Having excessive breast tissue is a problem men may find difficult to talk about, however it is an extremely common condition. Known as gynecomastia, large male breasts can develop at any age. Although there are a variety of triggers, many of which stem from a hormonal imbalance, it is not always easy to determine the root of the problem. Take a look at the most common causes of gynecomastia:
- Aging: As men get older, hormone levels shift, which can cause excessive breast tissue to form. After the age of 55, more than 65% of men will develop gynecomastia.
- Alcohol: Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, which in turn will alter the way the body metabolizes hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. This hormonal imbalance can cause growth of man boobs.
- Cancer: Some types of cancer, including that of the testicles and the lungs, will cause male breasts to grow. Even benign tumors, in an area like the pituitary gland, can alter hormones enough to affect breast tissue.
- Medications: A plethora of medications have the side effect of male breast growth. These include amphetamines, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, antibiotics, and ulcer treatments.
- Herbal Treatments: Herbal remedies including tea tree oil or lavender oil – commonly found in shampoos, soaps, and lotions – may affect the development of gynecomastia.
- DNA: Gynecomastia can be inherited from dad or grandpa. Klinefelter’s Syndrome, a genetic condition marked by an additional X chromosome, is passed from one generation to the next – and causes men to have larger than normal breasts.
- Obesity: Being overweight can cause many problems – and one is Gynecomastia. Not only does excess body fat accumulate in the chest – this fat can stimulate the body’s production of estrogen, spurring glandular breast tissue growth, as well.
- Puberty: Just like with the aging male, boys in puberty experience a surge of hormone levels. It is not unusual for male breast growth to fluctuate during puberty, but 75% of these cases will resolve on its own within a year or two.
- Steroids: Anabolic steroids are known to cause large male breasts. Very different from the corticosteroids used to fight inflammation, anabolic steroids chemically change into estrogen inside the body, causing breasts to grow.
- Length of pregnancy: The longer a baby stays in the womb, the more chances he will have enlarged breasts as an infant, the result of exposure to the high levels of mom’s estrogen. This is extremely common, and almost all cases of newborn gynecomastia resolve a few weeks after birth.
Do you or someone you know suffer from enlarged male breasts? If so, contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery to find out more about Gynecomastia treatment. Call our Houston office at 281.668.7370 to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Paul Vitenas.