Health & Wellness ,  Aesthetics

Man Boobs 101: The Common Questions

November 01, 2021

For most men, gynecomastia robs away their self-esteem and has become a stumbling block in achieving the masculine male body. But it is more than just the embarrassment of having a flabby chest that should be a cause for concern. Dr Ivan Puah, medical director at Amaris B. Clinic, answers popular common gynecomastia questions.


Man Boobs 101: The Common Questions

While it may be every woman's dream to inherit a set of well-sculpted breasts, it is, however, every man's nightmare to find a pair of 'man boobs' aka gynecomastia hanging from their chests.

 

For most men, gynecomastia robs away their self-esteem and has become a stumbling block in achieving the masculine male body. But it is more than just the embarrassment of having a flabby chest that should be a cause for concern.

 

Gynecomastia is essentially a medical condition that should be addressed immediately. While many men may seek the gym for the solution to their unsightly bulge, unfortunately, the growing discomfort and swelling that stem from gynecomastia do not simply ebb away with time nor hours spent at the gym.

 

Conversely, the soreness and pain experienced daily will be exacerbated with each passing day should treatment not be administered. The main symptoms of gynecomastia include the enlargement of the glandular tissue in both breasts and tenderness experienced around the area and nipple.

 

But what exactly is the cause of this distressing condition?

The truth is, there are a variety of reasons that contribute to gynecomastia. Amongst the many causes are the side effects of medication and ageing. Hormonal imbalance, where there is a plunge in testosterone levels, is one of the main culprits that result in this condition. While symptoms of gynecomastia are not uncommon during puberty, however, should symptoms not be alleviated upon reaching adulthood, surgical intervention is the answer to counter gynecomastia.

 

Common questions on gynecomastia

But to combat gynecomastia requires more than just the acknowledgement of the causes of the condition. A holistic and thorough understanding of gynecomastia is what we need to tackle the 'man boobs' situation. So, just what can we do to potentially diminish the effects of this agonising condition? Or is there anything that can be done to avoid gynecomastia altogether?

 

Let's delve into these common and pressing questions to help answer your urgent queries on gynecomastia. 

 

Can taking hormones cure gynecomastia?

Being a naturally occurring hormone, testosterone is not only directly responsible for the male physical features, but it also affects a man's sex drive and mood. Gynecomastia, or the development of larger breasts, can develop when there is an imbalance of the body's hormones in men, including testosterone. This is also the case when there is a low testosterone level in men.

 

Both issues of low testosterone levels and gynecomastia are often treatable. However, it is of utmost importance to first understand the underlying causes for each condition.

 

Can gynecomastia decrease libido?

As age catches up, low testosterone levels and gynecomastia are common conditions among ageing men. A decrease in testosterone levels results in reduced libido, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, and enlarged male breast tissues.

 

Are there any foods to avoid that can cause gynecomastia?

One of the common questions asked is "Can beer, chicken, eggs and soya beans cause gynecomastia?" Hoppy beers like IPA (Indian Pale Ale) contain phytoestrogen, a plant-based estrogen hormone. The common myth is that drinking too much of them will cause estrogen levels to skyrocket. The truth is, the phytoestrogen levels are too low to create any hormone imbalance. The consumption of excess beers or alcohol can be detrimental to your overall health and thus, should be avoided.

 

Soy contains isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogens that may mildly mimic the hormone estrogen. The effects of soy isoflavones on estrogen levels are complex, but soy is generally safe to be consumed in moderation. As such, eggs, milk and other food products that contain hormones are safe for consumption when taken in moderation.

 

Does Andropause/Male Menopause Cause Gynecomastia?

Studies have shown that male menopause or andropause happens in men aged 50 or older when testosterone production drops. Testosterone fuels changes during puberty and affects a man's mental and physical energy as well as regulates other key evolutionary features.

 

As the levels of testosterone drop, it causes a hormonal imbalance, which may eventually lead to the development of gynecomastia.

 

Is Gynecomastia An Early Sign Of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is not only a concern for women since men can contract it too, albeit rarer in men. Gynecomastia, however, is not a sign of breast cancer. Furthermore, excessive breast development and breast cancer are not found to be correlated. When a person slims down, he will tend to see an overall reduction in size.

 

However, should you be suffering from true gynecomastia, your chest fullness will only look more prominent after other parts of your body have shrunk. The only way to treat this part of your body is through a surgical intervention with gynecomastia surgery.

 

Can't I just diet and workout to get rid of my "man boobs"?

Gynecomastia is not merely an aesthetic issue; it is a medical condition that should be tended to. The cause varies, including hormonal imbalance, side effects of certain medications and ageing, as mentioned above.

 

Gynecomastia surgery not only permanently removes excess glandular tissues but it also sculpts the chest area, leaving a more defined and masculine appearance.

 

Gynecomastia surgery has a short recovery time, thereby causing little disruption to your daily routine. It is essential to discuss your goals and raise any concerns you might have regarding the procedure during the consultation with your doctor.

 

As an individual's clinical condition varies, the treatment strategy and outcome will be different. It is essential to look for a doctor with experience and knowledge in gynecomastia surgery. You get to see the before and after pictures of the doctor's own patients.

 

Will the skin sag after gynecomastia surgery?

Most of the patients have degrees of gynecomastia that are not excessively saggy. In these instances, the skin elasticity will ensure that the skin snaps appropriately into a more aesthetically pleasing position.

 

It is also important to wear the compression garment as it will help in guiding the skin back to the desired position.

Doctors

Dr. Ivan Puah
Aesthetics
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