Gynecomastia describes abnormal breast growth in men. Although all men have breast tissue, most people do not notice its presence because the tissue is too small to be seen. However, if the hormone levels in the man’s body change, the breast tissue grows and this causes gynecomastia. High levels of estrogen, the female hormone, cause the breast tissue to grow, while the high level of testosterone, known as the male hormone, stops the breast growth. If any factor in the body causes an increase in estrogen or a decrease in testosterone, the growth of breast tissue occurs. There are many things that can cause these changes. Gynecomastia does not cause any pain and occurs in the same way in both breasts. It can also be seen in some people that gynecomastia occurs in one breast.
Stage 1 – Small swelling limited by the pink area at the nipple
Stage 2 – Significant swelling of the central wall extending beyond the pink area with edges intermingling the breast wall
Stage 3 – Significant and visible growth
Stage 4 – Serious growth and sagging of the breast
Knowing the stage of gynecomastia can help to plan the most appropriate treatment for the person.
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Gynecomastia is caused by changes in hormone levels, but it can occur for many reasons. Gynecomastia can be seen more widely in some periods of life. It is known that gynecomastia is frequently seen especially in adolescents. In adolescence, hormone levels may change and this may cause gynecomastia. In some cases, as hormone levels decrease, it is possible to see that gynecomastia disappears spontaneously and no treatment is required.
Many men have no signs of gynecomastia. Some men may experience itching and nipple swelling. In some, the growing region can be felt by hand. Gynecomastia usually does not cause any pain or swelling. If a significant pain is felt in the breast, a specialist may need to be examined by a doctor.
The most obvious symptom of gynecomastia is the growth of a man’s breast area. The male can notice a pronounced swelling at the back of the nipple and a pink area surrounding the nipple. The breast tissue can be felt in some people as a smooth mass or tuber.
Other causes of clumping or swelling in the breast area include infection, abscess formation and breast cancer. Both of these usually occur only on one side, and often there are other changes associated with them (severe pain or changes in the skin). Other related changes can be listed as follows;
There are several drugs that can cause gynecomastia as a side effect. Some of the drugs with these side effects are listed below:
If a prescription drug is causing gynecomastia, you should always talk to the doctor before the treatment is discontinued. In many cases it will be necessary to use another drug to treat the condition without causing gynecomastia. Leaving prescription drugs without a doctor’s advice can be dangerous and not recommended.
Other drugs and substances that may cause gynecomastia;
Anabolic steroids for bodybuilding are among the common causes of gynecomastia. These steroids interfere with the body’s natural hormone production and cause an increase in estrogen levels. Therefore, breast growth may continue even if steroid intake is left in people with gynecomastia. In this case, other treatment methods may be necessary.
Before gynecomastia treatment, the factors that cause this condition are determined. Then, the most appropriate treatment method is determined by the doctor. These factors considered in terms of operation can be listed as follows;
It is possible to perform gynecomastia operation after the necessary examinations are performed. Especially in people with gynecomastia problems after adolescence, it is almost impossible to overcome the situation by self-medication or drug treatment. In these cases, surgical intervention is applied. A fast, effective and permanent result is achieved with surgical intervention. At the same time, this surgical intervention also helps to remove the sediments occurring in the nipple and its surroundings.
In rare cases, consumed foods can also cause gynecomastia. This is because some foods contain chemicals such as phytoestrogens that are similar to high levels of estrogen and may cause growth in the breast tissue. High levels of phytoestrogens are found in prepared foods that contain high levels of soy protein.