It is a medical condition in which males develop an enlarged breast. It is commonly due to hormonal imbalance in the body. This condition may occur during infancy,puberty or in middle ages. It is attributed mainly to hormonal imbalance,but drug abuse,over medication,aging might also turn out to be the culprits. Hormonal imbalance implies an excess of female hormone (estrogen) over the male hormone (androgen).While obese men appear to have gynecomastia, true Gynecomastia occurs due to glandular growth of the breast tissue.
The most common visual symptom is simply the appearance of an enlarged breast. It is accompanied by sensitivity and tenderness but pain is rarely felt. Gynecomastia signs may observed in one or both breasts. It is also symmetrical with respect to the nipple. It is also important to distinguish this condition from male breast cancer which asymmetrical with respect to the nipple, feels firm and is often accompanied by nipple discharge and retraction.
High risk groups
The most vulnerable age group is the pubescent males. It might be there for a temporary period of time in such cases, ranging from six months to two years. If it persists beyond two years, it is known as persistent pubertal gynecomastia. But other age groups are at a risk too. Boys or infants may also fall victims to gynecomastia. But this form of the disease, popularly referred to as physiologic gynecomastia disappears within a limited period of time. Middle aged men too can become affected with the condition as aging lowers the testosterone production. People with certain conditions such as cirhossis of liver are also susceptible to the disease. Taking certain medications can also trigger Gynecomastia.
Play of Hormones
As mentioned earlier,hormonal imbalance is the leading cause. Every male or female has both the male and female hormones,estrogen and androgen. The estrogen is in higher amount in females while androgen is so in males. A male having high estrogen will be a gynecomastia patient.
Very often, recovering from malnutrition may result in this condition. Cirhossis of liver may also cause hormonal upheaval which may lead to gynecomastia.
Malfunctioning of the Testes
Disorders related to the male sex organ,the testes is also a cause. The disorder of the testes may be due to genetic reasons or others such as trauma or aging. It can also be due to reduced blood flow or infection. Cancer in the testes can also cause it. Sometimes,cancers of other types may be accountable.
Medication side effects
Diuretics,hypertension drugs,some antibiotics can also trigger such a condition. Some skin care products like lavender oil and tea tree oil are also found to be the causes.
Marijuana and Heroin abuse,over use of alcohol often cause gynecomastia.
Some chronic cases of renal failure and reduced thyroid functioning can also cause the condition.
Contrary to the popular belief,fat deposition does not mean gynecomastia. A physical examination can be used to diagnose it,as it is signified by presence of breast tissue which is greater than 0.5 cm in diameter. Further tests related to blood examination of kidney ,liver and thyroid function may be helpful.
Drugs and procedures
Many cases are kept under observation and if gynecomastia persists, discontinuation of medicines which could be triggering the condition is recommended. Off the shelf drugs are also available but medication helps only in the first twelve months. Later,reduction mammoplasty is the only solution left.
Depending upon the enlargement, the area is incised in order to access and remove the glandular tissue. Care is taken to make the least incisions and scars to maintain the aesthetic beauty of the area. The procedure is done in a way similar to liposuction,but the patient will experience some amount of swelling and soreness. It is a relatively low risk surgery and the patient can return to work within a week.