C’mon guys, men have breasts too and it’s not solely a ‘girl’ thing. The only difference is that it is smaller, simpler and cannot produce milk. Men take great pride in their chiseled body and take great care to avoid ‘man boobs’ as commonly called. Those with extra tissue around their breast shy away from many activities including swimming. While breast-related complications are rare in men we cannot deny some of the common breast problems that men face in their lives.
Gynecomastia-benign enlargement of the male breast is hated by men across the world. Adolescent males and those in their middle ages are more prone to this condition that can be treated for sure. How many of you are willing to accept that almost half of the male population will experience breast tissue growth anytime during their lifetime? Almost none because most of you are either shy or embarrassed to bring out the skeleton in the closet. But, bringing such cases to the limelight and seeking solution helps in creating awareness and treat more individuals.
Breast Enlargement: Again, an Overweight Issue?
When breasts have a firm or rubbery mass extending from the nipples (mostly both the nipples) it is defined as gynecomastia and the individual has more prominent breasts. This condition is extremely common during adolescence where around 65-70% of boys between the age of 13 and 15 experience breast enlargement (both the breasts are enlarged 75% times). There is no pain or discomfort in most cases but almost 25% men complain of tenderness.
Gynecomastia is mostly due to hormone imbalance or low testosterone levels, certain medical conditions or excess body fat.
Obesity: Ahaa! Overweight can have effects even on the male breast region. Now, maybe there is a reason for men to exercise vigorously and avoid such embarrassment. Excess weight can increase estrogen levels in the body (male hormones are converted into estrogen) and induce growth of breast tissue or sometimes, your overweight can cause the breast tissue to enlarge as well. While losing weight solves the problem in some people not all reap success.
Liver disease and certain medications are said to contribute towards almost 25% of cases of breast enlargement.
Liver disease: Liver helps in breaking down estrogen and any disorder in the liver (such as liver cirrhosis) increases estrogen levels and causes breast enlargement. The enlarged breasts attain normalcy only when the disorder is corrected.
Medication: Certain drugs are responsible for breast enlargement. Very high doses of male hormone too contribute as the body converts certain amount of testosterone into estrogen.
Other less common causes include:
Gynecomastia is common during puberty but goes away on its own in a while, its common in older adults too due to decreased production of testosterone but cannot be categorized as a medical problem. But if there is pain or tenderness in the enlarged area it is better to consult your physician who examines and rules out concerns of malignancies or other hormonal disorders. If the enlargement is due to excess fat weight loss is the best option for reducing this enlargement. Choose a weight loss program depending on your requirement with the help of expert dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com. Though the doctor rules out any complications yet the enlargement continues for more than 12 months it is recommended that you go for surgical removal of the excess breast tissue. But if the individual is unbothered about his physical beauty surgery becomes unnecessary in this regard. So, hope this article takes off every man’s and boy’s worry about his enlarged breasts and help them move forward in life.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.