What are the causes of gynecomastia?
There are lots of different reasons why our patients seek male breast reduction surgery. The most common is a condition called gynecomastia, which is a result of a hormone imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia occurs when men experience high levels of estrogen. This hormone controls what are considered to be female traits.
Obesity is a leading cause of gynecomastia. When men carry excess weight, the amount of estrogen in their bodies increases. Excess weight can also have the appearance of gynecomastia. In some cases, men can reduce the size of their breasts with exercise and lifestyle changes.
Gynaecomastia can present temporarily in newborn babies. Estrogen travels from the mother to the baby through the placenta. The baby will be born with enlarged breasts. In this instance, the baby’s breasts will return to their normal size within a few weeks.
Age is a large factor in the development of gynecomastia. Lots of men experience a degree of this condition during puberty when their hormone levels are constantly changing. In old age, men produce less testosterone and have on average more body fat. Older men produce more estrogen, which causes an increase in breast tissue.
Here are some of the other, less common causes of gynecomastia.
- Health conditions like liver disease and kidney failure
- Alcohol abuse
- Illegal drugs such as performance-enhancing steroids
- Medicine side effects