This is a term that refers to the development of abnormally large mammary glands in the males resulting in breast enlargement. This condition is usually caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone (if there is too much estrogen or, in the other case, not enough testosterone).
Newborns, boys in puberty and older men can develop gynecomastia as a result of changes in hormone levels. There are other causes as well.
Generally, this is not qualified as a serious problem, but it can be tough to cope with. Men and boys with gynecomastia may at times have pain in their breasts and may also feel quite embarrassed.
Symptoms of this condition include enlarged breasts, breast tenderness, and, sometimes, pain.
As said, this condition is caused by an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. This imbalance may be the result of a condition that blocks the effect of testosterone or reduces it. Also, the cause may be some other condition that increases the level of estrogen in one’s body.
So, there are several factors that might cause gynecomastia. These include: natural hormonal changes, certain health conditions and some medications (such as ulcer medications, antibiotics, anti-androgens, heart medications, etc.)
In newborns, it is caused by excess estrogen from the mother. This is fairly common in baby boys. It tends to go away gradually by 6 months of age, but they can last longer in some babies.
In teen boys, during puberty, the hormonal imbalance is rather frequent, so they may develop gynecomastia. Gynecomastia occurs in more than 60% of boys in early puberty to middle puberty. However, it tends to go away once the hormone levels have returned to normal (usually in the first year of the first appearance).
In adult males, when it occurs, it is usually caused by an underlying condition. such as liver or lung cancer, overactive thyroid, cirrhosis of the liver or by hormone problems, such as cancer of the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or testicles. It is, therefore, important that adults with this condition consult a doctor. He will do the necessary tests to find out what is causing gynecomastia.
Furthermore, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine, and heroin use also may cause gynecomastia.
This condition will usually go on its own. However, if one is in need to resolve this problem as soon as possible, there are options such as certain medications and surgery. The doctor will recommend the best course of treatment, one which suits the patient.
If caused by medicine or disease, by stopping the medicine or treating the disease, the gynecomastia will also be cured. If caused by a lack of testosterone and increase in estrogen, hormonal treatment may be prescribed. Surgery is also an option.