Lately, you noticed some unusual development in your body- the development of woman-like breasts. Yet you are supposed to be a man!
You suddenly realize that your expenses are likely to increase, since you are now considering changing your wardrobe.
You want to look prim and proper, fit and stylish, all in an attempt to hide your “moobs” or “man boobs”, as it is fondly called.
You want to be the ladies’ man and the center of attraction everywhere you go, but all that seems like a mirage now, a mere fantasy.
Then one day, your friends organized a beach party and you were invited, including, Mirabel, your age-long crush. Just for that reason alone, you decided you must go!
On that day, you dressed too gorgeously that you could win any girl’s heart over with all those “swag.”
Mirabel was set to go for swim and she invited you to join her and in a moment of romantic ardor, you had forgotten how you looked like and you agreed. Taking off your clothes, it wasn’t what she expected…
You were speechless and so was she. Helpless and disappointed, you put your clothes back on and decided to leave the party.
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What exactly is Gynecomastia or Man Breast?
Living with male breasts can be totally soul destroying and have far reaching consequences on both moral and general well-being of men.
Gynecomastia (1) is often embarrassing and can lead to teasing, bullying and consequently, depression.
Medically, when a man grows breasts in a way that is abnormal, it is called gynecomastia. This is the growth of breast tissue in men, when high level of estrogen is produced.
It is a common condition that affects teenage boys and older men.
It is a common disorder of the endocrine system in which there is a non-cancerous increase in the size of the male breast tissues.
And it can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Newborns, boys going through puberty and men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels, though other causes also exist.
What are the signs of gynecomastia?
Signs vary from person to person, with a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples, which further develops to more prominent breasts. It can affect one or both breasts.
Sometimes, the breast tissue can be tender or painful, but this isn’t always the case.
How serious is this problem?
Generally, gynecomastia isn't a serious problem, but it can be tough to cope with the condition.
That is, it has psychological effects on men living with it. Men and boys with gynecomastia sometimes have pain in their breasts and may feel embarrassed.
It lowers their self-esteem and affects their social activities like sports, as it may require them to pull of their shirts in public.
Who Is At Risk?
Gynecomastia can affect infants, boys going through puberty and men.
In simple terms, it could begin at birth, and then as you grow older, you could see the signs. Even older men at risk too because as they grow older, they tend to experience low testosterone production.
Gynecomastia in infants
Many male infants are born with enlarged breasts due to the effects of their mother's estrogen. However, this goes away gradually within six months. But sometimes, it takes longer in some babies.
Gynecomastia during puberty
Gynecomastia in boys is usually caused by hormone changes during puberty. It occurs during puberty to mid puberty.
In most cases, the swollen breast tissue will go away without treatment within six months to two years.
Gynecomastia in men
The prevalence of gynecomastia peaks again between the ages of 50 and 80. At least 1 in 4 men in this age group are affected with gynecomastia.
In older men, gynecomastia is caused by declining testosterone levels.
Gynecomastia in bodybuilders and athletes
Generally, gyno in bodybuilders results from the drugs which bodybuilders are taking to increase their testosterone levels such as anabolic steroids.
High dose steroid usages, as well as frequency are factors that could lead to development of gynecomastia.
Causes of Male Breasts
Women are naturally designed to grow breasts and this is made possible by the female hormone known as estrogens. (2)
Although men have some level of estrogen in their system, it is usually insufficient to cause conspicuous breast enlargement because of the presence of the male hormones called androgens.
However, when there is an imbalance in the ratio of the hormones, either by more of one or less of the other, it often results in the male developing breasts.
In simple terms, the causes of gynecomastia in men can be hormone related, a result of medication, lifestyle and diet.
Medications that cause gynecomastia
A number of medications can cause gynecomastia. These include:
Used to treat prostate enlargement, (3) prostate cancer and some other conditions.
Examples include flutamide, finasteride (Proscar, Propecia) and spironolactone (Aldactone), Anabolic steroids and androgens.
- AIDS medications
HIV-positive men who are receiving a treatment regimen called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may develop gynecomastia.
