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Health Conditions That May Be Causing Your Gynecomastia


September 20, 2018

Despite the fact that nearly 60 percent of men suffer from gynecomastia, a condition that causes “man boobs,” it remains largely untalked about. While the solution for most men is diet, exercise, and/ or cosmetic surgery, the underlying cause of gynecomastia is harder to identify.  

Most cases of gynecomastia are caused by a hormone imbalance. However, the underlying cause of that imbalance could be attributed to a number of different things, like:  

Alcohol Abuse

Excessive alcohol use can cause cirrhosis of the liver, also known as liver disease. Because the liver is responsible for metabolizing hormones, a diseased liver won’t be able to do its job properly. If your body begins absorbing more estrogen (female) hormones than androgen (male) hormones, enlarged breasts could be the result.


Testicular and lung cancer have been known to affect hormone levels in men. Even if the tumor is benign (noncancerous), it can still cause your body to overproduce estrogen and develop breasts. 


Obesity affects men who are concerned about the size of their breasts in two ways. Overweight men tend to store a lot of fat in their chests and stomachs. As you gain weight, fat begins storing in your breasts, making them larger. As your weight increases, your body will begin producing more estrogen (a natural side effect of weight gain in men and women).


While this isn’t exactly a condition, it’s one of the main causes of gynecomastia in puberty-age boys. During puberty, your body’s hormone levels change at drastic rates. If a boy has higher rates of estrogen than androgen hormones, he may begin to develop breasts. However, this tends to be a temporary imbalance and the body usually corrects itself before puberty ends. Once the imbalance is fixed, the breasts will go away.

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