Many men across the world suffer from enlarged breasts, which can cause self-consciousness and embarrassment. This condition, called gynecomastia, can be caused by many different factors, including medication. Read on to learn more about how the hair growth medication Finasteride can affect gynecomastia, as well as other medications.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition that is often caused by an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen in males. Certain medications can also cause male breast tissue to become enlarged. This enlarged breast tissue in boys and men can lead to self-consciousness. This condition can occur at different times in a male’s life, including at birth, during puberty, or adulthood.
There are also two types of gynecomastia including true gynecomastia and pseudo gynecomastia. With true gynecomastia, enlarged male breasts are caused by the development of breast tissue. The only solution for true gynecomastia is male breast reduction surgery. Pseudo gynecomastia is caused by an accumulation of fat in the chest area. It can often be reduced with weight loss or liposuction.
Finasteride Induced Gynecomastia
Finasteride is a popular treatment for androgenetic alopecia or male balding. It is given at a dose of 1 mg daily and has a relatively good safety profile. However, Finasteride is associated with gynecomastia in some men with a risk of about 4 to 10 out of every 1,000 users. Gynecomastia induced by Finasteride was often found to affect just one breast but can affect both as well. Some patients began to see gynecomastia symptoms as early as 1-2 weeks after starting this drug, but most noticed changes after a few months. Pain and/or tenderness often occur in those with Finasteride-induced gynecomastia due to the enlargement of breast tissue. For those who stop the drug completely in the early stages of gynecomastia, the condition may be reversed completely. However, if the drug is continued, it can lead to a stage of gynecomastia that can only be corrected with surgery.
Other Drugs that May Cause Gynecomastia
Along with Finasteride, there are also an array of other drugs that can lead to gynecomastia, including the following:
- Heartburn medications: H-2 receptor blockers that are used to treat heartburn and ulcers have some evidence of causing gynecomastia. Cimetidine is a drug in this class that has one of the highest risks.
- Ketoconazole (anti-fungal): The risk for gynecomastia is increased when taking oral Ketoconazole.
- Lavender oil and tea tree oils: These essential oils have been shown to cause an increased risk of gynecomastia in children. Tee tree and lavender oils can be found in lotions, shampoos, and soaps.
- Other drugs: Many other drugs can be linked to gynecomastia, including spironolactone, cimetidine, ketoconazole, hGH, estrogens, hCG, anti-androgens, GnRH analogs, and 5-α reductase inhibitors. Other drugs that have been labeled as “probably associated with gynecomastia” include verapamil, risperidone, omeprazole, nifedipine, alkylating agents, HIV medications, anabolic steroids, opioids, and alcohol.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are tired of living with gynecomastia and are seeking professional treatment, please contact Dr. Delgado today at 415-898-4161. Your first step toward treatment will be to schedule a consultation appointment to determine which treatment option is best for you.
Estrogen in Men: Signs and Symptoms
Both men and women possess the same hormones, testosterone, and estrogen. The estrogen levels in women are higher, and the serum testosterone levels in men are higher. As is the case in women, estrogen also plays a significant role in the sexual function of men. There are some medications that may cause an excessive amount of estrogen to be produced in the body.
Your hormone levels can be identified by the results of the test if your estrogen or progesterone levels are too high or too low. In addition, you may also develop low testosterone or low progesterone levels in your body, which may disturb your hormonal imbalance. It is possible for men or women to experience symptoms of menopause associated with high estrogen levels, or even low testosterone levels. Blood tests are often used to determine whether your levels of a particular substance are too high or too low.
Both high and low estrogen levels can cause some long-term complications or indicate that there’s an underlying condition that should be treated. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Estrogen Does a Man Normally Produce?
Estrone and estradiol are the two major types of estrogen in men. Picograms are measured per milliliter (pg/ml). The following summarizes the averages:
There are two types of estrogen: estrone and estradiol
- Prepubescent male, between 16 and 13 picograms
- Pubescent male weighing between 60 and 40 picograms
- Male adult, 10-60 picograms to 10-40 picograms
Here Are Some of The Main Symptoms of High Estrogen Levels
- Problems related to fertility. A key factor in the production of sperm is the hormone estrogen. High estrogen levels have been shown to adversely affect sperm production and, as a consequence, can make it more difficult for women to conceive.