Efavirenz (Sustiva) is more commonly associated with gynecomastia than are other HIV medications.
- Anti-anxiety medications
Anti-anxiety medications, such as diazepam (Valium). Tricyclic antidepressants may also leads to gyno.
Antibiotics and Ulcer medications, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) can also lead to boobs growth.
- Cancer treatment
Chemotherapy and Heart medications, such as digoxin (Lanoxin) and calcium channel blockers may also cause boobs growth in men.
Medications likely to cause gyno
- Exogenous hormones
Drugs such as Oestrogens (4), prednisone (which is associated to male teenagers) are medications that cause gynecomastia in males.
- Gastrointestinal Drugs
Gastrointestinal drugs such as H2 histamine receptor blockers could also lead to the growth of breast in man.
- Antifungal Drugs
Antifungal drugs are likely possible to cause this condition in men, especially due to prolonged oral use. Examples of such are Ketoconazole.
- Cardiovascular drugs
High intake of cardiovascular drugs such as Phytoestrogens or soy-based products, are likely to cause gyno.
- Antihypertensive drugs
Calcium, channel blockers (felodipine, nifedipine and verapamil) are drugs that could enhance the abnormal development of breast in man.
Lifestyle causes of gynecomastia
Lifestyle causes such as the drugs and alcohol Substances ingested could lead to boobs growth in men. These include:
Excessive alcohol drinking can affect your liver and alter the way the body metabolizes hormone, thus leading to breast enlargement.
Studies have shown that the use of marijuana can possibly alter the hormonal balance of men, causing their testosterone levels to decrease.
The men who take marijuana are more likely to experience breast tissue growth when they are done with puberty.
Heroin is another example of a drug-induced cause of this male breast growth.
Methadone has the potential to reduce testosterone levels, which could result in gyneco.
Steroids are mostly used by bodybuilders to enhance their physique and performance.
However, abuse of steroids by bodybuilders can cause breast enlargement.
This is because steroids, when ingested, can be chemically changed into estrogen inside the body, leading to the growth of muscle tissue as well as breast growth- which is a side effect of steroids.
Natural conditions that causes Gynecomastia
The hormone imbalance experienced by men, as they grow older, could result into the development of “man boobs.”
- Hereditary Disorders
Gynecomastia could sometimes be inherited. A common disorder that could be the cause of “man boobs” is klinefelter’s syndrome (5) – a situation in which there is an additional X chromosome in addition to the usual X and Y chromosomes.
Hormone level increases at puberty. Although in many cases, the condition usually goes away on its own. But if it doesn’t go on its own, you should consider various treatment options.
Most times, when you are overweight, you could also develop “male breasts” in the process.
This happens because excess fat is deposited in the chest, thus causing the breasts to grow larger.
Apart from this, excess fat stimulates the production of estrogen in the body, thereby causing the growth of breast tissue.
Health Conditions That May Promote This Condition
Some health conditions can cause increase in male boobs by affecting the normal balance of hormones.
Hypogonadism interfere with normal testosterone production, such as Klinefelter syndrome or pituitary insufficiency, can cause gyno. (6)
Some tumors, such as those involving the testes, adrenal glands (7) or pituitary gland can produce hormones that alter the male-female hormone balance, thereby leading to breast growth in men.
When a man has hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.
- Kidney failure
Men with kidney failure are likely to be subjected to hemodialysis which could alter hormonal balance and further cause gynecomastia.
- Liver failure and cirrhosis
Hormonal fluctuations that are related to liver problems as well as medications taken for cirrhosis are associated with moobs.
- Malnutrition and starvation
When your body is starved or under nourished, testosterone levels drop, but estrogen levels remain constant, causing a hormonal imbalance, causing gyno.
Some cases of gynecomastia are often caused by mild tumors of the pituitary gland known as prolactinoma. (8) Cancer also causes hormonal imbalance that makes you likely to be affected by this condition.
- Herbal products
Plant oils, such as tea tree or lavender, used to make shampoos, soaps or lotions have been associated with gyne. This is probably due to their weak estrogenic activity.
Diagnosis of Gynecomastia
Diagnosis includes physical observation of a patient. Once the symptoms are noticed, you will be evaluated to exclude the risk of breast cancer.
