Gynecomastia, also known as male boobs, is a condition that can be bothersome for men. A large number of men are affected by this condition every year. And what’s even more alarming is that you can develop man-boobs at any age.
Once the symptoms start to appear, men often try different methods and home remedies to prevent gynecomastia from advancing. But prevention from this medical condition is not that easy. Moreover, non-surgical treatments are also less effective to treat gynecomastia. As a result, men have to rely on male breast reduction surgery to permanently resolve the condition.
Today, we will discuss the method of treatment and possible prevention methods for gynecomastia in detail.
How to prevent gynecomastia?
The only thing you can do to prevent gynecomastia is to make healthy lifestyle choices. A healthy and active lifestyle will prevent the risk of underlying conditions that can cause gynecomastia. Some prevention methods include:
- Avoiding consumption of excess alcohol to minimize the chances of liver cirrhosis.
- Do not self-medicate as some medications contain high levels of estrogen that cause gynecomastia.
- Avoid taking illegal drugs like heroin, amphetamines, androgens, and marijuana.
The best way to prevent the medical condition from affecting you is to learn as much as possible about it.
How Awareness about the Symptoms Can Help to Prevent Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the enlargement of breast tissues in men. Though it is not a life-threatening condition, it can have both physical and mental impacts on the individual.
By learning about the symptoms, it will be easier for you to detect the condition at earlier stages and prevent the condition from advancing. Development of male breasts is accompanied by symptoms like:
- Swollen glandular tissues
- Pain and tenderness in the breasts and nipple
- Discharge from one or both nipples
- The areola size may increase
Apart from the above symptoms, men who suffer from gynecomastia feel embarrassed about their bodies and masculinity. They often get bullied by their colleagues, superiors, and sometimes even subordinates. This can cause an inferiority complex to develop in men which is not good for their mental health.
The social anxiety men have to face due to gynecomastia is the primary reason they seek treatment. But it is also important that you know what causes gynecomastia to prevent the condition from developing in the first place.
Factors That Lead to Gynecomastia
Many factors lead to the development of gynecomastia. But it stems from an imbalance between the hormones testosterone and estrogen. When the levels of estrogen in males become too high, they start developing female characteristics and breast enlargement is a part of those characteristics.
As the condition can occur at any age, it is important that you have a proper understanding of its causes and risk factors.
Around 10% to 20% of cases of gynecomastia are caused due to excessive use of medications, herbal products, supplements, or recreational drugs. Common medications that can enlarge the size of breasts in men include:
- Use of anabolic steroids for performance improvement
- Excess use of antibiotic medicines
- Ulcer medications
- Tricyclic anti-depressants
- Diazepam/valium and other drugs used for anxiety
- HIV medications like efavirenz, also known as Sustiva
- Anti-androgens, prescribed for cancer or prostate enlargement
- Heart drugs like calcium channel blockers and digoxin
Apart from using the above-mentioned medicines, there are other risk factors that can increase your risk of developing gynecomastia. These risk factors include:
- Liver or kidney-related problems
- Alcohol abuse
- Treatment of testicular cancer
- Klinefelter’s syndrome
- Adrenal or pituitary gland tumors
- Hyperthyroidism or hormonally active tumors
Apart from these medications, some herbal supplements, like tea tree oil and lavender, and products infused with these ingredients also have an effect on male hormones.
Methods to Diagnose Gynecomastia
During the initial consultation, the doctor will ask you about the symptoms, medical history, and drug use. A physical examination will be done of the breast tissues, genitals, as well as abdominal region.
If the condition seems to be caused due to hormone imbalance, the doctor will advise you to wait and the condition is most likely to resolve within a year on its own.
In case the lump is abnormally large, fixed, hard, tender, one-sided, or has nipple discharge, further tests will be recommended to rule out the possibility of breast cancers in men. The tests include:
- Blood test
- Mammogram & breast ultrasound
- Chest X-rays
- CT or MRI scan
- Ultrasound of the testicles
The test results will help the doctor to determine the most plausible treatment method for gynecomastia.
How gynecomastia is treated?
Typically, gynecomastia resolves without intervention or any other kind of treatment. When prescribed medicines are the cause of enlargement of breasts, the doctor simply suggests stopping those medicines.
However, if the condition is caused due to some underlying medical condition, then gynecomastia surgery will be required. Surgical treatment method involves:
- Liposuction technique involves the removal of excess tissues. A small incision is made around the breasts and a cannula is inserted to break down the fat tissues and to extract them through liposuction.
- Gland excision technique involves making an incision around the areola and cutting out the glandular tissue using a scalpel.
For some doctors like at Pristyn Care, a combination of these two methods is used to remove the breast tissues through minimally invasive surgery. The surgical treatment is quick, painless, and leaves only a minor scar around the areola that becomes invisible after healing properly.
Note- If a pharmacist prescribes you some medications for the treatment of gynecomastia, you should know that there are no medications approved by USFDA for gynecomastia.
The Bottom Line
Though it is said that prevention is better than cure, people can rarely maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid gynecomastia completely. But you don’t have to worry much as surgical treatment is an effective and permanent solution for the condition. You only need to contact a daycare provider like Pristyn Care and undergo male breast reduction surgery at the hands of experts to regain your masculinity.