- Gynecomastia in men. Manboobs are an enlargement of the male breast tissue caused by increased estrogen levels in the body. Gynecomastia can be caused by high levels. Breast tissue in this area is abnormally high.
- The condition is known as erectile dysfunction (ED). Having an increase in estrogen can affect the balance of hormones that are essential for obtaining and maintaining an erection. Low testosterone is especially relevant if you are also experiencing slowed growth. Short stature or delayed puberty may also be a consequence of excess estrogen.
- Closure of the epiphysis. It is possible for male adolescents to have short stature when estrogen levels are high.
The following is a list of possible symptoms of high estrogen that may occur in conjunction with other hormone imbalances:
- Reduced sexual activity
- Semen concentration of sperm is reduced
- Feeling fatigued
- Loss of hair on your entire body
- Muscle mass is decreasing
- Reduction in the size of the penis and testicles
- (hot flashes) a sudden feeling of being hot
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Gynecomastia – male breast enlargement
Causes of High Estrogen in Men
Your body is capable of producing a great deal of estrogen, either independently or in conjunction with less testosterone. Some medications and substances can increase estrogen levels, including:
- A type of antibiotic
- There are many different herbs and natural substances, such as ginkgo or ginseng
- Phenothiazines (used to treat mental disorders) are pharmacologically active
You can also inherit high estrogen levels from your parents. A number of health conditions can also lead to an increase in estrogen levels, including:
- Gaining weight under stress or becoming obese
- Liver diseases
- Hypergonadism, for instance, affects hormone balances
Men With Low Estrogen Levels Can Cause Gynecomastia or Enlarged Breasts in Men
Low estrogen levels are not usually a problem for men.
However, you may experience some of the same symptoms if you are deficient in estrogen. It is because estrogen imbalances can occur as a consequence of hypogonadism, a condition in which your body produces fewer hormones than normal.
Hypogonadism decreases levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones, which causes many of the symptoms that have been associated with high estrogen levels.
Causes of Low Estrogen
Low estrogen due to hypogonadism can have a number of possible causes, including:
- Hyperparathyroidism, also known as Addison’s disease
- Testicles that do not descend because of kidney or liver problems
- Radiation exposure
- Surgery on the penis or testicles
- Pituitary gland conditions
- The tuberculous infection
- The condition of being obese
- Loss of weight quickly
- Nutritional deficiencies and lack of vitamins
- The pituitary gland has a tumor on it or close to it
If your doctor suspects that you may have low or high levels of estrogen, they will conduct a laboratory blood test.
Your results should be available within a week. The level of estrogen in your blood is measured in picograms per milliliter (pg/mL). Your doctor will inform you of the next steps after receiving your results.
There is no need to take any action if they appear to be normal. Your doctor will make a recommendation if your levels are too high or too low so that you can achieve a balanced estrogen level.
Managing Estrogen Levels in Men
Here are some of the possible treatments a doctor may recommend to help control your estrogen levels.
Aromatase inhibitors prevent an enzyme known as aromatase from turning androgens or testosterone into estrogen. In spite of this, research indicates that they do not have such a powerful effect.
The medication is not usually prescribed as a treatment, but if clinically indicated, it can help patients reduce their estrogen levels. Anastrozole (Arimidex) or exemestane (Aromasin) can be taken as medications.
Aromatase inhibitors are not as effective for the treatment of gynecomastia as SERMS, but they may have other clinical applications, including those involving breast cancer or boys with short stature. It is also possible to obtain aromatase inhibitors in natural forms, such as wild nettle root, maca, and grapeseed extract. It is important to discuss these natural options with your healthcare provider first.
