Gynecomastia is the name given to breast tissue that develops more than normal in the chest area of men. In general, this term covers all conditions in which the volume of men’s breast tissue increases. Physiologically, excessive growth of milk-producing breast tissue in men is defined as gynecomastia. However, in some cases, the growth of breast tissue due to excess weight is called “pseudo-gynecomastia” or “pseudo-gynecomastia”. This condition, which is more common especially in infants, young men and the elderly, may negatively affect the self-esteem and social life of the person, although it does not pose a serious health problem.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Breast tissue is known as a tissue that is exposed to the direct effect of hormones produced by the endocrine system. Changes in hormone balance in the body can lead to different reactions and sometimes structural changes in tissues.
In women, the production of milk after childbirth and the development of the breast during puberty are under the influence of certain hormones, mainly estrogen and progesterone. Elevated blood levels of these hormones allow breast tissue to enlarge and produce milk.
Testosterone, the main male hormone, normally dominates the male body. However, sometimes, for various reasons, testosterone levels may decrease or estrogen levels may increase. This hormonal imbalance can cause abnormal breast growth in men, gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia occurs as a result of overdevelopment of the glands in the breast due to the increased effect of estrogen in the male body. This can be caused both by hormone imbalances and by some external factors. The enlargement of the breast in men is not only an aesthetic problem, but can also negatively affect a person’s self-esteem. Therefore, it is very important to determine the cause of gynecomastia and apply appropriate treatment methods.
Gynecomastia may be uncomfortable as a physical change and may require treatment, but it is usually not a serious health problem. However, it can sometimes indicate underlying health problems such as liver and kidney disease or endocrine disorders. In such cases, treatment of the underlying cause is essential.
During childhood and adolescence, gynecomastia may develop due to natural processes. In these types of gynecomastia, the growth of breast tissue often regresses spontaneously without the need for special intervention. The general recommendation in such cases is to monitor patients at intervals of 3 to 6 months. We observe that puberty-related gynecomastia usually disappears within two years.
The use of certain medications can cause gynecomastia. If gynecomastia is caused by a medication, the dose of this medication may need to be adjusted or replaced with an alternative medication.
As for medical treatment, it can be treated with drugs that aim to block the sensitivity of breast tissue to hormones. However, because these drugs have side effects, they are not often used in clinical settings. Instead, mastectomy, in which excess breast tissue is surgically removed, is preferred. The most appropriate treatment method for each patient depends on the patient’s condition, wishes and the doctor’s recommendation.