What Causes Gynecomastia?

GynecomastiaMany women want them, but men dread them. Large breasts.
“Man boobs,” technically known as gynecomastia is a problem for an estimated 60% of men. Gynecomastia can cause a tiny lump under one or both nipples or it may manifest in large, pendulous breasts. It can be embarrassing and inhibiting. Weight loss may help, but Dr. Dunkley is a specialist in the surgical procedure designed to treat gynecomastia, reduction mammaplasty.

What causes gynecomastia? Most cases are idiopathic, which means there is no obvious cause. But gynecomastia can also arise from a variety of factors, such as:

  • Puberty. Hormone levels surge at puberty, causing breast tissue to swell in boys as well as in girls. Doctors often recommend “watchful waiting” because many cases go away on their own. But if a young man’s breasts persist for more that a couple of years, they’re unlikely to go away without treatment.
  • Heredity. Some cases of gynecomastia are inherited. One disorder that may be a cause is Klinefelter’s Syndrome, in which there is an additional X chromosome in addition to the usual X and Y chromosomes.
  • Aging. Men often develop enlarged breasts as they age. This is typically the result of hormone imbalances.
  • Obesity. Being overweight is a problem for guys concerned with the size of their breasts. When extra fat often gets deposited on the chest and the breasts become larger. Excessive fat also stimulates the body’s production of estrogen, spurring the growth of breast tissue.
  • Steroids. Bodybuilders who abuse anabolic steroids sometimes develop breasts. Steroids can be chemically changed into estrogen inside the body, resulting in the growth of undesired breasts along with desired muscle tissue.
  • Alcohol abuse. Severe drinking can alter the way the body metabolizes hormones, resulting in breast enlargement.
  • Drug side effects. Some prescription medications can cause gynecomastia, including amphetamines, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, antibiotics, and ulcer medications.

If you have questions about gynecomastia and its treatment, call to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Dunkley, today: (801) 268-2650.

Posted in: Blog, Gynecomastia

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