Low Estrogen Diet
Maintaining a low estrogen level can also be achieved by making dietary changes. Fiber-rich, low-fat diets are best for controlling estrogen levels. The following foods may be included in this type of diet:
- As a result of cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and kale) containing phytochemicals, estrogen is decreased
- Aromatase activity is naturally reduced by mushrooms such as shiitake and portobello
- As well as whole grains, sesame seeds and flaxseeds provide a micronutrient called polyphenols, which is found in many grains, including oats, corn, and rice
- Green tea also contains polyphenols
- Phytochemicals in pomegranates block estrogen production
The consumption of meat treated with synthetic hormones may contain estrogen, so they should be avoided. In addition to the following products, you should also avoid:
- Wraps or containers made of plastic that absorb food
- Paraben-containing shampoos that contain estrogen
Exercise and Fitness to Reduce Gynecomastia
- Maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce your estrogen levels:
- Make a plan to get a physical to check your overall health
- You should exercise for 15 to 30 minutes every day, and gradually increase the amount of time as you become comfortable
- Alternate between cardio and strength training on different days
- Take up regular exercise by joining a gym
Risks of Having High Estrogen as a Grown Adult
High levels of estrogen in a male increase your risk of certain conditions, including:
- Gynecomastia or large male breast tissue
- A diabetic state
- Strokes caused by blood clots
- Breast and prostate cancers are among these cancers.
Having high estrogen levels or having low estrogen levels can both cause various long-term health problems or be a signal that a deeper problem must be addressed.
In case you think you may have abnormal levels of estrogen in your body, you should consult with a gynecomastia doctor as soon as possible.
Can Gynecomastia Go Away?
Gynecomastia often goes away without treatment in less than two years. Treatment may be necessary if gynecomastia doesn’t improve on its own or if it causes significant pain, tenderness, or embarrassment. Enlarged breasts in men can also be psudogynecomastia and exercise and diet can reduce the fatty tissue of the breast to enhance a body changes.
How Do You Make Gynecomastia Go Away?
Gynecomastia is very common among men aged between 50 and 85. Various conditions can result in this condition, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as side effects of medications. It is possible to reduce the amount of breast tissue by treating or managing these underlying health conditions, or by ceasing use of any medications that may be causing gynecomastia. Enlarged breasts in men and boys is a treatable condition and your doctor can guide you in the right direction.
It is possible to undergo male breast reduction surgery if gynecomastia does not resolve on its own. In addition to or instead of surgery, hormone therapy, or other medication, men who are willing to wear compression shirts can reduce the appearance of gynecomastia.
Losing weight may help to improve the condition of breast tissue resulting from the growth of fat (pseudogynecomastia). Pseudo-gynecomastia can sometimes be treated with liposuction in order to remove excess fat.
Does Testosterone Reduce Gynecomastia?
You should also consider treating low T in addition to gynecomastia. Age is associated with a decline in testosterone levels in men. It is for this reason that many older men seek testosterone replacement therapy. There are a number of treatment options available:
- Gels for the skin
- A patch
- The injection of drugs
The results of testosterone replacement therapy are usually noticeable in men. The following often improves for them:
- Intense sexual desire
- An erection
- The act of sleeping
- Mass of muscle
Additionally, their outlook and mood may improve as a result of the treatment. Gynecomastia can be resolved with testosterone replacement therapy in men who have low testosterone levels.
Can Gynecomastia Go Away with Exercise?
Is it possible to remove gynecomastia by exercising? The answer is unfortunately no. Patients who make lifestyle changes such as exercising more or eating a healthier diet will find plenty of health benefits, but changes in gynecomastia symptoms are unlikely to occur. The root cause of gynecomastia is not related to weight at all – rather, it is commonly caused by hormones that cause male breast tissue to grow. This is an important distinction between gynecomastia breast gland tissue and pseudogynecomastia, which is a similar condition. Unlike gynecomastia, which is caused by a number of factors, including hormones and specific medical conditions, pseudogynecomastia is only caused by obesity.
Most patients lack good information regarding whether they suffer from gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia, and without this knowledge, it is harder to determine how to treat their gynecomastia condition. There are several ways to distinguish between, despite the fact gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia that their primary symptom is the appearance of the breasts. Consulting a gynecomastia doctor can help in the diagnosis.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is male breast enlargement when the breast gland tissue swells. Gynecomastia is caused when the male estrogen level is too high in relation to the testosterone level. The hormonal balance is tipped to the development of a female-like breast on a man. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts.