Medical history and physical examination
Diagnosis begins with taking a medical history and doing a detailed physical examination.
You will have to be evaluated to know if one or both breasts are affected.
You will also be required to provide information revealing certain information such as; age, duration of the condition, progression of the swelling, other symptoms and if any drugs are being taken.
Often patients with hormonal problems show up with Gynecomastia affecting both breasts.
Symptoms of decreased libido or erectile dysfunction may point towards low testosterone.
Progression of Gyno
It is important to understand the progression of the growth. The reason is to know whether it is increasing, decreasing or simply remaining the same.
Rapid growth of the breast tissues may point towards an underlying cancer.
There are a host of drugs and medications that may lead to Gynecomastia. Knowledge of these drugs as well as their discontinuation may be important.
If you are condition is found to be drug induced, you would be advised to withdraw from taking such drugs.
However, if the condition reduces once the drug is withdrawn then the cause of the disease has been established.
What are the effects of gynecomastia to the health?
The aftermath of this could lead to low- self-esteem, low sex drive, low self-confidence, depression, embarrassment, anxiety and sometimes could make you feel isolated and alone.
The physical effect, on the other hand, is that it causes you to lose shape and thereby distorting your manliness.
Effects of Man Boobs on the mind and body
Majorly, the effects of “man boobs,” or gynecomastia are such that it can cause physical, psychological and emotional problems in adolescent boys and older men.
- Physical effects of gyno
There are no serious physical effects associated with gyno, but some men may feel breast pain or tenderness as the boobs grow.
- Psychological effect of male breast
The effect of gynecomastia on a man could be psychological. It could be tough to handle, especially for young boys who are just entering puberty.
The stigma resulting from ridicule, harassment and mockery could affect them a great deal.
Psychologically, the effects range from wounded pride and embarrassment, to more severe conditions like depression.
- Emotional effect of gynecomastia
When you notice that you have suddenly developed breasts, it could affect you emotionally.
You panic. You start to worry.
This could make you sad and unhappy, leading to anxiety, withdrawal from certain places, and activities that you would normally be involved in.
The general effect on your developing self-image, sense of manhood and overall well-being man could devastating.
In most cases, you are likely to avoid social engagements and your relationships suffer, especially if you have a romantic relationship.
How to Get Rid Of Man Boobs
Most cases of man boobs regress over time without treatment.
However, if yours is caused by an underlying condition, such as hypogonadism, malnutrition or cirrhosis, it may need treatment.
If you're taking medications that can promote it, your doctor may recommend stopping them or substituting with another medication.
In boys, their doctor may recommend periodic re-evaluations every three to six months to see if the condition improves on its own.
Gynecomastia often disappears without treatment in less than two years. However, treatment may be needed if doesn't improve on its own or if it causes significant pain, tenderness or embarrassment.
There are a few factors you can control that may reduce the risk of this embarrassing male breast condition:
- Avoid using illegal drugs such as steroids and androgens, amphetamines, heroin, and marijuana.
- Avoid alcohol. Don't drink alcohol, or drink in moderation.
- Consult your doctor if you're considering taking any medication.
What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?
Signs and symptoms include:
- Swollen breast gland tissues
- Breast tenderness
- Nipple discharge in one or both breasts
According to mayo clinic, it often goes away without treatment in less than two years.
However, treatment may be necessary if gyno doesn't improve on its own or if it causes significant pain, tenderness or embarrassment.
Natural treatment for Gynecomastia includes the under listed:
Consuming foods rich in Zinc helps in the treatment, especially when it is caused by low testosterone. Zinc increases testosterone naturally.
Low testosterone is one of the causes of gyno. Consume foods that are high in zinc like oysters, fortified breakfast cereal, lobster, cashews, yogurt, raisins and chickpeas.
You can also take zinc supplements, but you must consult your doctor.
- Milk Thistle
If your breast enlargement is caused by liver disease, milk thistle is a very good treatment. Silymarin, which is present in milk thistle, is known to improve liver functioning.
