Are you ashamed to take your shirt off at the beach or the pool? Do you wear dark layered clothing so people won‘t notice your chest? Are you embarrassed every time you hear a girl say, “Ewww!,” when she sees a guy with man boobs on TV? If so, then you are probably one of the millions of guys who suffer from Gynecomastia.
Are Man Boobs Really Breasts?
The answer to that question is likely yes; depending on the cause. Gynecomastia, often referred to as “Man Boobs” can consist of:
- Hypertrophy of Breast Gland Tissue
- Adipose Tissue (fatty tissue)
- Combination of Both
There are several types of Gynecomastia, each based on the various forms of presentation, and even tissue composition. If you are a sufferer, it’s going to be expressed as one of the various types listed below.
Types of Gynecomastia
- Puffy Nipples – This is the predominant form of Gynecomastia which presents itself with glandular breast tissue accumulation under and occasionally around the areola (nipple).
- Pure Glandular Gynecomastia – This form of the condition is thought to be caused by excess testosterone levels which eventually convert to estrogen; thus making its origin hormonal. It is often associated with bodybuilders and serious athletes. Use of anabolic steroids can contribute to the situation.
- Congenital (hereditary) Gynecomastia – Showing up between the ages of 12 -18 in pubescent boys, this form of man boobs is thought to effect between 30-60% of adolescent males. It is also thought that as many as 30% of those males live with adult Gynecomastia. It is thought to be passed on by a male ancestor.
- Unilateral/Asymmetrical Gynecomastia – Gynecomastia in this form affects only one breast, or one breast more than the other. The end result is a chest that looks uneven, often times excessively so. Many females are terribly self-conscious of this condition so, you can imagine the embarrassment experienced by an adolescent male.
- PseudoGynecomastia – With this type of Gynecomastia, there is no actual breast tissue; it’s adipose tissue (fat). Whereas most man boobs are a combination of glandular and adipose tissue, there is no “breast” material present with PseudoGynecomastia.
What Causes Man Boobs?
The short answer here is, “They don’t know.” It is known to be:
- Glandular, Adipose, or a Combination of Both Tissues
- Some Medications and Supplements are Thought to be a Contributor
With so little real evidence being known about Gynecomastia it is extremely frustrating for guys who live with man boobs, because there is also no known cure, except radical surgery. It is generally thought that extreme levels of sexually based hormones contribute to Gynecomastia; a complex mash-up of Testosterone(M) and Estrogen(FM). Since it shows up predominantly during puberty in the siblings of those who already have man boobs, it is attributed to genetics and hormones.
Is There a Cure for Gynecomastia?
Yes, but it’s radical and expensive. The only known cures for Gynecomastia are:
- Surgery and Liposuction
Warning: The following video contains images of an actual Gynecomastia Reduction Surgery
That’s it. There are no other known cures for the condition, and there is even a 35% recurrence rate in those who have the surgery. It is best if the surgery is done by a Plastic Surgeon familiar with the condition. Since most Gynecomastia is a combination of breast and adipose tissue, surgery works best if used in combination with Liposuction; although Liposuction alone doesn’t work with true Gynecomastia, as man boobs are not fat, but rather glandular tissue.
There are other things that can be done to squelch the condition.
- Avoid drugs and supplements that are thought to exacerbate the situation
- Avoid the use of steroids
- Monitor hormonal levels during prepubescent development, in genetically predisposed offspring
- Some medications are thought to aid in prevention (selective estrogen modulator medications)
- Compression Garments (aesthetic benefits only)
As always, consult your physician before deciding on any course of treatment for medical conditions.
What Can I Do About Man Boobs?
The short answer is, be on the lookout for them in your kids, if you already have them. Consider all the options and ask your doctor what can be done. Man boobs can be traumatic if you let them. There is always one other way to deal with Gynecomastia, realize that, man boobs or not, you are a good person who is worthy of love and happiness.
What is Gynecomastia?
a. Female Problems
b. Man Boobs
c. Girl Boobs
d. A character from Lord of the Rings
True or False: Man Boobs are curable through various techniques.
When does Gynecomastia occur in most males?
b. Old Age (55+)
c. During Bouts with the Flu
d. During Sex
Answers at the bottom of the page!
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Answers: 1) b, 2) b, 3) a