Gynecomastia – enlargement of a man’s breasts, usually due to hormone imbalance
What are Hormones??
Hormones are produced by the endocrine gland present in the brain which acts as chemical channels in our body through the blood flow to various organs. There are number of endocrine glands in our body for instance the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the thymus, the adrenal glands, and the pancreas. Hormones can affect the body and bring in tremendous changes in our body and a small change in hormones is enough to create differences in the bodily appearance and processes. Hormones are produced in both men and women by endocrine glands and sexual organs such as hormones are produced in the testes in males and for females they are produced in the ovaries.
Hormonal imbalance should be treated failing to which it can cause severe medical conditions. Pituitary glands are responsible for growth disorders and require treatment of growth hormone. Increased production of growth hormones can lead to medical condition such as gigantism and acromegaly. Hormonal imbalance can be experienced at different stages of life. During puberty drastic hormonal changes are experienced by both male and female. Hormonal imbalance typically means that the chemical channels through the blood are no more functioning in the right way to balance ones’ lifestyle and health. This kind of dysfunction may be due to an overproduction or due to a decreased production of certain hormones by the endocrine glands.
The enlargement of breast tissue in a male which is benign in nature is called Gynecomastia. This may happens from birth or during the puberty. Sometimes it can occur as a side-effect of certain medications. Decrease in testosterone production in adult males causes gynacomastia. Boys reaching puberty this may occur due to psychological distress and about 75 percent of suchGynecomastia cases resolve in a span of 2 years from the onset of Gynecomastia without any treatment.
Causes of Gynecomastia:
Hormonal factors: Decrease in testosterone production can be one such cause; excessive production of estrogen in males and increased ratio between estrogen and androgen production has resulted to be a cause for about 25 percent of the cases having Gynecomastia. Certain medications can also come with set of side effects which causes hormonal imbalance and causes gynacomastia, it is necessary to consult doctor before taking any kind of medications and also adding any kind of medications. Hyperthyroidism is another such condition where the production of a hormone called thyroxine is excess by the thyroid gland and this affects the levels of sex-hormone binding globulin. Individuals having hyperthyroidism might experience gynacomastia. Getting back to normal thyroid level results is the remedy for resolution of gynacomastia and this may take about few months’ time. Hypogonadism is a condition that influences the normal production of testosterone. Hormonal imbalance syndromes such as Klinefelter syndrome or pituitary insufficiency can also be associated with Gynecomastia condition.
* Infant breast development: Newborn infants both male and female are also susceptible of early breast development as early as within few weeks of birth. This happens in also about 60% to 90% of male infants. In such cases the infant’s fluid called witches milk need to be expressed from the nipples, by doing so the breast development can be stopped.
* Ageing: Hormonal changes that come with aging are considered to be normal. Decrease in testosterone levels with aging causes Gynecomastia. This type of condition is called senile Gynecomastia. It occurs in men between the age group of 60 and 80.
* Medical conditions: Medical conditions such as tumors, kidney failure, cirrhosis and liver failure, and various other medical conditions can cause Gynecomastia. Most often the medications for such ailments come with hormonal imbalance as a side-effect, sometimes ingestion of variety of medications with regards to various health conditions can overlap and cause hormonal imbalance too. It is very necessary to consult a doctor if you notice any such changes in your body and consult doctor before taking any medications which comes with changes in hormones. Cessation of such medications or changing to another medication can often resolve this problem.
* Malnutrition: Inadequate nutrition causes the testosterone level to drop while the liver is unable to degrade the estrogen levels leading to gynacomastia. When in such condition returning back to normal diet also causes gynacomastia but this goes away within 1 or 2 years. Deficiency in absorption caused by condition such as cystic fibrosis and ulcerative colitis can also cause Gynecomastia.
* Misconceptions: There are certain medical conditions which causes enlargement in the breast which can be confused with the gynacomastia such as mastitis, cancer of breast, lipoma, pseudogynecomastia, dermoid cyst, sebaceous cyst, metastasis, hematoma, fat necrosis, ductal ectasia, or hematoma. Therefore a proper diagnosis becomes crucial. Mammography, ultrasound, and biopsies can help in a proper diagnosis of the problem.
Consulting a doctor can and a proper treatment through medications can resolve gynacomastia, but if the medications are not leading to any improvement then the ultimate solution would be to get a surgical excision. There are variety of surgical procedures done, one needs to get a proper diagnosis and then the surgical procedure most suitable is suggested by the doctor depending on the individual’s diagnosis. Consulting an expert doctor is necessary to avoid any complications post surgical such as breast asymmetry, infection, painful and noticeable scars etc.
Gynacomastia can cause psychological conditions due to shame and complex. Therefore it is necessary to find a resolution for such a problem and avoid any further emotional distress. Don’t be a silent sufferer consult a good doctor and find a remedy.