Add 1 tablespoon of crushed milk thistle seeds to 3 cups of water. Heat until boiling, remove from heat and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and add a little honey. Drink this tea 2 times a day for a few weeks.
Milk Thistle can be taken in supplement form. For proper dosage, your doctor should be consulted.
- Passion Flower
Passion flower is recognized as one of the very effective testosterone boosters.
Raising one’s testosterone level in intervals is powerful for the decrease of male breast enlargement. Taking milk thistle will help reduce big boobs in men.
- Tribulus Terrestris
High estrogen levels cause female characteristics in men which can lead to gyno.
The tribulus terrestris herb doesn’t possess the hormone testosterone, but it will raise the luteinizing hormone secreted by your pituitary gland.
This in turn may provoke your gonads to create testosterone.
Plants containing phytoestrogen like Linseed and soy do not raise testosterone quantities, but they are able to reduce estrogen levels in the body.
Apart from reducing the amounts of estrogen, flaxseed and soy have other health benefits which will help to treat the symptoms of gynecomastia.
Adding flax seed oil to your daily diet and replacing dairy milk with soymilk can assist you to reduce your cholesterol levels.
Lower cholesterol levels along with a decline in the intake of animal fat can help you to lose weight throughout your entire body, including your chest.
- Fish and fish oil supplement
Fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel contains omega-3 fatty acid which naturally produces testosterone and reduces estrogen.
Low estrogen count will help you get rid of man boobs on time. Eat fish oil supplements and cold water fish daily to get back your shape.
- Ginger Root Tea
Ginger is a very effective fat burner. Drinking ginger tea daily helps burn excess fat from the body.
Boil some water and add freshly grated ginger to it. Cover and steep it for a couple of minutes.
Strain the solution and sip this lukewarm decoction daily for 3 to 6 months. It increases the metabolism and burns the fat tissues. Read more ideas here.
Diet for Gynecomastia
If your gyno or male breast is a result of your being overweight or obese, a healthy exercise routine and a sensible diet plan are the first things you should be looking at.
When combined together, exercise and diet equals a healthy body and mind and also less fat.
Always limit your calorie intake. Men need around 1200 to 1600 calories a day to function.
Eating within these numbers means you will not gain any more weight. Eating less than this will mean you will lose weight.
Before you eat your food, know its caloric value. This should whip you into shape if you are determined to eat less than your body’s caloric requirements.
You should avoid starchy foods such as rice or even wheat and eat foods rich in protein. Lean meat, poultry, and fish are a good source of protein.
Protein is easier to burn and it also feeds the muscles. This can improve metabolism dramatically while starving the body from starches that are the main culprit of fat deposits in the body.
Reduce your intake of saturated fats and sugars from processed foods. Read full guide about diets that helps here.
Are gynecomastia pills safe? Some pills could have some side effect on your health.
You should consult your doctor for his professional advice when you’re considering the use of pills to treat gynecomastia.
They are much safer when you follow professional counsel, such as a doctor’s.
But if you must buy from a reputable website and manufacturer, and you need to read customers reviews to look for various negative reactions from users. Read more about chest breast pills here.
Exercises for Man Breast in Men
Some men believe that any type of breast enlargement no matter what the underlying matter is can be eliminated with workouts and that notion is false.
Just as there are specific exercises for building muscles in the chest and arms, there are also workouts that are specifically designed to facilitate losing man boobs, especially fat-induced man boobs.
Exercise to lose chest fat works better when your gyno is caused by fat.
So if your breast enlargement has been caused as a result of fat build up or pseudogynecomastia, then workouts will definitely work.
But if the underlying matter is gland growth, medications, medical conditions and not fat, then workouts will not make any difference and in most cases, it will only highlight the chest once fat around the chest is eliminated through workouts.
- Free Weights/Weight Lifting
Weight Lifting is an excellent way to develop chest muscles and get rid of fat buildup in your chest.
Running for 20 minutes every other day or 3 to 4 times a week is a great exercise to shred excess fat in the body.
It doesn’t matter where you are running to. You can run on the open road or on a treadmill, what matters is you get your pulse going and heart rate pumping.
