Gynecomastia And Klinefelter Syndrome: How Are They Related?
Are you familiar with gynecomastia and Klinefelter syndrome? Did you know that both conditions are related to one another? Klinefelter syndrome results from a male’s low testosterone levels, which lead to gynecomastia or the development of large breasts.
Testosterone, a natural sex hormone, plays a vital role in the body. It helps control libido, bone solidity, muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, and red blood cell and sperm production in men. Furthermore, it is known to control a man’s physical appearance, mood and drive for sex. When the body hormones including testosterone are out of control, gynecomastia then develops.
Both Klinefelter syndrome and gynecomastia are curable. However, dealing with these conditions needs patience and acceptance. Also, it is essential to know and understand each condition’s underlying causes first.
What Is Klinefelter Syndrome?
Klinefelter syndrome is a common chromosomal disorder in males caused by a chromosomal abnormality, wherein there is an extra copy in the X chromosome along the Y chromosome. It is a hereditary condition that affects testicular growth that leads to lower testosterone production.
Furthermore, the potential signs of Klinefelter syndrome are loss of facial hair, body loss, swollen breast tissue, and reduced muscle mass. However, not everyone shows the same signs and symptoms.
What Is Gynecomastia?
On the other hand, gynecomastia is a condition wherein the amount of breast gland tissue in boys and men increases due to a hormonal imbalance between the estrogen and testosterone. In addition, it affects one or both breasts in various ways.
Moreover, this condition is caused by a low reduction of the hormone testosterone in comparison to estrogen. In some cases, it develops when boys reach puberty, and there is a recognizable difference in hormonal activity. This condition needs to be treated, but it may go away on its own for some cases.
Furthermore, the signs and symptoms of gynecomastia are breast tenderness, swollen breast tissue, and nipple discharge in one or both breasts. If these symptoms get worse, consult your doctor.
Adolescent male with gynecomastia
The Causes Of Gynecomastia And Klinefelter Syndrome
The causes of both conditions are as follows:
- Impairment of cells in the testes that builds testosterone
- Swelling or inflammation
- Testicular cancer
- Cancer treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy
- Various diseases affecting a part of the hypothalamus and pituitary of the brain
The Diagnosis For Gynecomastia And Klinefelter Syndrome
In order to diagnose gynecomastia, the doctor will need to review your drug and medical history, along with your medical family tree. In addition, the doctor will have to conduct a physical test to examine your abdomen, genitals, and breast tissues.
Moreover, the initial tests to identify the cause of this condition are:
- Blood test; and
Further testing may include:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans;
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans;
- Testicular ultrasounds; and
- Tissue biopsies
After these tests, the doctor will make sure if your symptoms are indeed caused by gynecomastia and not by other health conditions.
The doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam and ask specific questions about your symptoms and overall health. It includes examining the genital area and chest, tests for reflexes, and evaluating functions and development.
The primary tests for this condition include:
- Hormone testing. It involves urine and blood samples.
- Chromosome analysis. It is also known as karyotype analysis that verifies Klinefelter syndrome. It involves a blood sample to examine the shape and number of chromosomes.
In some cases, Klinefelter syndrome is diagnosed before birth.
The Treatment For Gynecomastia And Klinefelter Syndrome
Gynecomastia is a type of condition that goes away on its own. Hence, it is essential to have a consistent body observation.
There are no proven drugs to treat gynecomastia. However, there are various medical treatments available as listed below:
- Testosterone replacement therapy is effective for older men with low testosterone levels but not adequate for normal testosterone levels.
- Clomiphene is known to treat gynecomastia, which is taken for up to 6 months.
- Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) to alleviate gynecomastia’s breast volume. It is used for painful and severe gynecomastia.
- Danazol is a testosterone derivative that inhibits the testes’ development of estrogen. It prevents the pituitary from secreting LH and FSH, hormones that guide hormones in the sex organs. Furthermore, it is used less than other drugs for gynecomastia.
The treatment for this condition is based on the signs and symptoms of the following:
- Testosterone replacement therapy. It starts at the beginning of puberty to help promote changes that naturally occur during puberty, such as evolving facial and body hair, developing an extensive voice, and increasing muscle mass and sexual desire. Also, it enhances bone density and fracture prevention, as well as behavior and mood.
- Breast tissue removal. Plastic surgeons remove excess breast tissue that grows swollen breasts for men.
- Speech and physical therapy. These therapies are intended for males who have speech, language, and muscle weakness problems.
- Educational evaluation and support. It is helpful for males who have trouble socializing and learning.
- Fertility treatment. A procedure called Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection (ICSI) is used for low sperm output in men.
- Psychological counseling. It assists in resolving men’s emotional problems, including coping with infertility and living with the disease during puberty and early adulthood.
How Do Klinefelter Syndrome And Gynecomastia Affect Men?
Dealing with Klinefelter syndrome and gynecomastia in men is tough, especially in the puberty and adolescence stage. These conditions cause a grave impact on their lives as it gives them psychological distress and emotional problems. Additionally, men with enlarged breast development develops low self-esteem, anxiety, loneliness, tension, restlessness, humiliation, embarrassment, rejection, and worst, depression that may leading to suicide. That is why it is necessary to provide these patients support, counseling, and treatment to help them cope and recover.
Gynecomastia and Klinefelter syndrome are among the most common conditions among men, particularly as they start aging. Dealing with these diseases is challenging and may cause emotional problems and infertility. The good news is there are various treatment options to choose from. Furthermore, discussing your condition with your doctor is the healthiest way to determine your treatment. You may also consult a therapist regarding your disease and other concerns. Just remember that you are not the only one who can cope up with those conditions. Talk to a group of men who have gynecomastia to help you cope with these disorders.
If you want to know more about Klinefelter syndrome and gynecomastia, do visit this site https://www.gynecomastia.org/.
- Enlarged Breasts in Men. (2019, October 2). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gynecomastia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351799
- Singer-Granick, C., Reisler, T., & Granick, M. (2015, December 16). Gynecomsatia and Klinefelter Syndrome. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684628/#:~:text=Klinefelter%20syndrome%20is%20usually%20diagnosed,decreased%20testosterone%20to%20estrad
- Roland, J. (2018, September 2). Low Testosterone and Male Breasts (Gynecomastia). https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/male-breasts-gynecomastia