What Causes Gynecomastia Breast Gland Tissue?
Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance between the male hormone testosterone and estrogen that controls female traits. Testosterone causes the development of male traits like body hair and muscle mass. Estrogen controls female characteristics like breast development. However, both sexes have an amount of the opposite hormone. When the balance of these hormones is “off,” different sex characteristics can develop. In the case of men, when the male estrogen level is too elevated or out of balance with testosterone levels, then Gynecomastia, aka man boobs, can develop.
Gynecomastia develops three times in a male’s life.
These time frames are when gynecomastia develops:
- Immediately after birth. Newborn males are still carrying extra estrogen from their mothers during development. Over fifty percent of males are born with enlarging breasts; however, this usually resolves in a few weeks after birth.
- During puberty or pubertal gynecomastia. Estrogen and testosterone levels change drastically during puberty. This occurs during 12-14 years of age. As much as 70 percent of young men develop Gynecomastia during this time. But, the male breast enlargement usually goes away between 6 months and two years. In about 25% of males, gynecomastia does not resolve completely.
- Midlife. Male breast enlargement usually peaks in men between the age of 50 and 80 years of age. Gynecomastia is due to the drop in testosterone levels, aka “low-T.” At this age. Over 65 percent of men are affected. During this time, breast cancer can develop at a rate of less than 1 percent.
There are other less common causes of Gynecomastia, but to mention, the most common are:
- Pseudogynecomastia or “fake gynecomastia” is due to being overweight, and weight loss can dramatically help this condition. The enlarged male breasts are due to fatty tissue and not glandular tissue.
- Drug-induced gynecomastia caused by anabolic steroids to enhance athletic performance. Gynecomastia caused by anabolic steroids is the second most common cause.
- Medications like Finasteride for enlarged prostate/prostate cancer or hair loss, to name a few.
- Medical conditions like tumors in the adrenal glands or testicles, liver disease, or hypogonadism, to name a few.
How is Gynecomastia Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Gynecomastia is based on physical examination, physical symptoms, medical history, and medication review.
Gynecomastia symptoms include breast(s) that may be painful with tenderness and often have a disc shape rubbery tissue that can be easily felt. This tissue is located directly underneath the nipple and mobile within the breast tissue.
Your physician will evaluate your medical history to determine the cause of the Gynecomastia. He will review your supplements, medications, and herbal products. Your doctor will also review your medical history and order the appropriate blood tests to determine if other diseases or medical conditions are the cause of your Gynecomastia.
There are a variety of breast imaging tests that may be used, a mammogram or breast ultrasound to evaluate male breast tissue. These tests are usually ordered to evaluate breast cancer. Your physician may order a blood test like a hormone panel to check for any hormonal changes.
What Is The Treatment for Gynecomastia Breast Tissue?
Treatment for enlarged breasts in men is recommended when there is breast tenderness and discomfort or an aesthetic or cosmetic issue. If a medical illness is causing Gynecomastia, a prescribed medication may need to be given. Gynecomastia usually affects both breasts but can affect one or both breasts.
At times, medicine is the cause, and your physician may advise stopping the drug and changing to another. Your doctor may advise going to an endocrinologist( a physician who specializes in hormone-related issues).
Surgery is recommended for patients with severe pain and tenderness or embarrassment. Male breast reduction surgery or gynecomastia surgery is the surgical treatment of choice for breast tissue removal.
Counseling may be needed for men and boys who find it hard to cope with this medical condition. Gynecomastia can be embarrassing, resulting in shame and avoidance of social situations requiring a bare chest( swimming, public shower, locker room, etc.). This can cause a tremendous amount of stress and depression. Discussing this situation with a professional may be helpful.
Other conditions may look like Gynecomastia but are not true Gynecomastia. A few of the most common are listed below.
