What many women want…some men dread. Big breasts.
It is estimated that up to 60% of men suffer from “man boobs,” or gynecomastia. Sometimes gynecomastia causes a tiny lump under one or both nipples; sometimes it results in large, pendulous breasts. Regardless, the condition can be embarrassing and inhibiting. Weight loss may help, but Dr. Silverman is a specialist in the cosmetic surgery designed to treat gynecomastia – reduction mammaplasty.
A great question to ask is what causes man boobs in the first place. Most cases are “idiopathic,” meaning there is no obvious cause. But they can also arise from a variety of factors.
- Growing Older…Men often develop man boobs as they age. This is typically the result of hormone imbalances.
- Alcohol abuse…Drinking which is severe enough to cause liver disease can alter the way the body metabolizes hormones, resulting in breast enlargement.
- 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.
- Drug side effects…Some prescription medications can cause man boobs, including amphetamines, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, antibiotics, and ulcer medications.
- Steroids…Bodybuilders who abuse anabolic steroids sometimes develop breast enlargement. Steroids can be chemically changed into estrogen inside the body, resulting in the growth of breast as well as muscle 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.