For most men, “man boobs” is a term that is tossed around jokingly to poke fun at their friends. While “man boobs” for others isn’t a light hearted joke as it’s an honest, daily struggle that is a large source of insecurity. Gynecomastia surprisingly affects nearly half of all men in the United States for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s a hormonal imbalance, side effects from medication, hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney failure, etc., men across the nation are suffering from this condition.
Gynecomastia can cause low self-esteem, shame, and fear of exposing the chest in social situations for men. This condition can affect anyone from newborns, adolescents, and elderly men. However, gynecomastia is typically a condition that men between the ages of 50-69 suffer with. Nearly 1 in 4 men within this age group suffer from “man boobs”. So, what exactly is causing this imbalance in hormones from men across the age spectrum and how can they get rid of “man boobs”?
What Causes Gynecomastia?
There isn’t one clear-cut answer to this question, but there are a variety of reasons that can attribute to the development of “man boobs” or gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is triggered by a shift in a man’s hormonal balance that leads to an increase in estrogen or decrease in testosterone. So, what can cause this sudden shift in hormones?
· Hereditary disorders – Yes, you can inherit “man boobs”. Klinefelter’s Syndrome is when there is an extra X chromosome which results in XXY chromosomes. Men who suffer from this hereditary disorder are typically sterile and have large breasts.
· Mother’s womb – Infants can suffer from gynecomastia as a direct result of an influx of their mother’s estrogen.
· Aging – As the majority of gynecomastia cases reside with men between the ages of 50-69, it’s obvious that age is a large factor. Simply getting older can cause sudden changes in hormone imbalances, which can result in enlarged breasts.
· Natural hormonal changes – During puberty, it’s common for adolescents to experience a sudden shift in hormones that causes gynecomastia.
· Medications – There are numerous medications that can cause gynecomastia such as valium, antibiotics, ulcer medications, cancer treatments, and much more.
· Severe alcohol drinking – Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can literally alter the way your body metabolizes hormones which can result in “man boobs”.
· Kidney Failure, Malnutrition, Thyroid disorders – All of these conditions can result in the development of enlarged male breasts.
· Steroids – Any anabolic steroids, typically used by bodybuilders, runs the risk of being chemically altered into estrogen which increases breast tissue.
What Can Gynecomastia Be Diagnosed?
Gynecomastia can resolve itself over time, but for persistent cases, there is no known cure for gynecomastia outside of surgical action. However, there are two options that patients can choose between to target their “man boobs” – Liposuction and Gynecomastia surgery. Typically, patients that have minimal fatty tissue will only require liposuction, while others with excessive fatty tissue will require tissue excision surgery.
How Can I Get Rid of Man Boobs (Gynecomastia):
Depending on the amount of fatty tissue present in the patient's chest, liposuction may be the only necessary action. However, men with severe cases of gynecomastia that suffer from excessive tissue and hanging skin, gynecomastia surgery may be the necessary route of action.
Surgery enables Dr. Z to remove more fatty tissue than what is possible with liposuction. However, both liposuction and gynecomastia surgery can be used in conjunction in order to reveal a refined result. Don’t worry, you won’t need to make this decision on your own! Dr. Z will be able to assess your current condition and direct you in the right direction during your consultation.
If you’re suffering from gynecomastia or “man boobs” and want to learn more about your options, schedule a consultation with our board certified plastic surgeon in Orlando, FL. Dr. Z will assess your condition and recommend the next actions to reveal a more confident you.