What is Gynecomastia?
The word Gynecomastia comes from two Greek words, Gyne meaning Woman and Mastos which means breast. A loose translation would be “woman like breasts”. They are also know as steroid breasts or bitch tits as some people unkindly call them.
It describes a condition whereby breast tissue builds up in a males chest creating what appear to be female breasts. These breasts can be quite tender and sensitive.The condition Gynecomastia is very common in adolescent boys, however, in about 90% of these cases, the condition disappears naturally as their adolescence follows it’s course.
For the remaining 10% though, it remains and can be quite a social handicap causing significant psychological damage to the patient. The feelings that this condition can generate can be shame, embarrassment and humiliation commonly. A lot of this can be brought about from teasing and jokes made about their breasts by their peers.
Other than the tenderness in the chest which is associated with Gynecomastia, there are no other medical problems with this condition other than the psychological problems that it causes.
Interestingly, it is possible that this condition may affect only one breast or both.
What causes Gynecomastia?
For most cases of Gynecomastia, there are no identifiable causes for this problem. However, this list contains a lot of what is commonly accepted to cause Gynecomastia.
– steroid abuse
– genetic disorders
– chronic liver disease
– side effects of medication
– Klinefelter Syndrome
– Gilberts Syndrome
Gynecomastia can also be caused by changes in the balance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. This commonly occurs during puberty although can probably happen during other stages of a mans life.
From that list, it is believed that the main causes are obesity, steroid abuse and an imbalance in hormones.
How is Gynecomastia Diagnosed?
The doctor will probably make a physical examination of the breasts and then ask a number of questions regarding your breasts in order to ascertain how long you’ve had them and also what degree of tenderness do you experience.
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