Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How Gynecomastia Effects The Lives of Millions

Gynecomastia is an embarrassing medical condition affecting the lives of millions of men around the world. Often called "man boobs" or "male breasts", gynecomastia is specifically the development of enlarged mammary glands in men. This abnormality results in the appearance of male breasts.

Although the exact reason why this happens is still up for debate, researchers agree that it has to do with the imbalance of the human sexual hormones testosterone and estrogen. Gynecomastria occurs because of low testosterone levels and/or an higher than normal estrogen levels.
Even though overweight men have a greater chance of developing man boobs, obesity itself is not the triggering factor. The extra fat tissue that settles around the male chest area does indeed make the breasts seem fuller.

However, the more critical aspect of obesity that raises the likelihood of gynecomastria is the fact that being overweight causes the male body to decrease its production of testosterone. With this key hormone at reduced levels, the hormone estrogen has a stronger effect, and thus causes the body to show physical characteristics more commonly associated with women, namely the development of the mammary glands.

Doctors say that virtually all obese males (defined as having a body fat index greater than thirty percent) suffer from at least a mild case of gynecomastria. And when you consider that more than 3 in 10 American adult males are classified as obese, the number of men living with this condition number in the millions.

Although gynecomastria itself is not life threatening, the stigma and embarrassment felt by men can cause permanent emotional damage resulting in a poor self image, low self-esteem, and potentially depression. Men with man boobs also avoid many social situations in an attempt to prevent hearing the jokes, ridicule and other negative comments made by those around them.

But there is hope. Men inflicted with gynecomastria have several options at their disposal to rid themselves of enlarged male breasts. Weight loss resulting from proper nutrition and a challenging fitness program has been proven to be an effective way to naturally overcome gynecomastria.

Medications can also be taken that either raise testosterone levels or lower estrogen levels, depending on the individual's prognosis. A growing trend among men is getting breast reduction surgery as a quick way to resolve the problem.

Gynecomastria may seem like a minor problem in today's society because it isn't deadly like cancer or heart disease. But the emotional toll it is taken on American men can be profound. And with the percentage of obese males increasing each year, the amount of men diagnosed with gynecomastria will also continue to rise.