Gynecomastia is a common condition which causes men to develop abnormally large and protruding breasts. In many cases, the breasts can resemble female breasts which can lead to embarrassment and self-consciousness. Gynecomastia is a combination of fat and breast tissue caused by an imbalance of hormones.
Below, Dr. Miguel Delgado M.D. an expert gynecomastia surgeon based in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California, provides some facts surrounding this condition.
- Eating soy or drinking soy milk can cause gynecomastia. Soy milk and soy products contain genistein and daidzein, two natural drugs that act similar to estrogen. When consumed in high quantities, these drugs may cause breast enlargement in men. Studies have shown that even in minor doses, these natural drugs still have the potential to upset the male hormonal balance.
- Individuals who do not have a family history of gynecomastia can develop it. Even if someone does not have the genetic predisposition for gynecomastia, they can still be a victim of it later in life. Consumption of harmful drugs like marijuana and heroin as well as certain illnesses can also cause gynecomastia.
- Regular physical activity can get rid of gynecomastia. Even though exercising has many benefits when it comes to losing fat, it is not a treatment for gynecomastia.
- Not all men with large, saggy breasts have gynecomastia. Large breasts in men can be caused by being obese (this is called pseudogynecomastia). Therefore, unlike the previous myth, men suffering from pseudogynecomastia can treat their enlarged breast by losing weight.
- Gynecomastia affects men of all ages. Human beings go through hormonal changes right after birth, while passing through puberty, and during old age. Changes in estrogen and testosterone levels in the early periods of life can lead infants and young boys to develop breasts.
- Not everyone with gynecomastia requires surgery. As stated earlier, boys going through puberty have potential to develop large, swollen breasts due to hormonal changes. However, this is not necessarily a cause for concern because as these boys pass through adolescence it is more than likely that their breasts will return back to normal shape and size in about six months and up to two years – without any need for medical intervention.
- Not all gynecomastia cases require liposuction.Different men will have different degrees of breasts enlargement. Dr. Miguel Delgado M.D. may perform liposuction on patients with pseudogynecomastia. While some men may benefit from liposuction only, others with excess skin may need to undergo a secondary procedure. If you’re unsure about your particular case, Dr. Miguel Delgado M.D. will be able to determine the best option for you.
- Gynecomastia can affect one breast only. Gynecomastia can affect only one breast at a time or it may cause both breasts to enlarge simultaneously. This is called asymmetrical gynecomastia.
- Gynecomastia cannot be prevented. Hormanal elevation and hormonal imbalance cannot be prevented, but patients can take some steps to reduce their risk of gynecomastia. Individuals who have a family history of it should take appropriate steps to avoid certain medications, being overweight, drinking excess alcohol, and taking drugs. It may help younger patients to take medications prescribed by an endocrinologist. Even with these precautions, patients can still get gynecomastia.
- Gynecomastia will not lead to breast cancer. Many people are not aware of the fact that men can also be victims of breast cancer. However, while gynecomastia and male breast cancer both enlarge the size of the breasts, they are still two different and unrelated illnesses.
Dr. Miguel Delgado M.D. possesses years of experience in diagnosing and treating all kinds of gynecomastia. If you think you’re a victim of this embarrassing condition, then please book your consultation with him at his Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California office.