Understanding Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia, sometimes referred to as “man boobs,” is an enlargement of the male breasts due to an imbalance of hormones. Though it is typically a harmless condition, unfortunately, it is one that can be embarrassing for men. The good news is that there are treatments available.

So, why does this happen? The most common cause is an imbalance between the hormones estrogen and testosterone. The male body produces both hormones, though testosterone is typically produced in higher amounts. When there is an imbalance, estrogen is the hormone that becomes dominant and can cause gynecomastia.

Other causes of an estrogen or testosterone imbalance include:

  • Cancer of the testicles, prostate, or adrenal glands
  • Medication side effects
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Hypogonadism (an underactive testicle)
  • Anabolic steroid use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Taking marijuana

In many cases, gynecomastia resolves on its own as the body finds an equilibrium between hormones. However, if the condition persists, there are treatment options. Depending on the cause, these can include lifestyle modifications such as losing weight. Additionally, surgery and medications are available to help reduce symptoms.

No man should have to suffer through feelings of embarrassment or discomfort due to gynecomastia. If you think you may have this condition, talk to your doctor. They can help you diagnose and treat your gynecomastia, helping you to find the relief and confidence you deserve.