What is gynecomastia and what are the appropriate medical and surgical treatments for its proper treatment? Gynecomastia can be a side effect from taking some steroids and is easily controllable with the proper protection.
Estimated reading time : 3 minutes
You may have heard of “man boobs” or “bitch tits”, which is actually a symptom that can also occur in some men or young boys. Scientifically called gynecomastia , it’s not a serious condition, but is humbling and quite uncomfortable for the subject. Gynecomastia can be a side effect of taking some steroids but is easily controllable with the proper protection.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a male symptom: the chest will overdevelop and begin to take the shape and size of a female breast.
The main reason for the growth of man boobs is a high level of estrogen and low level of testosterone. Estrogen is a female hormone and testosterone a male hormone. This causes gradually swelling of the glandular tissue, which then form larger breasts (or mammary bud). This symptom can occur in older men, teens or even in babies.
It is a condition that can also be triggered by several aspects such as kidney failure, certain drugs such as antibiotics, a hormonal imbalance or excessive alcohol consumption. This can also be a genetic disease, transmissible between generations.
Gynecomastia and steroids
The use of steroids is a major cause of gynecomastia in men. Anabolic steroid users are more likely to be subject to gynecomastia than those who do not use them.
Athletes take steroids to try to increase their testosterone levels. Normally, most anabolic steroids contain high levels of testosterone. But the body will automatically convert excessiv testosterone into estrogen, which then accumulates in the breast tissue.
The conversion of testosterone to estrogen is called aromatisation, leading to imbalance of hormones in the body. Hormonal imbalance is one of the main causes of gynecomastia.
This means that the body will have excessive estrogen, but limited testosterone. With more estrogen in the body, this can lead to strong growth of the glandular tissue. When glandular tissues become bigger, excessive estrogen in the body will automatically send a signal to the testicles. That’s why the testicles have a slower production of testosterone. When the body is in this state, the person will have larger breasts.
The only problem here is that when glandular tissues grow, they will not return to their original size. The enlarged breasts remain large even when you stop using steroids. Nevertheless, there are certain specific treatments for Gynecomastia, which are highly effective.
How to Treat Gynecomastia?
There are many remedies that can help get rid of man boobs. You can use specific drugs, but the most effective solution and most considered is surgery.
Treating gynecomastia with drugs
Some of the common drugs used to treat gynecomastia are:
• Tamoxifene (nolvadex). This is a drug that inhibits the activity of estrogen in the body. In other words, estrogen is in the body but will not be active. It has been reported that it can help reduce the size of breasts in men, it also relieves the pain in the enlarged breasts.
• Aromatase inhibitors. This is a set of drugs (Arimidex, Femara, Examestane…) that is normally used to treat ovarian cancer and breast cancer. It was also shown that they can help prevent and solve problems of gynecomastia in men.
Replacement or hormonal therapy
This is another remedy that may work, but only in some people. Essentially, testosterone levels will increase in people who have a low rate. However, this will not work in men with normal testosterone levels.
Treating gynecomastia by surgery
This is the most effective method, that has worked in many cases. This method is based on the two components of the chest, which are soft and fat, glandular tissue and solid. The ratio of the two will be different in different patients. Certain types of surgeries are performed on patients including the following:
• Liposuction, whose purpose is to suck the excess fat tissue in the breasts. If the person has a lot of fatty tissue, then an incision of about 3 to 4 mm will be performed, then a small tube inserted. The tube is then used to aspirate fat tissue in excess.
• Excision, this involves using a scalpel to cut tissue from the body.
Let’s assume that chest rose because of the glandular tissue available, then the excision will be the most favorable method to use. The only drawback to this method is that it leaves a scar on the body. The most common area that will have the scar will be the edge of the nipple, that is cut to remove excess tissue. In case there is a need to remove more skin and tissue of the breast, then the surgeon will make a bigger cut. The more they cut, the larger the scar on the chest will be.
The type of surgery used will be determined by the surgeon, who will need to study the patient’s condition and choose the most appropriate method.
With all treatments for gynecomastia, surgery is the most effective and also the most expensive, compared to medicines. Moreover, the only side effect of the surgery is that it will leave you a scar that could disappear gradually.
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