- Male breast cancer. Cancer of the breast in men is uncommon and occurs in less than 1% of men. It usually affects one breast. The breast is usually no breast pain, and a firm lump may be present which feels attached to the surrounding tissue. The overlying skin may appear indented or dimpled and possible nipple discharge. The lymph nodes may be enlarged.
- Fatty breast tissue or pseudogynecomastia. This is common in overweight men. It is due to fat accumulation in the chest. Gynecomastia is due to breast gland development and not fat.
Male breast reduction surgery is the definitive treatment for gynecomastia. It removes the breast glands permanently.
Can Gynecomastia Go Away on its Own?
In medical terms, gynecomastia refers to enlarged breasts in men. Teenagers going through the puberty process are likely to experience this condition.
Generally speaking, it will disappear on its own by the age of 21 for most young males, and most often two years after it first develops.
Gynecomastia rarely goes away by itself in adult males, no matter how hard they work, how much they exercise, and how much they diet.
Gynecomastia is primarily caused by hormonal imbalance, steroids, marijuana use, and certain prescription medications. One or both breasts may be affected by gynecomastia, and the condition can be uneven. Gynecomastia is a condition that leaves adult men feeling helpless about their condition.
Gynecomastia is curable. In the majority of cases, enlarged breasts in adolescent boys will disappear once they reach adulthood. Exercise and weight loss may be helpful for men with fatty gynecomastia. Typically, gynecomastia is caused by an excess of fibrous breast tissue that cannot be removed by DIY methods.
With male breast reduction surgery, this form of gynecomastia will be removed permanently and completely. A board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in treating gynecomastia should be sought for gynecomastia surgery. Surgery performed by an unqualified surgeon is often associated with high rates of dissatisfaction. Usually, they rely solely on liposuction. Breast tissue will not be removed with this technique.
How Do You Differentiate Between Gynecomastia and Male Breast Cancer?
Among the most important characteristics that differentiate a male with breast cancer from a male with gynecomastia is symmetry. In men with gynecomastia, for example, both breasts are nearly always swollen. In contrast, men who have breast cancer usually find a lump or swelling only in one breast. Also, breast malignancy may show skin changes like skin dimpling or contraction.
What is The Best Treatment for Gynecomastia?
The following are two options to treat gynecomastia with surgery:
- Surgical liposuction. In this surgical procedure, fatty tissue is removed from the breast but not the glandular tissue. This is best used for psueudogynecomastia which is gynecomastia due to excessive fat deposits.
- The procedure of mastectomy. The enlarged breast tissue is removed in this procedure. In many cases, only small incisions are needed for the surgery. There is a shorter recovery period following this less invasive type of surgery.
How Can I Reduce Gynecomastia?
To treat gynecomastia effectively for an immediate and permanent solution to the problem of excess breast tissue and fat gynecomastia surgery or male breast reduction surgery is the solution.
These are some of the more popular methods to reduce gynecomastia:
- Weight loss.
- Exercise and dieting are essential.
- Avoiding the use of steroids or drugs.
- Taking steps to reduce alcohol consumption.
- Receiving hormone treatments.
Does Cannabis cause gynecomastia? The simple answer is not 100% conclusively, but there is a very strong connection.
A man holding a cannabis joint in San Francisco
In simple terms, gynecomastia is the enlargement of male breast tissue and often referred to as man-boobs or moobs for short. Male breast enlargement occurs due to an imbalance in the hormone levels of testosterone and estrogen. When the male hormone testosterone ratio decreases compared to that of the predominantly female hormone estrogen, then the body signals for creating excessive breast tissue in males.
What is the Active Ingredient in Cannabis?
The active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been shown to reduce the level of testosterone in animal studies. The fall in testosterone is due to the effect of this THC in lowering the serum testosterone levels. THC can alter neural transmitters of the hypothalamus or that of CNS neural transmitters. Therefore, there is a reduction in testosterone produced by the testis’ Leydig cells (Harclerode, 1984).
Scientific Articles Investigating, Does Cannabis cause Man-boobs?
Although animal studies have shown an association, studies in humans have not conclusively demonstrated that Pot causes gynecomastia. A clinical study conducted on U.S. army soldiers found no significant difference between cannabis users and controls (Cates & Pope, 1977).
