Gynecomastia is the overdevelopment of the breast tissues in men. It generally develops due to over-consumption of steroids and other hormonal medicines. Many adults take steroids without thinking about the side effects on their bodies. Moreover, gynecomastia or male breasts result from hormonal changes and underlying health conditions.
Gynecomastia and steroid usage are related, and you must know the details to tackle overgrown male breasts effectively.
- If there is an increase in the fat around your chest, you may develop temporary gynecomastia. It is also known as pseudogynecomastia but does not affect the glandular tissue.
- You may develop overgrown breast tissues due to hormonal changes if you are a teenage boy or older man. Moreover, newborn boys can also develop this condition.
- Gynecomastia is not a severe health issue. However, you may face challenges while managing this condition. Men and teenage boys with gynecomastia may develop pain in their chest.
- Gynecomastia may get treated on its own. However, if the symptoms persist, you may undergo male breast reduction surgery or take medications.
Gynecomastia may result from hormonal imbalances, weight gain, side effects of certain medications, and genetics. In addition, your breast gets enlarged due to excess fat or excess glandular tissue.
Most men do not feel any symptoms; however, the common signs and symptoms of male breasts include:
- Pain, particularly in adolescents
- Swollen breast tissues
- Breast tenderness
- Nipple sensitivity
These symptoms can be treated through medications or surgery. Many times, it may go away on its own. However, you must consult a doctor if you notice nipple discharge and swelling.
When your body lacks enough testosterone, you may develop gynecomastia. In addition to low testosterone production, your body may produce more oestrogen. These changes may result from:
Natural hormone changes
Your body contains testosterone and oestrogen hormones to control your sexual traits. Testosterone is responsible for body hair and muscle mass and is excessively present in your body. However, oestrogen is also present but in smaller quantities. If there is an imbalance in these hormone levels, you may develop large breasts, also known as male breasts.
Gynecomastia can affect infants, teenage boys, and older adults. Male infants may develop gynecomastia due to the effects of their mother’s oestrogen. After 2-3 weeks of birth, the breast tissues may return to their original size. Hormonal changes during puberty cause changes in the breast tissues of teenage boys. In addition, older adults have higher chances of experiencing gynecomastia between 50-80 years.
Different hormonal medications can cause gynecomastia. For example, certain medicines that lead to enlarged male breasts include anti-androgen medication. These drugs are used to treat enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, and other conditions. Moreover, anabolic steroids and androgens for growth and increased muscle mass can also cause gynecomastia.
Other medicines that may induce breast enlargement in men include:
- AIDS medication
- Anti-anxiety pills
- ADHD medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Ulcer medications
- Cancer drugs
- Heart medications
- Stomach-emptying medications
- Recreational drugs
In addition, substances like alcohol, heroin, marijuana, and methadone can also cause this condition. However, you may take gynaecomastia treatment to manage your health.
Several health conditions can result in gynecomastia. These include:
- Hypogonadism is a condition affecting testosterone production. Pituitary insufficiency and Klinefelter syndrome may cause gynecomastia.
- Hormonal changes during old age may cause gynecomastia.
- Tumours of the testes and adrenal glands can affect the testosterone-producing ability of your body.
- If the thyroid glands start producing too much thyroxine, you may develop gynecomastia.
- If you have undergone kidney dialysis, you may be at risk of developing gynecomastia.
- Liver failure and cirrhosis medications can cause the development of male breasts.
- When your body lacks essential nutrients, you may develop enlarged male breasts.
- If you use tea tree or lavender oil, you may develop gynecomastia. These essential oils have a weak estrogenic activity, so using them as your bath and body oil may cause gynecomastia.
You may undergo treatment for gynecomastia to improve your chest muscles. However, if your chest muscles do not improve after surgery or medications, you may visit an experienced doctor like Dr. Sunil Arora. Dr. Arora is an experienced plastic surgeon based in Jaipur. You may contact him for the treatment for male breasts.
The risk factors for gynecomastia include:
- Older age
- Use of anabolic steroids for improved athletic performance
- Health conditions like liver and kidney disease, thyroid problems, hormonally active tumours, and Klinefelter syndrome
If you leave gynecomastia without treatment, it may hamper your psychological or emotional state.
If you must reduce gynecomastia risk, you need to look at the following factors.
- Do not use drugs like steroids and illicit drugs like heroin and marijuana.
- Do not drink alcohol, especially if you are obese. If you need to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Based on your health and the severity of the condition, you may need to undergo gynecomastia surgery for effective results. For more information, you may call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Sunil Arora.