There’s just as much fact as fiction circulating on the web when it comes to what causes man boob, or gynecomastia.I explain what’s true, and what’s not.

Gynecomastia

While some women fret about having breasts that are too small, some guys worry about having breasts that are too large. Unfortunately, when they look in the mirror, they seem to have less chest and more breast. If you’re unaware, sometimes it’s not about how much (or how little) they’ve been working out, but rather whether or not they have a condition called gynecomastia, colloquially known as man boobs.

Here’s a breakdown of some myths about this you might have read on the internet.

Myth 1: Your beer habit is why you’ve got man boobs

Logically, alcohol contains calories and carbs, so you’d think drinking is why you’re packing man boobs. Ironically though, a review in Current Obesity Reports found drinkers weigh less than teetotallers! Beer connoisseurs who are fans of Indian Pale Ales (IPA) also tend to worry about a condition known to brewers as “Brewer’s Droop”, another name for man boobs. Why? IPAs contain phytoestrogen, a plant-based estrogen hormone- but the fact is the levels in IPAs are too low to cause significant hormonal imbalances.

Myth 2: Chest workouts are the solution to fix gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is caused by hormone imbalance so while exercising is good, it does not resolve the underlying issue at all. As with women, breasts in men are made up of glandular and fatty tissue. Gynecomastia occurs when excess glandular tissue is produced. When an abundance or excess fat is appearing on the chest area, it is known as pseudogynecomastia (fake gynecomastia), and this condition can be treated with liposuction alone.

Myth 3: Gynecomastia is caused by obesity, not male menopause

Contrary to popular misconception, being overweight is not the only cause of gynecomastia. It may be caused by hereditary and ageing as some men experience physical changes as they get older, which can be caused by male menopause or andropause.

The trouble is, too few men understand the condition: according to a survey reported in the South China Morning Post almost 80% of 500 men interviewed aged above 40 had heard about andropause; yet failed on average in answering questions on its treatment and symptoms.

Its link to man boobs? Testosterone production drops during andropause, and the hormonal imbalance could lead to the development of gynecomastia.

Myth 4: Any doctor can perform a gynecomastia surgery

Nope, not every doctor with an M.D can treat your man boobs. Like every medical speciality, it requires a doctor skilled in gynecomastia surgery, and also one about to give you the best advice from years of experience.

You might also have your own vision on what your chest should look like, and it’s utterly important that you do your research on which doctor can help you achieve that.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!