In another human study, 1215 healthy men Dutchmen between the ages of 18 and 28 were evaluated for Pot induced gynecomastia between 2008 to 2012. The study showed that regular marijuana users had a reduced sperm concentration by 52%, and total sperm count by 55% (Gundersen, et al, 2015).
Cuhaci et al. (2014) has shown that cannabis use can lead to the development of male breast tissue or gynecomastia; however, the mechanism by which it happens is not very clear. Nordt & DiVasta (2008) have shown that it is essential to inquire if they have a history of illegal drug usage when examining adolescents with gynecomastia.
Clinical Observation by Man-boobs Specialist
Dr. Steven Goldman, a plastic surgeon, has claimed that boys who are regular users of cannabis in their formative years, had a higher probability of developing man boobs later in life (Huffpost, Jan 2014). The transient effect of breast enlargement, which is seen in some boys reaching puberty, can become permanent due to pot use as their testosterone levels are altered by marijuana. Cannabis interferes with the healthy development in teen males, and it can lead to excessive breast tissue even after puberty than others who do not use it. Yet another plastic surgeon from Pennsylvania, Dr. Adrian Lo, who specializes in reducing male breast size, has stated that one-third of his male patients are frequent pot users (Huffpost, Jan 2014). Another gynecomastia specialist, Miguel Delgado, MD, has treated several thousand men with gynecomastia. He has observed a clear connection between Pot usage and gynecomastia. He states that it doesn’t affect all men, in the same way, and that the effect is dose-related or how much cannabis a person smokes. Also, when they start to smoke, rather it is during puberty or later in life.
With the state of Colorado legalized cannabis in 2012, there has been a boom in recreational marijuana. Legalization of Pot has led to an increase in the cases of male enlargement of breasts among 18-year-olds to 35 years olds. The number of plastic surgery cases has seen a jump by 8% in this state due to man-boobs (Grosman Capraro, 2019).
Which States that have Legalized Pot?
The recreational use of Pot or cannabis is legal in 11 states in the United States. The States include Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. So, over time we will see what legalization of Pot has on the increase in gynecomastia cases.
Even though there is not 100% conclusive evidence, it is clear that there is a connection between Pot and man-boobs. We have present scientific articles and clinical observation by gynecomastia experts. We have also presented the spike is gynecomastia cases since Colorado legalized marijuana. More studies are needed, and with 11 States in the U.S. having legalized Pot, we will have more valuable information in the future.
Cates Jr, W., & Pope, J. N. (1977). Gynecomastia and cannabis smoking: a nonassociation among U.S. Army soldiers. The American Journal of Surgery, 134(5), 613-615.
Cuhaci, N., Polat, S. B., Evranos, B., Ersoy, R., & Cakir, B. (2014). Gynecomastia: clinical evaluation and management. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 18(2), 150.
Gundersen, T. D., Jørgensen, N., Andersson, A. M., Bang, A. K., Nordkap, L., Skakkebæk, N. E., … & Jensen, T. K. (2015). Association between use of marijuana and male reproductive hormones and semen quality: a study among 1,215 healthy young men. American journal of epidemiology, 182(6), 473-481.
(Grosman Capraro Plastic Surgery, 2019)https://www.grossmancapraroplasticsurgery.com/blog/can-smoking-weed-give-you-man-boobs
Harclerode, J. (1984). Endocrine effects of marijuana in the male: preclinical studies. NIDA Res. Monogr, 44, 46-64.
Huffpost (Jan 2014) retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/marijuana-man-boobs_n_4392617
Nordt, C. A., & DiVasta, A. D. (2008). Gynecomastia in adolescents. Current opinion in pediatrics, 20(4), 375-382.
Men are creatures of vanity too. So when their chest looks flabby due to excess fat, more often than not, they resort to the Internet for answers. But beware for the search result could be misleading, albeit unintentionally.
Gynecomastia could be a potential cause but bear in mind, it is not so for all cases. Sometimes it is more likely to be “pseudogynecomastia” – a condition brought on by excess fat.
