Causes of gynecomastia


It has been a severe mystery for many medical communities that actually what the basic causes of gynecomastia are. Being a benign situation, no one tried to put effort into finding fundamental causes of gynecomastia. But before diving deep into causes of gynecomastia, let’s get the clear situation on what actually gynecomastia is and what it’s not.


Enlargement of breast size in men due to the growth of breast tissue is actually gynecomastia. Whereas, breast enlargement due to deposition of fat around and under the areola is called pseudogynecomastia.


Excess Estrogen Is The Main Culprit

estrogen causes gynecomastia


There might be several reasons for gynecomastia but all of them are co-related or you may say backed by one main cause and that is the presence of the excess maternal hormones or female hormone. The scientifically female hormone is present in every man at a specific level and that’s perfectly normal.


The problem begins when the level of female hormone increases abnormally in men, this causes gynecomastia. There might be various reasons for the abnormal increase in female hormone level and that what we are going to discuss further in this article.


Gynecomastia can be classified into four different sectors
1) Men who developed male breast naturally

2) Development of gynecomastia through use of steroids neglecting PCT (Post Cycle Therapy)

3) Use of several prescribed medication that causes gynecomastia

4) Development of male breast through consumption of drugs and alcohol

All these factors seem different actually they are root for producing excess estrogen that causes male breast.


Causes Of Gynecomastia In Puberty Period

gynecomastia in puberty


Every human body has two types of hormone, a female hormone (estrogen) and male hormone (androgen). When estrogen level in males exceeds androgen level, it results in gynecomastia. Natural growth of breast in teens that disappears within the certain time period is called Physiologic Gynecomastia.


Increase in the level of estrogen in the male during puberty is quite natural that results in enlargement of the male breast, but most of the time it is temporary. In a study, it has been revealed that among 40% of teens suffering from gynecomastia, 75% of them get to the normal flat chest within 2 years of onset.


Causes of Gynecomastia In Adults

Talking about symptoms of pubertal gynecomastia and adult gynecomastia, they are mostly similar. But both gynecomastia is actually different and one should never relate one to another. Men who didn’t have any state of gynecomastia in their young age and got developed in their adulthood could be due to various reasons.


Development of gynecomastia in adults could be the reason of hormonal imbalance, consumption of prescription medication, consumption of drugs and alcohol or due to an unhealthy diet.


Medications That Causes Gynecomastia

drugs causing gynecomastia


There are some prescribed medications that could cause gynecomastia in both teenagers and adults. It is reported that 10-25% of gynecomastia cases are due consumption of prescribed drugs,

  • Steroids like Prednisone and Dexamethasone
  • Medication for treatment of ulcer
  • Medication for treatment of Epilepsy
  • Digitalis medication used for heart problem can cause swelling in breast
  • Medication used during chemotherapy also causes gynecomastia
  • Antiandrogen drugs such as cyproterone, spironolactone, and flutamide
  • Anti-anxiety and Anti-depressant drugs like Tricyclic and Valium
  • Medications like ketoconazole, 5α-Reductase inhibitors, cimetidine, bicalutamide, spironolactone and flutamide

Medications that may probably cause gynecomastia are verapamil, risperidone, nifedipine, amlodipine, olanzapine, opioids, anabolic steroids, efavirenz, omeprazole and alkylating agents.


Medical Condition That Causes Gynecomastia

There are some men in whom gynecomastia occurs due to various health conditions such as,

  • Hypogonadism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Tumors
  • Aging
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Malnutrition and starvation
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Peutz–Jeghers syndrome
  • hCG-secreting choriocarcinoma
  • Graves’ disease
  • Aromatase excess syndrome


Foods That Causes Gynecomastia

Unknown to us till now, there are several food items that are included in our daily food list, actually leads to exceeding estrogen level in our body. Foods like genetically altered meat and milk are such kind of foods. Along with these some foods like tofu and soy also helps in increasing estrogen level. Fatty food items are also a major reason for male breast enhancement.


What Causes Man Boobs In Steroid Users

Please note that every steroid doesn’t lead to man boobs, but it can’t be ignored that all of them have some side effects. Aromatize steroids such as Anadrol, Dianabol, and Sustanon are some common steroids that cause gynecomastia. But wait! There are also some other steroids causing man boobs. Severity and time of occurrence totally depend on the dose and strength of steroids.


Steroid induced gynecomastia


Why Gynecomastia Occurs In Steroid Users & How To Treat It

When a user starts taking steroids, the testosterone increases to build muscle cells and generate extra power that makes the user feel powerful and bulky. But when they stop consuming steroids, the hormonal balance in their body gets altered. The production of estrogen increases in comparison to the production of androgen.


This creates a chain reaction that causes enlargement of breast tissues, resulting gynecomastia. This is where PCT or Post Cycle Therapy becomes important. Your body becomes a habitat for the steroids and when you stop giving it required a supplement, it starts reacting adversely. Post cycle therapy helps you to treat this adverse effect of quitting steroid and prevent the growth of male breast.