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Causes of Enlarged Breasts in Men and How to Treat It

Posted on August 13, 2014 by: Dr. Rocheford

If you’ve ever wondered what one of the fast-growing surgical procedures is in the cosmetic industry, then you might be surprised to learn it has nothing to do with breast augmentation, liposuction, or anything to do with women at all.  Now, more men than ever are seeking to treat the symptoms of gynecomastia, which produces enlarged and swollen breasts in men. Male breast reduction treatments are available, so find out which treatment option is best for you.

Gynecomastia is a surprisingly common condition that affects boys and men of all ages.  Gynecomastia is present in newborn infants, and can even be found in older men well into their golden years.  What’s more, gynecomastia is often present during a boy’s teenage years, when he’s undergoing significant hormonal changes.

So just what are the causes of enlarged breasts in men – and how can you treat them?  Researchers are still not certain what causes gynecomastia; however, it’s though that the following can trigger this condition:

  • Sudden hormonal changes.  This is especially true is the testosterone hormone is out of balance with androgens and estrogen.  When there’s too much estrogen in comparison to testosterone, boys and men may develop enlarged breasts.
  • Medications.  Many anti-androgens used to treat a variety of diseases (including prostate cancer and prostate enlargement) can cause breast enlargement, as they throw off the balance of testosterone.  Anabolic steroids can also lead to the development of male breasts, as well as AIDS medications.
  • It’s thought that street drugs and alcohol can significantly increase a man’s likelihood of developing gynecomastia.  Alcohol, heroin, marijuana, methadone, amphetamines, and other related substances have all shown links to gynecomastia in men.
  • Many health conditions can cause male breast enlargement as a side effect, especially when these health conditions have an impact on the man’s hormone levels.  For example, hypogonadism, tumors, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, liver failure, and malnutrition have all been linked to gynecomastia.

If you’ve developed gynecomastia, it’s important to know that there are male breast reduction treatment options.  If male breasts do not go away on their own, it’s possible to take medications to reduce the breasts, or to remove them via surgical methods.  These procedures can include liposuction and mastectomy.

To learn more about your gynecomastia treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Heather Rocheford, a board-certified plastic surgeon with a practice in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul areas. Call: 651-968-1294

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