Gynecomastia is mainly caused by hormonal imbalance, which is the result of excess estrogen being produced. Changes surrounding sexual development in teenage boys and health issues such as thyroid problems common among men in their 50s and above are some of the causes of this hormonal imbalance. The side effects of some medications are also potential causes.
There are 4 grades when it comes to classifying gynecomastia. The mildest being a local swelling around the nipple area while the most severe is in the form of a rounded appearance akin to the features of a female breast.
In men, the fat tends to accumulate in the chest and abdomen areas. Fat amassed around the chest area usually results in a puffy or swollen appearance clinically known as lipomastia, adipomastia, or pseudogynecomastia.
When the body produces excess estrogen, the more the likelihood that excess fat will be stored. Fat also causes the body to produce the aromatase enzyme. This enzyme converts testosterone into estrogen and is responsible for slowing down metabolism, which slows down the body’s ability to burn fat – you will lose fat but in a lesser amount. If not addressed, this can lead to more fat being stored, causing an imbalance to the body’s hormone level.
Although it may appear like gynecomastia – pseudogynecomastia is actually the accumulation of excess breast fat. Nonetheless, the term “pseudo” should not be waved off lightly as the condition is a real problem for men.
On the surface, both conditions seem alike in terms of appearance. Gynecomastia, however, is caused by the overdevelopment of glandular tissues. Pseudogynecomastia, on the other hand, is the result of only excess fat accumulated around the chest area.
There are simple self-check methods that one can carry out. For example, if you feel the presence of a firm mound of glandular tissue around the areola area, which is painful to the touch, then chances are you might have gynecomastia. In the case of pseudogynecomastia, the entire chest area is evenly enlarged.
Commonly, an individual can have both gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia.
Treatment for pseudogynecomastia
A fat and weight loss program involving specific exercises and a change in dietary habits may help reduce or relieve pseudogynecomastia to a certain extent. However, to completely eradicate this issue is via clinically proven fat reduction procedure such as VASER Liposuction, which effectively addresses the issue and removes excess fat in the problematic area.
It is important to note that only a doctor via a clinical assessment is able to confirm the condition. Not all doctors can diagnose if a patient may or may not have gynecomastia. It is important to look for a doctor with experience in handling gynecomastia cases to identify.
The cause of “physiologic” adult gynecomastia is not known, and it is likely to be multifactorial. One of the possible factors is the age-related declines in serum testosterone after 30 years of age in males.
The answer to the common question of “Can gynecomastia cause low testosterone?” is that gynecomastia does not cause it, but conversely, it may possibly increase the risk of developing gynecomastia in males.
Does gynecomastia reduce libido?
Low testosterone level reduces libido, not gynecomastia.
Does gynecomastia contribute to low sperm count?
Low testosterone, not gynecomastia is one of the many possible causes of low sperm count.
Does gynecomastia result in erectile dysfunction?
Gynecomastia does not result in erectile dysfunction directly. It is not uncommon for patients who suffer from gynecomastia to have low self-esteem, social phobia, anxiety and even depression. Those psychological issues, if persistent and severe, may cause patients to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
The relationship between low testosterone and gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is a complex process resulting from many hormonal changes in the body. Estrogens strongly stimulate, and androgens, weakly inhibit breast gland growth. The imbalance between estrogen actions relative to androgen action at the level of breast tissue is believed to be the main etiology. Various hypotheses have been put forth to explain the etiology of gynecomastia, including: elevated estrogen levels; lowered free testosterone; abnormal testosterone-to-estrogen ratio; increased peripheral conversion of testosterone to estrogens . However, for most patients, the etiology still remains unclear.
In addition to treating gynecomastia, you may want to treat it
Testosterone levels in men tend to decline with age. Patients with testosterone levels require a thorough medical evaluation. Clinical assessment and lab investigations are required to identify possible underlying causes such as medical illness, lifestyle or ageing factors. If there are underlying causes for this, the patient will be referred for individualized treatment for these causes.
The testosterone levels can be supplemented by hormones prescribed by a doctor. Regular follow up will be required for the patients.