Hello all: I'm 39 and recently (about two months ago) came down with a case of mild-to-moderate gynecomastia. I'm pretty sure it came from a brief treatment for hair loss with a traditional chinese medicine practitioner - who said nothing about potential side effects, btw.
I'm really frustrated because I only took the herbal supplements for four or five days (and not even at the full dose), plus a few direct applications of some kind of hair oil. Not to mention the fact that I went to a respected TCM practitioner to avoid the side effects that can accompany mainstream medications. My guess is that the supplements and/or oil had some estrogenic properties.
Anyway, my question is, am I realistically looking at surgery as the best option for dealing with this (say, six months or more from now)? Is there still a chance that my body will go back to normal within the next 6-12 months? My condition doesn't seem to have improved much, if at all, since the problem started, so I'm feeling pessimistic at this point...
There are many Drugs and Medications that can Cause Gynecomastia
. The problem with your premise over herbal options is that it is not the manufacturing process causing the body's response, but the medication itself. I gained awesome respect for Chinese Herbal Medications during my time in China learning and teaching Plastic Surgery. Herbs are just another source of potentially powerful medications. The problem is that potency is harder to control unless the herbalist is familiar with the specific source. The best I learned maintained their own gardens to have the greatest predictability.
No matter what the source of causing gynecomastia, gland swelling can resolve. If it does, being patient with total resolution is much better than even the best surgeon's scar. Once symptoms resolve and glands stop shrinking, what is left usually does not go away. The timing is just too variable to give a specific time frame. I have seen men who had their delicate hormone axis messed up with something they stopped years before with continued breast growth. It can take active intervention by an experienced Endocrinologist to restore the axis.
This is a similar situation as adolescent gynecomastia. In so many cases, subtle problems such as Puffy Nipple Gynecomastia
still swollen from the imbalance of hormones can completely resolve itself without surgery. In that situation, what has not gone away by 2 years usually does not. A single short application of medications is different from the changes of puberty in that the insult is often more time specific. But each situation is best assessed before giving a time schedule for resolution.
Hope this helps,
Michael Bermant, MDLearn More About Gynecomastia and Male Breast Reduction