Gynecomastia is a condition which features with enlarged breasts in the men. In men breast tissue is normally atrophic. This means that breast in men can get enlarged only due to different pathological causes. Even the chronic usage of certain medications can lead to gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is also present in several genetic disorders.
Causes of GynecomastiaObesityIn obese men gynecomastia is caused by accumulation of the fat tissue in the breast area. This condition is curable. Once the person loses extra weight he will lose fat and his chest will look normal again.Hormonal ImbalanceIn men the leading hormones are androgens. They are responsible for secondary sexual characteristics in men and normal development and function of male genitalia. On the other side estrogen is normally present in women but only in small amounts in men. If estrogen is present in amounts that exceed the normal level a man can end up with enlarged breasts as estrogen actually helps in the growth of breast tissue.Developmental InfluenceSometimes gynecomastia can affect newborn babies. Gynecomastia in male babies is actually a result of estrogen transfer through placenta. The condition is only temporary and it does not last more than a couple of weeks. Gynecomastia can even affect boys in puberty. In this case it can be easily explained by the imbalance of hormones which is rather normal for puberty. As men become older the level of testosterone decreases. This is why gynecomastia can be a normal phenomenon in process of aging in men.MedicationsIn certain diseases medications must be taken for a long time. Some medications can have gynecomastia as one of the side effects.Metabolic CauseHypogonadism is a condition that features with low levels of androgens or resistance to androgens. Hypogonadism may be primary and secondary.TumorsTumors may be also one of the causes of gynecomastia. Basically tumors that are hormonally active most commonly lead to gynecomastia. However even in tumors that do not produce hormone gynecomastia may occur.Medical ConditionsGynecomastia may occur as a symptom of numerous diseases. For example liver cirrhosis is in advanced stages followed by gynecomastia. Breast enlargement can be even present in kidney failure and thyrotoxicosis. Even certain diseases that affect adrenal glands may result in gynecomastia.Congenital DisordersGynecomastia is present in several congenital disorders including Klinefelter syndrome, androgen resistance syndromes, enzyme defects of testosterone production and many more.
Apart from the previously mentioned gynecomastia is additionally present in chronic alcoholics, in people who are suffering from cystic fibrosis and HIV patients.