What is gynecomastia?


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Know the basics

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is an abnormal breast development. This is a disorder of hormone estrogen and testosterone leading to excessive development of breast tissues. Generally, this is not a disease and it just affects aesthetic problems.

How common is gynecomastia?

This health condition is common in 3 groups of people:

  • New born baby boys;
  • Boys aged from 12 – 16;
  • Old men.

In baby boys, breast can be normal within 6 weeks to 3 years after puberty. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?

Symptoms of gynecomastia include:

  • Breast is bigger than usual in males;
  • There are hard inflamed tissue under nipple, can feel by hand.
  • A little pain in breast but it is not serious.

There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Swollen breast;
  • Pain in one or two sides of breast;
  • Nipples discharge.

Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes gynecomastia?

Common cause of gynecomastia in males is hormone changes in puberty. This condition can occur in both new born baby boy and old men. Some medications, drugs and increased muscle medicines in fitness can cause gynecomastia. Soya milk, tofu and other food from soya can also be one of factors causing gynecomastia because soya contains a lot of hormone estrogen. Besides, there are some rare causes such as breast cancer, mammary tumors, birth defects, liver or kidney disease.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for gynecomastia?

There are many risk factors for gynecomastia such as:

  • Age: boys in puberty period or old people are likely to have this disease.
  • Using anabolic steroids or hormone androgen in sport.
  • Other diseases such as liver or kidney disease, thyroid disease, hormone disorders and Klinefelter syndrome.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is gynecomastia diagnosed?

Doctors can diagnose the disease by testing physical chest and breast. Blood tests can be taken to test hormone level and find out other causes. Sometimes, doctors will perform other tests such as mammography and breast ultrasound to check if there is any tumors’ presence.

How is gynecomastia treated?

Boys aged from 12 to 16 and infants do not need treatment because the disease will get relieved when they grow up. Other treatments:

  • Apply ice and painkillers if breast inflame;
  • Do not use stimulant;
  • Stop using substance in fitness. Tell doctor any supplement you are using.

To hormone disorder problems, specific medications can help to balance and normalize breast tissues. However, if you donot get relieved, doctors will prescribe to cut extra tissues.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage gynecomastia?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with gynecomastia:

  • Limit alcohol;
  • Do not use food from soya in your daily diet;
  • Do not use medications contain hormone estrogen;
  • Follow doctor’s instruction, do not use medications without prescription or quit without doctor’s permission;
  • Schedule re-examination to control development of symptoms as well as your heath condition.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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