Supposedly, women are the ones who get caught up worrying about how their breasts should look like. However, it seems that men do so these days, too. A condition called gynecomastia is defined as the development of male breasts. Large breasts can be an asset to most women, but large breasts in men only causes embarrassment and shame especially when they are noticeable in public. But what exactly causes this condition?
Natural hormone changes
Certain hormones affect the bodily processes in both men and women. The ones that maintain the sex characteristics of both genders are testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone is responsible for the male traits, which includes the body hair and muscle mass; while estrogen dominates the female traits, which includes the development of one’s breasts.
Some people may think that estrogen is only found in women, but men actually have it as well yet only in little amounts. When the estrogen levels in a man becomes too high than his testosterone levels, gynecomastia may develop.
The abnormal enlargement of male breasts can also be caused by certain medications, including:
- Anabolic androgens and steroids
- Anti-anxiety medications like Valium
- Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments
- Medications for the heart, like Lanoxin and calcium channel blockers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- AIDS medications
Some medical conditions may also affect the balance of one’s hormones inside the body, thereby causing gynecomastia. These include:
- Aging. When people age, hormonal changes occur.
- Tumors. Tumors that grow around the adrenal glands, pituitary glands, and the testes can alter the hormonal balance in both males and females.
- Hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland, which produces the hormone called thyroxine, becomes affected in this health condition.
- Kidney failure. Due to hormonal changes brought by regular hemodialysis treatments, about half of the patients with this condition are more likely to experience gynecomastia.
- Malnutrition. When the body lacks adequate nutrients, testosterone levels tend to drop while estrogen remains constant in amount. The hormonal imbalance this brings may cause gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia treatment in Salt Lake City
If you are concerned with the size of your breasts, it is best that you seek gynecomastia treatment right away. Board-certified Salt Lake City plastic surgeon Dr. Yates can get rid of excess breast tissue through liposuction, excision, or both.