After a month, you may consider increasing the duration to 30 minutes or do 20 minute runs 5 times a week.
Your body and stamina will tell you know how much you can withstand. If you’ve got a treadmill you can use its many adjustable features to give yourself a good workout.
Running, however can be difficult for men with large breasts, so wear comfortable clothes, and if necessary wear supportive clothing for your chest. Don’t forget to wear good running shoes as well.
Interval training involves short, intense exercise alternated with longer, less intense exercise.
An example of interval training would include running intensely for 30 seconds, followed by two to three minutes of less intense jogging or walking.
This type of training helps keep your body burning more calories, even after you are finished working out and it elevates your metabolism to get rid of gynecomastia.
Perform interval training exercises daily to burn excess fat and calories and reduce your big male breasts
Push-ups work to tighten the muscles in your upper chest, burn chest fat and reduce malebreasts.
In addition to this, push-ups get your blood moving and incorporate a good cardio workout.
To perform this workout, Kneel on the floor with your hands positioned a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
Extend your legs behind you so your body forms a straight line and is parallel with the floor. Lower yourself towards the floor until your chest touches the floor, keeping your back straight.
Pause at the bottom then push up through your chest, returning to the starting position.
Once you become proficient and strong enough, have a spotter place a 10-lb weighted plate between your shoulder blades so you are working against some resistance. This workout should be performed regularly to help reduce male boobs.
Rowing is another workout that helps burn fat in the chest as it helps workout the chest muscle.
If you have not done this before, start with a 10 minutes workout, 3 times a week for 2 weeks.
This will help give your body time to get used to it until you develop the strength to row 30 minutes every day.
If you are not in good shape, there is no need to hurry this process, just take your time.
- Boot Camp Courses
To get rid of gynecomastia you may want to consider enrolling in a boot camp course.
There are highly specialized courses offered for men who want to lose weight, specifically in the chest area.
It is important to note that boot camp is intense and physically demanding so it is not for lazy men.
The instructors are mostly trained body builders and some are retired military personnel who have seen combat and are particularly adept to physical training.
How to get rid of gynecomastia naturally?
In addition to proper diet and exercise, you should consider workouts that reduce man boobs or any other weight loss program.
You could stop taking any drugs that cause hormonal imbalance, thus causing hormonal imbalance that causes male boobs condition.
Natural male chest reduction methods like exercise and diet do not have such risks, as associated with gynecomastia surgery. Once you commit to changing your lifestyle, you won’t just lose your man boobs but also be healthier overall.
Some men turn to surgery to get rid of gynecomastia.
Surgery may be in the form of liposuction, a procedure to remove breast fat but not the tissue of the breast gland itself, or mastectomy, a surgical procedure involving the removal of the tissue underneath the breast.
Pros of Male Breast Reduction Surgery
It is an easy and instant way to get rid of the problem, but it has its pros and cons.
One of the biggest benefits of male breast reduction surgery is its permanence. If you suffer from enlargement of the actual glandular tissue in the breast, this tissue is removed so that it will no longer cause your breasts to look larger than they should.
Male breast enlargement due to obesity can still occur, but this is treatable through diet and exercise and with premium pill like Gynectrol.
Although, if you are healthy and in reasonably good shape, then your body should maintain its new configuration permanently. You may not need to undergo surgery.
Other benefits of male’s boobs reduction surgery includes feeling less awkward or embarrassed about social situations in which you would normally remove your shirt.
You can enjoy the pool and the beach again.
In addition, intimate situations will no longer be as intimidating as you have now regained confidence in your body.
Cons of Male Breast Reduction Surgery
For those who have been going through severe emotional and psychological trauma due to gynecomastia, male breast reduction surgery offers few drawbacks.
There are some cons to consider before committing to the surgery, including, cost, possible dissatisfaction with final results, scarring that could cause self-consciousness.
The greatest drawback of male breast reduction surgery is the expense. It can cost several thousand dollars. For many though, the results are well worth the cost.
In most cases, men who undergo breast reduction surgery are pleased with the results, as it helps restore their overall self- esteem and sense of masculinity.
However, it is possible that you will not be completely happy with the final results of the surgery.
