Ask anyone what the easiest way to physically differentiate between a man and a woman, and chances are that a major of them would say that women have breasts, while men do not. While this is usually the rule of the thumb, Mother Nature has its own set of rules and there can be conditions, wherein even men can have breasts.
In scientific terms, this condition is known as gynecomastia and is actually much more common than most people would think.
What causes gynecomastia?
In the female body, it is the presence of estrogen that leads to the formation of breasts. So, quite simply, when there is an imbalance of hormones in the male body, there is the formation of breasts in men too. Here are some of the most prominent causes:
• Increase in the production of oestrogen
• Decrease in the production of testosterone
• Imbalance of SHBG or sex hormone binding globulin
• Increased conversion of androgen into estrogen
• Resistance towards androgens
There are also some other reasons that could lead to gynecomastia and these can be categorized into:
Pathological – If there is a lack of testes, it would mean that there is no production of testosterone, leading to the condition. Alternately, if a man has lost his testicles due to an accident or accident, then too there would be no production of testosterone. A condition known as Klinefelter's or XXY Syndrome is also known to cause gynecomastia. In addition, renal conditions, hermaphroditism, liver conditions such as cirrhosis, excess production of thyroid and mutation in the aromatase gene could also lead to such a condition.
Medical – Certain medications can also lead to gynecomastia, including drugs that are meant to inhibit the synthesis or action of testosterone, enhance the action of estrogen, anabolic steroids and medications that can increase the prolactin levels.
Some of the other causes that can cause gynecomastia include type 1 diabetes, injuries to the spinal cord, obesity, puberty and a reduction in the production of testosterone.
What are the methods of treatment?
There are mainly two manners of managing or treating gynecomastia – surgery or medication. The most feasible method of treatment can be suggested only by a doctor and that too post examination, which could even include a biopsy and scan.
If the doctor has suggested surgery, then incisions will be made and all the excess tissues will be removed, leaving the chest area flat. If the condition is not too severe, then only medications might be required.
Your diet will become very important in managing such a condition, because you will have to make sure that you do not consume too many high fat foods, which would only contribute to the fat deposits.
Exercise is also known to help and talking to your doctor or physical trainer would be wise. There are numerous exercises, which are meant to target the chest area and by tightening the area, you will be able to notice your breasts disappearing over time.
There are several topical medications available these days, which when applied in a proper manner can reduce the breasts. However, it is important that these medications be purchase only a doctor's prescription. Many men prefer to use such topical medications first because there is no surgery involved.
These days, there are also numerous gynecomastia reduction pills, which when consumed under proper guidance can help with the reduction of breasts. Again, these should be taken only if the doctor has suggested. Pills are often chosen over topical medications, because these are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and tend to show results faster.