The enlargement of male breast tissue is known as Gynecomastia in medical terms. It is a fairly common problem and is benign. It can affect one or both breasts and can often be an embarrassing situation for males. It may be seen in newborn males, males undergoing puberty or older men.
Gynecomastia is different from pseudogynecomastia or lipomastia, which refers to the presence of fat deposits in the breast area of obese men. True gynecomastia results from growth of the glandular breast tissue, which is present in minor amounts in men- and does not respond to exercise or weight loss.
Gynecomastia results from an imbalance in the hormones in the body, with a relative excess of oestrogens (female hormones) when compared to androgens or testosterone (male hormones).
Certain medications (like antibiotics, anti-anxiety drugs, antacids, Anabolic steroids) health conditions (like thyroid issues, liver failure, renal failure) or intake of certain products (like soy, Street drugs , alcohol,) may also result in this problem.
If the gynecomastia happens during puberty, it may go on its own. However, if it happens later on in life, it mostly requires medical intervention.
After a careful evaluation of the breast, and differentiating between true gynecomastia and lipomastia, you may be advised by your doctor to-
- Try weight loss
- Visit an endocrinologist to get your hormones assessed.
- Treat the underlying cause
And if none of the above work, treatment options, including medication and surgery are explored.
Many men suffer from it and face teasing and the disapproval of peers. The problem of gynecomastia is very common and embarrassing but the good news is that it can easily be corrected. It is highly advisable to reach out to a physician if you or any of your family members suffer from this.