While not openly discussed, nearly half of men suffer from enlarged breasts. Also known as gynecomastia, this condition is rarely of medical concern, but can cause men to feel extremely self-conscious about their body.
But what really is gynecomastia and what causes so many men to get it? Gynecomastia is a swelling of breast tissue in men that happens when there is an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone in the body. The condition can affect one or both breasts, and sometimes it can do so unevenly.
In many cases, it’s difficult to determine a specific underlying cause, but there are a handful of factors that can contribute to the onset of these unsightly male breasts, including:
Aging and Puberty
Both young boys during puberty and aging adults are susceptible to gynecomastia. As an adolescent in puberty, boys go through many changes—both mentally and physically. The body especially begins to grow and develop, and the flood of testosterone creates an imbalance in hormone levels.
Then, later in life around the 50 or 60-year mark, men’s bodies begin to change again. Many men quickly discover they can’t keep up with the activities and lifestyle they had in the past. Even if you stay active, hormonal imbalances are hard at work—making it very difficult to lose, let alone maintain, weight.
Both these important milestones in a male’s life can result in unwanted excess fat and skin around the pectoral regions.
Drugs and medications
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of medications that can cause men to develop gynecomastia. If you actively take anti-androgens, like Proscar or Aldactone, to treat an enlarged or cancerous prostate, you are at risk of developing enlarged male breasts.
Other prescription medicines and therapies that have been linked to the condition, include:
- Anabolic steroids and androgens
- AIDS and HIV treatments
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- Ulcer medicines
- Heart meds, including calcium channel blockers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
It’s important to note that not all men taking these medications will develop gynecomastia, but rather the risk factor increases.
Regardless of the reason why, a considerable amount of weight gain can cause undue stress on a man’s body. Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose the areas that fat decides to accumulate. In fact, many people experience added fatty tissue in areas they truly didn’t expect. One example of this for men is on the chest. This region is probably one of the last areas that men would expect their fat to accumulate, and the added stress and embarrassment from these enlarged breasts can even further weight gain. A viscous cycle, indeed.
If you suffer from serious health issues, like an overactive thyroid or kidney disease, you know how a hormonal imbalance can affect your body. Other medical conditions that could likely cause gynecomastia include hypogonadism, tumors, liver failure, cirrhosis and malnutrition.
Thankfully, there is a solution to the dreaded “man boobs.” At Advanced Aesthetics, we offer a male breast reduction surgery that effectively removes the excess fatty tissue and sagging skin from the breasts. So long as the underlying cause of gynecomastia is addressed, this procedure allows for a permanently smoother, more masculine contour.
If you find yourself purposely avoiding certain events and buying baggier clothes to hide your breasts, now is the time to take action. Set up a consultation today by calling 770-461-4000, and you’ll be on the path to regained masculinity in no time.