Gynecomastia is a condition where men experience breast tissue growth, often due to an imbalance of hormones (high estrogen and low androgen levels). This condition affects over 50 percent of adolescents with statistics narrowing down to over 3 million individuals in the US alone. Moreover, about 48 to 64 percent of males in their pubescence experience gynecomastia first when they are 10 years old. Nonetheless, the peak onset mostly appears among boys who are aged 13 and 14 years. The good thing with this teenage gynecomastia is that the fat tissues that accumulate around the breast will eventually flatten out as the person approaches adulthood. Gynecomastia, therefore, becomes a major problem when it is experienced in adulthood.
What Causes Adult Gynecomastia?
Any kind of gynecomastia is linked to increased estrogen production, which is a female characteristics hormone. High estrogen levels lead to low testosterone production that then causes pectoral fat accumulation. So, what causes these elevated levels of estrogen?
Reports indicate that a pre-existing medical condition could be the possible trigger of estrogen production in males. This mainly occurs when a man experiences a side effect after using certain medication or as a result of drug abuse. Medical conditions such as kidney failure, malnutrition, hyperthyroidism, and Klinefelter syndrome, for instance, have been directly or indirectly linked to the development of gynecomastia due to high estrogen production. If you are under an anti-retroviral, any antipsychotics, or any medication meant for prostate cancer therapy, you are also at risk of experiencing abnormal breast enlargement that could develop into gynecomastia. Use of steroids also has an after-effect that is similar to gynecomastia in some cases.
Some males also experience elevated estrogen levels if a lot of this female sex hormone is produced during puberty and then carried over to adulthood. Due to this abnormal balance in hormones, your body will create a chain reaction where the testosterone production and metabolism are lower.
Your diet could also greatly impact the development of gynecomastia because some foods are known to trigger the production of estrogen. If you drink milk obtained from a pregnant cow or eat foods high in estrogen, for instance, you might start dealing with natural breast enlargement. Some of the foods you might consider avoiding include soy products, oats, rice, beans, apples, sesame seeds, rice bran, tofu, tempeh, coffee, and carrots.