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Gynecomastia is not usually considered a serious problem in the medical field, but it can be difficult to deal with because it can be unpleasant and embarrassing to deal with. Along with physical changes, a person with gynecomastia may also suffer from mental health traumas. The issue may resolve without the need for treatment, with a balanced diet and exercising but if it does not, medication or surgery may be suggested. Read on to learn more about the causes and symptoms of gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is a condition that occurs in a male person. It is generally referred to as “man boobs” or “man breasts.” It mostly develops in newborn male babies, teenage boys going through puberty, and men in their older ages. It is an increase in the size of breast gland tissues that changes the appearance of the chest making it seem enlarged and puffy.
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Gynecomastia can affect and cause swelling in one or both breasts, and sometimes unevenly. Here, the chest of a male person may often seem female-like. Although both males and females have breast tissues, these aren’t noticeable in a male person until and unless they’re dealing with a condition that causes their breast tissue to overdevelop and swell like Gynecomastia.
There are plenty of reasons why this condition may develop in a male person. It is generally caused by hormonal fluctuations in the body. The increase in the level of estrogen and a decrease in the level of testosterone may lead to the enlargement of male boobs.
While most people believe that estrogen is only produced by a female, they know that males produce it in small quantities.
Other common causes of Gynecomastia are:
- 1. Obesity, where a person gains excess weight that causes estrogen levels to rise leading to the expansion of breast tissues.
- 2. Side effects of medicines
- 3. Consumption of illegal drugs like cannabis, anabolic steroids, etc.
- 4. Excess consumption of alcohol regularly
- 5. Poor hygiene and a bad diet
- 6. Health conditions like Liver damage and kidney failure
- 7. Infection or tumors in the testicles
Symptoms of Gynecomastia
A person dealing with enlarged male breasts may start to notice various symptoms of gynecomastia in their body, especially the chest area. They may start to notice various symptoms of Gynecomastia like,
The growth of one or both breasts is the most common symptom of gynecomastia. The swollen glandular tissue normally affects both breasts, however, it can also affect just one.
About the nipple, breast growth can be consistent or unequal. It may have a rubbery or stiff texture. The growth may emerge immediately behind the nipple.
When touched, the breast or nipple may be uncomfortable or tender.
A breast bud the size of a quarter or nickel may be present in one or both breasts in boys. These are prevalent in boys during puberty, and they can last up to two years.
It’s critical to distinguish between gynecomastia and male breast cancer. Only one breast is usually impacted when cancer is present, and the tissue is not always hard or firm. Dimpling of the skin, nipple discharge, nipple retraction, and swollen lymph nodes beneath the arms are all signs of cancer.
A breast abscess is another condition that can cause male breast enlargement; however, this is not very common in men. Fever or chills may occur in those who are affected. The swelling may be quite painful and hot to the touch, and the skin around it may appear reddish.
Treatment for Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia normally goes away without treatment, but if the reason is an underlying health problem like liver illness or hypogonadism, the problem must be addressed before the breast symptoms go away. When there is no obvious reason for gynecomastia in teenagers, a doctor may recommend assessments every three to six months to see if symptoms are improving. Treatment may be required if the condition does not improve after two years or if it is causing substantial discomfort or humiliation. An anti-estrogen or an aromatase inhibitor, for example, maybe prescribed to correct the hormone imbalance.
If a patient’s symptoms persist after monitoring or initial treatment, surgery may be recommended. Liposuction may be suggested to remove the fat from the breasts or mastectomy may be recommended to get rid of the breast gland causing the enlargement.
Gynecomastia isn’t usually linked to long-term issues, but those who develop it have a five-fold increased risk of acquiring male breast cancer compared to the general population. This is most likely due to the hormonal changes that induce gynecomastia, which also raise the risk of male breast cancer.
If you’re uncomfortable about the appearance of your chest in public and do not feel comfortable in your skin, don’t be hesitant to talk about your issue openly and talk to your health care provider. To avoid any future complications and the development of other mental and physical health issues, it is advised that you get treatment as soon as you begin to notice the symptoms of gynecomastia.
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