‘Man boobs’ is a topic that is intriguing to most, but extremely sensitive for those suffering from the condition, known as gynecomastia. If you are one of them, do not worry, there are treatments in place. This article will take you through some of the best ways to treat gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is a condition in which men develop breasts. Normally, all men have breasts; in this condition there is excess tissue growth in the breasts, which gives the appearance of female breasts. It maybe on a single side or it can affect both breasts. Male breasts is more often than not a benign condition and does not cause any physical complications. However, it can lead to serious self-esteem issues and prevent people from leading a normal social life due to embarrassment. Men suffering from it, rarely talk about it and try to camouflage it as far as possible by wearing loose clothes. So, let’s take a look at what exactly causes gynecomastia.
Causes of Gynecomastia
There are several causes of the condition, the major one being hormonal imbalance. When a child is in the womb, estrogen is transferred to the male child and results in a slightly swollen chest, this usually disappears within a few weeks. During puberty, due to hormonal imbalance, most guys develop small breasts and again this disappears after a while. In addition, it develops in men over the age of 50 years, due to decrease in the production of testosterone.
Gynecomastia is caused due to obesity, in many people. It may sometimes be seen as a side effect of some medications and drugs. It is also caused due to the improper functioning of the adrenal gland. People suffering from certain kidney and liver diseases develop male breasts due to the organs’ incapability to dispose off excess estrogen from the body. Klinefelter syndrome, in which men have XXY chromosome, instead of XY also causes men to have female features. Some studies suggest that excessive use of marijuana can trigger the condition, however there are no evidences to prove the same. Gynecomastia symptoms are sometimes seen in bodybuilders after a certain age, when they are less active. There are several other causes of gynecomastia, which are associated with imbalance of hormonal levels.
Ways to Treat Gynecomastia
Before you decide which treatment is most suitable for you, you need to determine whether you have true gynecomastia or pseudo gynecomastia. In true gynecomastia, there is no growth of breast muscles, it is simply fat that is accumulated in the chest area and gives the appearance of breasts. Whereas, in pseudo gynecomastia, there is actual enlargement of the breast tissue. Some of the ways to get rid of male breasts are as follows:
Identify and Treat the Cause
The first thing to do, is figure out the cause of the problem. As we saw, there are many causes of the condition. It can be due to hyperthyroidism, cirrhosis of liver, renal failure and other diseases. Talk to your doctor, he will suggest the necessary tests to identify the underlying cause and suggest a treatment accordingly.
If your condition is a side effect of some medicines that you are having, then you would want to change your medication. Contact your doctor and ask him to give you some other medicines, which will treat your disease without causing any side effects.
If you have pseudo gynecomastia, then it is due to obesity. Plan your own weight loss regime or take help from a dietician. Try to avoid fatty food as far as possible, eat salad, fresh fruits and vegetables. You do not need to starve yourself, just eat healthy. Fitness is of utmost importance if you are looking to get rid of male boobs.
Begin to Exercise
Exercises will not eliminate male boobs completely, but it will definitely help you by giving your chest a more defined look. Try some exercises that are meant specifically for the chest. The simplest one is push ups, it can be done anywhere and is very effective in toning the chest. Other exercises that will help you get a toned chest are bench press, dips, pullovers, dumbbell incline press, chest dips, etc. Take help from a gym instructor and work out regularly to see results. Apart from chest exercises, any other activity such as swimming, cycling or playing a sport will also be very useful to lose overall body weight.
Doctors may sometimes give some medication to correct the hormonal imbalance. The estrogen receptor modulator, tamoxifen, which is used in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, may be used to treat gynecomastia. It is known to be very effective as it reduces the estrogen level in the male body. Inhibitors such as letrozole are also effective. However, they are not universally approved to treat the condition. There are also some herbal supplements available to cure it. Check with your doctor as to which medicine is most suitable for you. Make sure you discuss clearly as to what results you can expect from these medications.
Use Compression Garments
Well, this one is not going to treat the condition. However, if you have decided against treating it and are fine living with it, then you can wear compression garments under your clothes. They will help reduce the appearance of breasts, you can purchase them online or in any medical store. These garments are also useful after surgery, to improve the body contour.
Opt for Surgery
If all fails, then as the last resort, you will have to opt for surgery. There are many types of surgeries that are done to treat gynecomastia. The first one is liposuction, which removes breast fat and not the breast gland tissue. The other surgery is mastectomy in which the breast gland tissue is removed. Along with these surgeries, skin sculpture may be done. However, if the cause of the problem has not been treated, then even after surgery breasts may grow again. Also, surgeries are very expensive and since they are considered a cosmetic surgery, they are mostly not covered under insurance. The surgery will cost you anywhere between $3500 to $7000. After the surgery you will be required to wear a compression vest for about 4-5 weeks, till it completely heals. Discuss all options available with the doctor, before you undergo surgery.
It can be extremely difficult to live with this condition, especially in a society where men are expected to be all macho. Fortunately, treatments are available to treat the condition effectively. As we saw, even without spending a lot of money, you can get rid of male boobs. Once you eliminate the boobs, maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent it from recurring.