One of the most common questions that men have, when noticing their breast tissue looks larger than normal, is if weight loss could be the answer. While at first appearance, enlarged male breasts may seem like a sign of obesity, the situation is not necessarily that simple. Working out and losing weight may not restore a smooth, masculine chest. But why not?
The term, pseudogynecomastia, literally means false gynecomastia. It refers to a condition that may look and feel like the gynecomastia that results from excess breast tissue growth, while the actual cause is an accumulation of pectoral fat. Pseudogynecomastia is a confusing term for many men, providing hope that their puffy breasts will successfully retreat with exercise. While it is true that being overweight can affect the appearance of the breasts, losing the extra pounds will not always bring back a flat chest.
Gynecomastia and Weight
Gynecomastia, the appearance of large male breasts, generally results from an imbalance of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. This can be the results of life changes, such as hitting puberty or middle-age, prescription medications, drug use, or illness. While all men have breast tissue under the nipple/areola, normal testosterone levels predominate and keep this tissue from growing. It is the estrogen level that leads to breast growth in women. When the estrogen dominates over testosterone in men, guys will begin to see the formation of excess breast tissue.
It is important to note that in morbidly obese men, the testosterone levels tend to be lower than average, while the estrogen level is on the high side. This lends to the theory that in overweight individuals, more testosterone is converted to estrogen, creating a hormonal imbalance, and making an ideal environment for gynecomastia to occur. Over time, the breast tissue growth that results from higher than normal estrogen levels will create true gynecomastia. This explains why simply losing weight does not always improve the breasts. Dropping weight may actually accentuate the disproportionate size and shape of the breasts, as the excess of fatty tissue elsewhere will no longer camouflage the symptoms of gynecomastia.
Determine the Cause of Your Gynecomastia
As you can tell, it is hard to determine the exact cause of gynecomastia symptoms without the help of an experienced specialist. Only a well-trained surgeon can take into account all of the factors in your unique medical history to determine the trigger for gynecomastia. Enlist the top gynecomastia surgeon in Houston, Dr. Paul Vitenas, to walk you through this perplexing gynecomastia journey. Call our office at 281.668.7370 to schedule a confidential, gynecomastia consultation. At this time, Dr. Vitenas will not only help to pinpoint why the unwanted breasts growth is occurring, but he will create a personalized treatment plan designed to restore a taut, masculine chest.