All diseases cause some form of distress or the other. However, one of the most embarrassing of all diseases is Gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a non-malignant enlargement of breasts in males. This may occur briefly in newborns and most boys may have this during their adolescence for a couple of years. However, in older males, this may be due to side effects of a range of certain medicines or reduced testosterone in older men usually when they are over sixty years of age. Men with prostate cancer may be treated with medication to suppress androgens to slow down or stop cancer growth but this may have an undesirable effect of Gynecomastia. Hyperthyroidism and kidney or liver failure can also bring this about. It has also been found that malnourished persons who start getting proper nutrition may have these symptoms which fade away within two years. So while the disease itself is not dangerous, it happens as a side effect of other dangerous scenarios.
Pseudogynecomastia And The Effect Of Diet And Exercise
One encouraging piece of information is that for the majority of cases the problem may be due to pseudogynecomastia which is caused by the deposit of fat. The fatty layers are caused by poor diet resulting in excess calories as well as by poor exercise. Fat develops over a period and when it crosses 30% body fat, the body starts releasing increased estrogen and this may cause the onslaught of the regular Gynecomastia. Therefore, while the body is still in pseudogynecomastia state, a program of diet and exercise should be initiated. The exercises are quite light and composed of around 40 minutes of jogging, walking, rowing and cycling. In some cases, this may need to be stepped up. Weight training can also be used and dumbbells and the inclined bench press are usually the key components. Weight training progressively puts on more muscle and these results in burning of more fat and increase the level of testosterone.
Most doctors put patients through a regimen of diet and exercise first whether the problem is pseudogynecomastia or true Gynecomastia. One way of identifying which of the two is present is to pinch the chest and see if there is a hard lump under the nipple. If it is present, then the cause is probably true Gynecomastia. If, however, there is no difference to other parts of the body like the stomach, then the chances are it is pseudogynecomastia. In addition to the exercises described here, doctors will also control the diet by identifying items that are contributing to increased fat. Alcohol is a significant culprit which causes increased estrogen levels thus increasing fat. Lean protein is excellent for raising metabolism and getting rid of fat. A healthy diet is the first weapon that doctors use in fighting Gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia Treatment Using Pills And Creams
For those who are lazy or unwilling to go through the rigours of controlled diet and exercise, there are many pills and creams available on the market with claims to dramatically reduce Gynecomastia. Some pills like Gynexin claim to treat the disease by increasing testosterone levels while, at the same time, lowering estrogen levels which contribute to Gynecomastia and cause reduced appetite. There has been no study of the effects of these pills and medication and so there is no evidence to support or deny such claims. Since there does not seem to be any harmful effects of these medications, most people tend to try them first and then, if not satisfied, proceed to more rigorous treatment.
Surgical Treatment Of Gynecomastia
If non-surgical methods have been tried for over a year with no improvement, then surgery is the only option available. Surgical methods are broadly divided into those treatment methods that require skin removal and those that do not. Subcutaneous mastectomy is the most common surgical treatment requiring skin removal. Ultrasonic liposuction is one of the popular methods with excellent results without removing the skin. There are several risks present in these surgical options such as wound infections, variation in sensation, scars and deformities and non-symmetrical breast results.
Gynecomastia is, in most cases, not dangerous or harmful but is usually an indication of the presence of other lethal diseases like cancer or tumours. Hence, medical attention is strongly recommended at the earliest opportunity.