Gynecomastia (Man Boobs) – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Gynecomastia (Man Boobs) – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, commonly referred to as ‘man boobs’, is the abnormal swelling of the breast tissue in men. This condition, typically caused by an imbalance of the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone, can affect one or both breasts disproportionately. Signs and symptoms of gynecomastia include enlarged breast tissue and breast tenderness.

What Causes Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of the male sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. Although estrogen is stereotyped as a female hormone, it plays a very significant role in the male reproductive function.  External factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, certain medications and the use of products that contain low levels of estrogen can cause or contribute to gynecomastia.

How common is Gynecomastia?

Enlarged breast tissues are quite common in infants because of the mother’s estrogen in their system. This typically disappears within weeks. Gynecomastia caused by hormone changes during puberty is also common, and it typically corrects itself within a few months. Gynecomastia is also common in men between the ages of 50 and 80, and is frequently associated with andropause.

How is Gynecomastia Treated? Do I need surgery?

Surgery to correct gynecomastia is often unnecessary. If hormonal imbalance is the cause of the swollen tissue, hormone replacement therapy is often recommended. When optimal hormone levels are achieved, the physical symptoms typically disappear on their own. To learn more about hormone testing and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, contact our hormone clinic.

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