As with all plastic surgery procedures, there is the possibility that the surgeon might not remove as much tissue as you prefer, or might even remove too much.
For the best possible results of any plastic surgery, make sure you find a certified plastic surgeon who is experienced with the procedure you wish to pursue.
The following are complications that could arise as an aftermath of undergoing breast reduction surgery in men:
- Sloughing tissue due to a compromised blood supply
- Contour irregularity
- Hematoma or seroma formation
- Permanent numbness in the nipple-areolar area
- Permanent scarring
Most men, who are eager and desire to see immediate results, within a few days, would consider a breast reduction surgery as an option.
While for some others, it could be the last resort, when they consider the side effects and health risks involved.
For men who would consider undergoing surgery as an alternative to any other breast reduction treatment method, surgeries are usually quite expensive.
A standard procedure could cost around $3000 to $5000.
And this does not include doctor’s fees and the cost for whatever medications you have to take during the recovery process.
You could be spending a couple of thousand dollars more, especially since you want to maximize the result of the surgery..
Getting insurance covers
You could get insurance covers for this condition if it is associated with serious life-threatening situations like extreme cancer and tumor.
However, it is unlikely that you stand a chance of getting such covers if you’re not at any potential risk of any serious medical condition, as it would be considered a cosmetic procedure.
How can you cope with the condition?
Coping with this condition could be very embarrassing. However, you could find the few tips below helpful, while considering the most appropriate treatment for your man boobs.
Seek counsel by speaking to your doctor or family relatives. It is very likely that they can resonate more with you.
Read about those who have similar conditions and to learn how they were able to manage it.
You can go online to read about the stories of others who are going through similar situations with you, their challenges and how they have been able to overcome it.
You might not tell everyone, except those you trust. But can keep yourself happy by doing what you love the most, and as such you would be making the most of your life.
How to effectively hide man boobs
Hiding man boobs is often a problem that most men are very worried about, because of the stigma attached to it.
Naturally, a man’s physique often tells a lot on his psychology. It affects a lot about him. It could build up or shatter his confidence because it is normally linked to his masculinity.
Read below to find out how you can hide man boobs effectively without using surgery or pills.
Gynecomastia compression shirts
The use of compression shirts would help you effectively hide your man boobs without resorting to extreme measures.
Compression shirt is worn under your regular clothes, compressing your enlarged breasts and other bulges in your torso.
You can now wear your regular clothes over it, making it uneasy for anyone to know you wore something underneath.
Pros of compression shirt for men
There are many advantages of using a shirt:
- It is the cheapest option, especially when compared to other treatment methods.
- It is an immediate solution that can be considered when it comes to hiding your man boobs.
- It is effective and time saving, since it is readily available and not difficult to find or purchase.
- You don’t have to worry about certain restrictions on how to use it. Unlike, when resorting to diet or pills, as a treatment option. In simple terms, it is easy to use. No restrictions!
- Comparing it with the surgery alternative, it causes no pain and no side effects.
Cons of compression shirt for men
- The results are temporal, unlike when resorting to surgery and gynecomastia pills. You will only enjoy this satisfaction you get from wearing compression shirt as long as you keep wearing them. But once you take it off, you man boobs will appear again. Even though it is temporary, it is one great option to consider.
- You can’t take off your compression shirt in a public place, for instance at a beach. This would restrict your social activities.
How to find Gyno Compression shirts
This is certainly the most effective solution for an instant result when it comes to hiding man boobs.
You don’t need to move a muscle before you can get a compression shirt. With just a click, you’re just right on!
Everything is available online. Simply search the internet for any design and size that will suit your preferences.
You could even read testimonials from people who have tried out certain brands before, read reviews and also see their photos. Then, you can finally make a choice.
Key terms as used in the Article
- Androgen: Male sex hormone.
- Cirrhosis: Diffuse scarring caused by alcohol or chronic hepatitis often leading to liver failure.
- Estrogen: Sex hormone responsible for stimulating female sexual characteristics.
- Thyroid: A gland in the neck which produces thyroxin. Thyroxin regulates the speed of metabolism.
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