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Gynecomastia Has Some Surprising Causes!

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Gynecomastia and Unbalanced Hormones

You may know some of the common causes of gynecomastia such as; puberty, steroids, medications, and aging. However, there are some lesser known ones that you should be aware of.

Men have more androgen hormones and women more estrogen, but when the ratio gets out of balance for men, the result could be man boobs.

The following are some more obscure reasons that men may develop male breasts, but Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. wants to remind men that sometimes the source of gynecomastia remains unknown.

• Deprivation Diets

If you should go on a strict diet that deprives your body of needed nutrients, testosterone levels will fall, but not estrogen levels. Men may not grow breasts while on a deprivation diet, but they may find when they return to a normal diet, they may develop breasts. The term for this is “re-feeding gynecomastia.” This phenomenon was first noted when prisoners of war returned to the U.S. after World War II. When the soldiers returned to a normal diet, they developed breasts.

• Weight Gain

The ratio of muscle to fat gets thrown off when one gains excessive weight. As the proportion of breast tissue to fat rises, the body will produce more estrogen, the female hormone, and not as much androgen. When this occurs, breasts may develop.

• Alcohol and Beer

Consuming alcohol and beer will put on pounds and if in excess could lead to cirrhosis of the liver.  It is hard for the body to rid itself of estrogen and phytoestrogen which are present in hops that are in beer and other plants in hard liquor. The liver metabolizes hormones, and if the liver is somewhat compromised, it may convert androgen into estrogen leading to female type breasts.

• Cigarette Smoking

It is known that cancer produces hormones for its own growth which results in imbalances and can then grow breasts on men. Various types of cancer may cause gynecomastia such as testicular cancer and lung cancer. More reasons to try to quit smoking for good!

• Rifle Shooting

This may be the most surprising reason for the growth of male breast tissue. It was discovered that 70% or more German military men who perform precision drills, develop gynecomastia. It is unknown what causes a rise in estrogen from a rifle backfire!

When consulting with Dr. Delgado for gynecomastia, be sure to inform him of all meds, your family history, and lifestyle, to help him determine the possible cause for your male breasts.

Call now for a consultation (415) 898-4161.

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