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The Causes of Gynecomastia

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

GynecomastiaIt’s true…many women want big breasts…but men who are dealing with “man boobs,” or gynecomastia, dread the thought. Occasionally gynecomastia causes a tiny lump under one or both nipples; sometimes it results in large, pendulous breasts. But no matter the way it manifests itself, gynecomastia can be embarrassing and inhibiting. Weight loss may help, but there is a surgical procedure designed to treat gynecomastia – it’s called reduction mammoplasty, and Dr. Buchanan is a specialist.

What causes gynecomastia? Most cases are “idiopathic,” meaning there is no obvious cause. But male breasts can also arise from a variety of factors, including:

Obesity. Being overweight is a problem for guys concerned with the size of their breasts. When extra fat gets deposited on the chest, as it often does, the breasts become larger. Excessive fat also stimulates the body’s production of estrogen, spurring the growth of breast tissue.

Heredity. Some cases of gynecomastia are inherited. One disorder that can cause man boobs is Klinefelter’s Syndrome, in which there is an additional X chromosome in addition to the usual X and Y chromosomes

Puberty. Hormone levels surge at puberty, causing breast tissue to swell in boys as well as in girls. Doctors often recommend “watchful waiting” for gynecomastia that arises during puberty, because many cases go away on their own. But if a young man’s boobs persist for more that a couple of years, they’re unlikely to go away without treatment

Aging. Men often develop man boobs as they age. This is typically the result of hormone imbalances

Drug side effects. Some prescription medications can cause man boobs, including amphetamines, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, antibiotics, and ulcer medications.

Steroids. Male bodybuilders who abuse anabolic steroids sometimes develop breasts. Steroids can be chemically changed into estrogen inside the body, resulting in the growth of breast as well as muscle tissue

Alcohol abuse. Drinking which is severe enough to cause liver disease can alter the way the body metabolizes hormones, resulting in breast enlargement.

Summer is an ideal time to address your gynecomastia concerns. If you have additional questions, call to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Buchanan, today: (828) 526-3783.

Thank you for your business over the years! Dr. Buchanan is closing his practice and the Center For Plastic Surgery's last day open will be January 31, 2023.