Gynecomastia or commonly known as man boobs or “moobs” can be difficult detect at first. A sense of denial and fear could be an initial reactions; denial over the fact that you are going through an unmanly change, and fear over something that you don’t have a clear understanding.
There are a number of factors that can cause gynecomastia, these include hormonal imbalance, obesity, recreational drugs, and certain medications. When any of these go out of whack, and then stirs up your system causing an imbalance in your hormones, the insidious symptoms of gynecomastia starts to manifest.
For those men who have big appetite, obesity could be a cause of man boobs. An excessive proliferation of fatty tissues in the chest can make it appear more feminine as it contours into a more shapely form. This condition is called as pseudogynecomastia or ‘false gynecomastia’.
Pseudogynecomastia can be detected by lying down on your back and then placing your thumb and forefinger on both sides of your areola (the darkened region around the nipple), and then bring them together. If both your fingers touch each other, then you have this called ‘false gynecomastia’.
The good thing about this is that it can be resolved by regular exercise and proper diet. You have to keep a good leash on your lifestyle and avoid from sliding up the scale by gaining some unwanted pounds that can sneak its way to your chest.
True gynecomastia on the other hand can be rather disturbing as its symptoms start to develop. This is caused by the excessive growth of glandular tissue in the breast and takes a more definite form. The general impression among those who suffered from it is that it involves puffy, itchy and sore nipples and a lump underneath the nipple area. You might also observe that your nipple is more sensitive to touch.
Those who are taking performance enhancing drugs or steroids can eventually develop gynecomastia. This is because these drugs increase testosterone, and when levels are in excess as recognized by the body, it then releases estrogen to balance the amounts. It is estrogen that causes the growth of breast tissues.
You can check gynecomastia the same way you examine for pseudogynecomastia – by lying down with your arm behind your head. If you feel a definite fibrous lump behind or under your nipple then it is true gynecomastia.
Some guys say that it feels like M & M’s or a hard little marble, while others claim that it is like a lump of tissue filled with liquid, or a small balloon filled with jello. To sum up, hard tissue that is sensitive is gynecomastia.
To be sure about what you have, you can approach your physician and get a thorough examination. He might even give some blood tests to rule you out of breast cancer, but usually gynecomastia is just a benign condition.