults that take some kind of medicine or drug on a daily basis are also more at risk of developing gynecomastia. There are different types of medicines that can contribute to gynecomastia, such as:
- Anabolic steroids and androgens
- HIV drugs
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- Heart medications
- Medications used to empty the stomach
- Ulcer medicines
- Some antibiotics
- Cancer treatment
Apart from these medicines, the use of illegal drugs like marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, methadone, etc., can also cause gynecomastia. Even excess use of alcohol can increase the risk of developing man boobs.
4. Dietary Factors
The dietary factors that contribute to gynecomastia involve an inactive lifestyle and the quality of food and drink the individual consumes.
Some foods you eat contain hormones and other chemicals that mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen. Such foods are:
- Processed foods that are full of calories and have excessive sodium, sugars, and preservatives. Along with this, canned foods may contain testosterone-stunting chemicals such as bisphenol A or polycarbonate. Soy products are high in phytoestrogens which is the plant form of human estrogen, and have a similar molecular structure. That’s why it can lead to gynecomastia in males if consumed in excess amounts.
- Eggs & dairy products are packed with chicken and cow estrogen, which is identical to the human variant of the hormone. Hence, you may also develop male boobs if you eat eggs and other dairy products in an excessive amount.
- Beer is another food item that causes enlargement of breast tissues in males. The grains that are used in beer are naturally estrogenic and have empty calories without any nutritional value.
What is the best treatment method for gynecomastia?
Now that we know about most of the factors that contribute to gynecomastia development, let’s understand how it can be treated.
The correct method of treatment is determined after proper diagnosis. If the condition is caused by medicines, the easiest solution will be stopping the medicine. The doctor will prescribe some alternative medications to reverse the effects. It is most likely that the problem will resolve on its own after some time. The same can be done for physiological factors.
However, there is a possibility that the problem won’t get resolved over time, even after switching medicines or quitting the foods that cause gynecomastia. In addition, the underlying conditions that caused gynecomastia may also need surgical intervention to treat the condition.
The two of the best treatment methods for gynecomastia are:
- Liposuction involves using a cannula to extract the fat tissues in the breasts.
- Gland excision is another technique that involves using a scalpel to remove the excess glandular tissues.
For better results, most gynecomastia doctors use a combination of these two methods. In some cases, hormone therapy can also be used to treat the condition. It involves injecting the patient with testosterone hormone to create a balance with the high estrogen levels.
The Bottom Line
Here, we have gathered information on the factors that contribute to gynecomastia and the best methods of treatment. In India, Pristyn Care offers the best Gynecomastia treatment in Bangalore and other metro cities.
If you are noticing signs that your breast size is growing all of a sudden, make sure that you get in touch with a gynecomastia doctor nearby and consult him/her. The doctor will determine the right course of treatment according to the severity of the condition.