Gynecomastia is the swelling and enlargement of breast tissues in men. Often, this results from an estrogen and testosterone imbalance. Those who have this condition may have equally or unevenly enlarged breasts. Such enlargement is likely to impact men of different ages. While not a serious issue, Gynecomastia largely affects the self-esteem of men who have it. This is the reason it’s important to prevent gynecomastia in bodybuilders. This can be a serious aesthetic issue that makes them feel embarrassed. But, this issue is likely to disappear by itself and if the breasts don’t normalize, there are treatments available to patients.
Natural Hormone Changes and Breast Enlargement
Gynecomastia can take place if estrogen and testosterone levels in the body are not balanced. The drop in testosterone and increase in estrogen triggers this condition. Both hormones are essential for the sexual characteristics of both men and women. Although testosterone is the primary male hormone, estrogen, along with progesterone, is also important for women. Estrogen is responsible for breast enlargement. While a predominantly a female hormone, it is also present in men’s blood in small amounts.
Breast enlargement in infants is caused by the transfer of the mother’s estrogen into the blood of her baby. In general, breast tissue swelling tends to go away within two to three weeks. During puberty, the condition is often caused by a hormonal imbalance that boys go through within this period. But, the breasts will return to its normal size between six months to two years.
Medical Treatments for Breast Enlargement in Men
There are some medications that can induce a hormonal imbalance in the body. They include antiandrogens, anti-anxiety drugs, anabolic steroids and androgens as well as cimetidine. These medications are administered to patients whose Gynecomastia don’t disappear on its own.
However, it is important to note that some medications may also cause gynecomastia. These include antidepressants as well as medications for tuberculosis and high blood pressure. Cardiovascular medicines and antibiotics may also alter hormonal balance in the body. Medicines used for treating prostate cancer which block testosterone effects can result in breast enlargement. Drug abuse, particularly the use of anabolic steroids can also cause this condition.
Associated Medical Conditions
Hormonal imbalance can also happen in people who have various medical conditions. For instance, breast enlargement can also indicate hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, some tumors, liver failure, kidney failure and malnutrition. In fact, even the aging process can cause the condition in senior individuals.