The Causes and Symptoms of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia can be an embarrassing and worrisome problem. It refers to the enlargement of breast tissue in boys and men. Fortunately, there are options for gynecomastia treatment in Manhattan. Gynecomastia surgery involves breast reduction to restore the normal appearance of male breasts. This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and typically requires a recovery period of three to six weeks.

Signs and Symptoms

Gynecomastia may be apparent in one or both breasts. Men may notice a firm area of enlarged tissue in the area of the nipple. Many men do not experience any other symptoms. However, it is possible to have tenderness, pain, and swelling in the area. Some men may notice nipple discharge in one or both of the breasts.

Natural Hormonal Fluctuations

Gynecomastia is caused by abnormalities in a man’s hormone levels . The male body produces both estrogen and testosterone. When the level of testosterone decreases or the level of estrogen increases, gynecomastia can result. Sometimes, these fluctuations in hormones are natural. Male infants may be born with gynecomastia because of the estrogen of their mothers. Gynecomastia can also develop during puberty. In these cases, it often resolves on its own within six months to two years. Among older adults, gynecomastia may develop because of the natural, gradual decline in testosterone production.


Natural changes of the body aren’t always to blame for gynecomastia. Some men may develop it as a result of taking certain medications, including anti-androgens to treat prostate cancer and prostate enlargement. Other medications that may contribute to enlarged breast tissue include anti-anxiety medications, tricyclic antidepressants, anti-cancer drugs, heart medications, and ulcer medications. Anabolic steroids are another possible culprit.

Health Conditions

Various medical issues can affect a man’s hormonal balance. These can include hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, liver failure, and tumors. Starvation and malnutrition are other possible causes, since testosterone levels decline when the body doesn’t receive the nutrients it needs.

Lifestyle Issues

Occasionally, gynecomastia may be linked to a man’s lifestyle choices. The condition has been associated with the use of street drugs such as amphetamines, heroin, and marijuana. It may also develop among men who drink alcohol to excess or are on methadone.

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