Surprising as it may sound, Gynecomastia is a common occurrence in men. Otherwise called ‘man boobs’, the condition can be an extreme source of embarrassment for men who try to hide their flaw in the best way possible (for instance, wearing loose T. Shirts or over coats) to avoid being ridiculed by others.
So what exactly causes the development of breasts in men? Understanding the basic causes of the condition can help individuals deal with it better if not prevent it altogether. Given below are 10 of the most common causes for Gynecomastia in men today.
10 Common Causes for Man Boobs
Overweight men are more at risk of Gynecomastia as the excess kilos they pile on would get stored in and around the chest. Lack of physical exercise can also increase an individual’s chances of getting boobs, especially if he is overweight.
Not many men know it but certain ingredients and foods can cause Gynecomastia. Foods loaded with unhealthy fat can lead to the development of pectoral fat and ‘man boobs’ with time.
Eating plenty of fatty foods can lead to the formation of fat deposits in these areas which can be very hard to remove even with exercises.
Lack of Proper Exercise
Gynecomastia is also prevalent in men who are overweight but exercise frequently. Normal exercises would only target the other areas of the body and leave the chest fat intact, thereby leading to the development of man boobs with time (the rest of the body would look lean in comparison with the chest which would look heavy and saggy).
An individual would need to opt for certain exercises that target the chest fat in order to remove excess fat from this area.
Sudden Weight Loss
An individual who loses weight suddenly would tend to develop saggy skin in certain areas of his body, including the chest. This can lead to the formation of ‘man boobs’.
Long term drug abuse can lead to the formation of man boobs with time. Studies have revealed that drugs like marijuana are more likely to cause Gynecomastia in men who smoke them consistently.
Studies have also revealed the Gynecomastia can be caused by frequent alcohol consumption, with the effects not being visible for the first few years.
An individual who drinks frequently is more at risk of developing Gynecomastia as he ages.
Gynecomastia is a common occurrence in men above 60 years of age. The sudden decline in the testosterone levels in the body at this age can lead to a condition called Senile Gynecomastia (the formation of ‘man boobs’ owing to hormonal changes in the body).
Certain medications are known to cause Gynecomastia in men. Extended (or combined) use of prescription drugs like Aspirin, Digitalis, Digoxin, Aldactone and Furosemide etc.
can lead to the formation of ‘man boobs’ in the concerned individual. Certain anabolic steroids can also alter the testosterone levels in the body, triggering hormonal changes that can cause Gynecomastia in men.
Existing Medical Ailments
Certain medical conditions can trigger hormonal imbalances in the body which in turn can lead to conditions like Gynecomastia in men. Conditions like Pituitary Insufficiency Syndrome and Klinefelter Syndrome can alter the testosterone levels in addition to increasing the estrogen levels in the body. The decrease of testosterone combined with the increase of estrogen can lead to Gynecomastia.
Individuals who come from a family of men with Gynecomastia are more likely to develop the condition themselves as they age. Gynecomastia is also known to be common in families that have a history of overweight and obese individuals.