Gynecomastia symptoms in teenagers and boys are referred to as adolescent gynecomastia. This type of gynecomastia is normally due to a hormone imbalance caused during puberty. The main symptoms are:
- Tenderness or pain in the chest area.
- Nipple soreness or heightened nipple sensitivity.
- A small lump under the nipple.
Gynecomastia symptoms may occur on one side or both sides, and an increase in breast size may also be asymmetrical. Symptoms may begin as early as age 10, although gynecomastia symptoms commonly start around age 13 and 14. If gynecomastia symptoms do not resolve within two to three years then it is unlikely to resolve and gynecomastia surgery can be performed.
Adult gynecomastia is often referred to as man boobs or moobs and is categorized by an increase in breast glandular tissue and fatty tissue. Consequently, this results in a feminized appearance of the male chest. Gynecomastia symptoms in adults may result from adolescent symptoms that have persisted or can start later. A decrease in testosterone production may begin from age 50 — this is sometimes referred to as male menopause. This is why one in four men will develop gynecomastia symptoms between age 50 and 80.
Gynecomastia symptoms in men can also be a result of steroid use. Anabolic steroids, which can induce gynecomastia symptoms, are most often used without prescription by bodybuilders or athletes. Although the goal is to increase performance, muscle growth, and definition, a side effect known as aromatization can cause symptoms of gynecomastia.
Medication Induced Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia in both adolescents and adults may occur due to certain prescription medications. The most common medications associated with inducing gynecomastia symptoms include those for:
- High blood pressure
- Cancer of the prostate
Other drugs that can cause gynecomastia symptoms include marijuana (cannabis) and heroin.
Pseudogynecomastia is a type of gynecomastia that is not the result of a growth of breast glandular tissue and is instead caused by excess fatty tissue accumulation in the chest area. This can result in similar gynecomastia symptoms to true gynecomastia and cause the appearance of male breasts or “man boobs”.
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