Why Do Some Men Have More Breast Tissue Than Others?

4 Feb 2019 Blog

Men who have excessive breast tissue are often the butt of jokey comments about ‘man boobs’ but for those who are affected by this it is not a laughing matter. It can help to know what exactly is behind the condition of gynecomastia and why some are affected but not others.

There can be several causes for this condition including anabolic steroid use, medications and simply excess weight or ageing but the main culprit is hormone imbalance. Some men have a higher level of oestrogen coupled with a low level of testosterone. This imbalance can start during puberty or it can be triggered by medication, illness or as a side effect of drug abuse. The excess oestrogen, which is the ‘female hormone’, sends a signal to the body telling it to develop breast tissue, often along with excess fat around the middle of the body.

Common Causes of Gynecomastia

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems facing society today and is the root cause of many different diseases and conditions. It can also be a major cause in the development of excess breast tissue in men and once again it is the influence of a certain hormone that triggers gynecomastia. Fat tissue produces a hormone called leptin, a natural protein which helps to regulate the energy stored in your fat cells. The levels of leptin increase the more weight you gain and this translates into a reduction in testosterone.

Anabolic steroids are of course synthetic versions of testosterone and these work through conversion into higher levels of oestrogen.

Some anti-hair loss medications can cause gynecomastia due to their testosterone blocking action. There are a whole host of other medicines that can cause or contribute towards gynecomastia including anti-depressants, digitalis, valium and some illegal drugs like marijuana and heroin.

Medical illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, kidney or liver disease such as cirrhosis can disrupt the normal production of hormones within the body. Some undetected tumours particularly testicular and pituitary tumours can also affect hormone production. There is something called Klinefelter Syndrome, an abnormal combination of the sex chromosomes which can cause gynecomastia and breast cancer in men.

What Should I Do?

In some cases, it can be a matter of simply losing weight or changing habits but if you are worried or if you notice any unusual symptoms like lumps, breast tenderness or changes in appearance then of course you should consult your doctor for a diagnosis and advice. For those struggling, there are surgical options, and we’d be only too happy to discuss these with you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Gynecomastia – An anonymous story

Gynecomastia is a deformity that has plagued my life since I’ve been 13 years old.

13 is such a tender age, an age where you take life as it comes and not think an awful lot about your actions. However I was always so self-conscious about my chest and this turned me into a very insecure person, leading me to think very carefully about everything I ever did i.e. wear lays of clothes anywhere I went.

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Considering a Beard Transplant?

It’s official –  beards have never been more popular. But, for some people it isn’t as easy as simply growing a beard. So what can you do? Well, one option is a beard transplant. Beard transplants are a great solution to any facial hair issues, and this is something that we, here at Surgery Group can help with.

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#PatientStory – Oliver

23 May 2017 Blog

At Surgery Group, gynecomastia is one of our primary treatments and we take pride in working with some of the best surgeons in the UK. We understand this condition has a significant impact on our patients’ lives. Our aim is to make both the surgery and the overall experience as easy as possible for our patients.

One of our recent patients, Oliver, who’s been diagnosed with gynecomastia at 20 years old, was really kind to write his story and share it with our readers.

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