Breast expansion in men is due to an increased amount of gland tissues in men is known as Gynecomastia. Breast Expansion can occur at any age i.e it may occur in the early childhood period, Puberty or to an old aged man as well which may be a normal change.
Gynecomastia can also be due to some hormonal imbalance or hormonal changes or sometimes it can also occur due to medication, as many of medicines have this side effect.
It may occur to the one breast or can occur to the both. Sometimes one can confuse with Pseudogynecomastia remember it is a different term from gynecomastia, it can occur in obese and fatty persons where more fat is accumlated in the breast tissue but the number of glands tissues remain same.
Most breast enlargement cases in men do not require any kind of treatment. However, for personality making the most of the person asking for the treatment of this condition.
Gynecomastia is treatable with the help of medications, surgery or stopping medications or illegal substances which are causing this.
What are the Symptoms of Breast Enlargement in Men (Gynecomastia)?
The symptoms of gynecomastia includes:
- Swollen or Enlarged Breast
- Discharge from Breast
- Tenderness of Breast
- Firm Rubbery mas underneath the Nipple area
Depending upon the causes of the gynecomastia, there may be or may not be some other symptoms as well. If you have symptoms like breast enlargement, contact with your physician who can easily assess the condition.
What are the Causes of Breast Enlargement in Men?
Gynecomastia occurs when the amount of hormone testosterone decreases as compared to the estrogen.
The decrease in level can be caused by different conditions that are blockage of the effects of testosterone, reduce testosterone or increase in the level of estrogen level.
It has been noticed in some newborn babies that sometimes short term gynecomastia occurs in them because the mother’s estrogen stays in the blood of the newborn babies.
It can also occur to the middle aged or older men as well as mentioned above.
There may be a lot of reasons such as:
Andropause is a term which is just as similar as to menopause in women. During andropause the production of male sex hormones especially the testosterones level decreases with aging. It usually occurs around the middle age but also occurs in late old age as well. This imbalance of hormonal level causes gynecomastia, baldness i.e hair loss insomnia and many other mild symptoms as well.
It is a common thought that male i.e boys body produces androgen hormones which is considered as male sex hormone but at puberty boy bodies also produces female estrogen hormones as well.
Sometimes the production of estrogen is more than that of androgens.
This hormonal imbalance results in Gynecomastia in the boys as well.
Here commonly no treatment is required because it is a temporary condition and subsides as hormone level rebalance as well.
Infants may also develop gynecomastia when they drink their mother’s milk during breastfeeding. As mother milk may have more estrogen. So nursing babies may experience increased levels of the estrogen hormone which may cause gynecomastia in infants as well.
A number of drugs can cause breast enlargement i.e Breast Expansion in men such as:
Anti-androgens are used for the treatment of enlarged prostate, prostate cancer and other conditions commonly of prostate glands.
Examples of these medications include flutamide, Proscar and Spironolactone diuretics as well.
Metabolic Steroids and Androgens:
Metabolic steroids and androgens which are sometimes prescribed by the doctor for certain conditions or sometimes illegally used by the athletes to build their body muscles and enhance their performance. These steroids and androgen can cause gynecomastia.
It has been noticed that gynecomastia can be developed in men who have HIV positive and receive treatment for the Highly active antiretroviral Therapy of AIDS or HIV. Sustiva, the most commonly prescribed drug to AIDS patients, is more commonly associated with the side effects of gynecomastia i.e breast expansion than other medications for HIV.
Anti Anxiety Medications:
Anti anxiety medications demand increasing day by day. Not all these drugs can cause gynecomastia i.e breast expansion but some drugs can cause such as Diazepam commonly known as Valium in markets.
Tricyclics drugs are commonly used in antipsychotic patients which have the side effect of gynecomastia. Some common tricyclic includes fluoxetine etc.
A number of antibiotics can cause gynecomastia such as Isoniazid which can cause gynecomastia.
Many antifungal drugs can induce gynecomastia i.e breast expansion one of the most common ones are Ketoconazole,
A lot of anti ulcerative drugs have side effects of gynecomastia i.e breast expansion such as Cimetidine, Omeprazole, etc.
Some heart medication such as digoxin a digitalis and some calcium channel blockers can induce gynecomastia. So their use in men is rare also due to some other side effects as well.
Stomach Emptying medications:
A prostaglandin commonly known as Metoclopramide in the market available as Reglan can induce gynecomastia.
Which Herbal products causes Gynecomastia?
Although herbal products are considered as safest for use but there are a few products which can cause gynecomastia if over used. It includes a few plant oils such as tea trees which are used in shampoo products mainly and also used in some soaps as well. The exact action is still unknown but most probably it may be due to weaken the estrogenic activity.
Drugs and Alcohol:
Substances that induce gynecomastia includes:
- Alcohol i.e Ethyl Alcohol
- Methadose i.e Group Methadone
How to Diagnose Breast Enlargement in Men?
To diagnose the cause of the swollen breast, you should consult with a doctor. Your doctor will ask a few questions about medical and family history about it. The doctor may ask about the previous treatment history. They will also physically examine your breasts as well as genitals. In order to make a differential diagnosis.
In gynecomastia, the breast tissue is commonly greater i.e. greater than 0.5 centimeters in diameter.
If the cause of this condition is still unknown, your doctor may order for a blood test to check any hormonal imbalance and mammogram or ultrasound to view and make the diagnosis. In some cases rarely MRI, CT Scan, x rays or biopsy is necessary.
Common Risk factors are:
- Older age
- Use of Steroids and Androgens especially by athletes.
- Commonly health conditions such as genetic disorder Klinefelter Syndrome
Gynecomastia normally has no or a few complications including few physical complications but it can cause psychological or emotional problems as it affects the appearance of the person.
Treatment of Breast Enlargement in Men:
Gynecomastia usually does not require any treatment as mentioned earlier. However, still, many of the persons want the treatment for breast Enlargement.
In some cases, gynecomastia can cause severe pain or social embarrassment, and a person looks for the correction of the condition.
Surgical removal of excess breast fact and glandular tissue can be done. In cases where swollon is to blame the doctor may go for mastectomy, i.e surgically removal of excess tissue.
Commonly two types of mastectomy is possible.
1. Partial Mastectomy:
It may be defined as removal of only the excess breast tissues in gynecomastia patients.
2. Total Mastectomy:
It may be defined as the removal of the excess breast tissues along with the muscle below the tissue i.e pectoralis major muscle.
Medications for Breast Expansion:
Medications are given to balance the level of the hormones, some commonly used medicines include tamoxifen and raloxifene.
There are a few factors which one can control to reduce the risk of gynecomastia:
Don’t Intake Drugs:
As some drugs are prohibited in the world like Heroin and Marijuana so avoid these drugs. Some drugs are not prohibited but should be used by prescriptions only by doctors such as amphetamines.
Avoid Alcohol Intake:
Drinking alcohol has a lot of disadvantages. One must try to avoid the use of alcohol.
Review your medications:
If someone is taking any kind of medication he should search about these medications for their indications or contraindications.
As well as side effects as some drugs have side effects of gynecomastia.