- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 09 2017
What is Gynecomastia? (enlarged breasts in men)
Gynecomastia is swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Newborns, boys going through puberty and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels, though other causes also exist.
Generally, gynecomastia isn't a serious problem, but it can be tough to cope with the condition.
Men and boys with gynecomastia sometimes have pain in their breasts and may feel embarrassed.
Gynecomastia may go away on its own. If it persists, medication or surgery may help.
Gynecomastia is triggered by a decrease in the amount of the hormone testosterone compared with estrogen. The cause of this decrease can be conditions that block the effects of or reduce testosterone or a condition that increases your estrogen level.
The hormones testosterone and estrogen control the development and maintenance of sex characteristics in both men and women. Testosterone controls male traits, such as muscle mass and body hair. Estrogen controls female traits, including the growth of breasts.
Most people think of estrogen as an exclusively female hormone, but men also produce it — though normally in small quantities. However, male estrogen levels that are too high or are out of balance with testosterone levels can cause gynecomastia.
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