Don't Be A Moob: Good Habits to Prevent Gynecomastia

Brook Flagg

by Brook Flagg | August 3, 2011 @ 09:00AM

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Preventing Gynecomastia: Steps You Can Take

“Gynecomastia,” the condition of enlarged male breasts (“female-like breasts”), is a concern for many men from all walks of life. For some, this embarrassing medical condition can be prevented when certain steps are diligently taken. These steps include:

Staying in a Healthy Weight Range 

There is no hard data regarding the percentage of men who have improved their gynecomastia simply by losing weight, but medical experts tend to agree that overweight males are at a higher risk. If you are already obese, diet and exercise can reduce your chances of developing gynecomastia in the future.

If you are an overweight male who already has the condition, you may actually be at an advantage for treatment if your gynecomastia is linked to obesity; this is because your enlarged breasts are comprised of fat rather than hormonally-charged glandular tissue, which is harder to eliminate (see “Avoiding Anabolic Steroids” below). If you are obese, losing weight should take care of your gynecomastia problem without the need for surgery.

Not Doing Illegal Drugs 

Medical studies show that the phytoestrogens in cannabis, when ingested in the body, can lower testosterone levels. If you consume marijuana, you may be limiting your own testosterone production and causing a hormonal imbalance. When this occurs, the unnatural testosterone-to-estrogen ratio in your body can lead to gynecomastia.

Teenage boys can be especially sensitive to this risk, as they are already at a higher risk for developing gynecomastia. Up to 65 percent of 14-year-old boys have enlarged breasts, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). This is due to the fluctuations in sex hormones that occur during puberty. In 75 percent of cases, excess breast tissue can disappear without treatment within two years. Marijuana use may aggravate and/or prolong a boy’s gynecomastia condition.

Avoiding Anabolic Steroids

The link between anabolic steroids and gynecomastia has been well-documented. When the body senses the presence of too much testosterone or an artificial, testosterone-like substance, it tries to reduce the level by a process called “aromitization.” The process converts the testosterone to estradiol, an estrogen-like substance that enlarges the breasts.

Substances like Anadrol, Sustanon, and Dianabol are known to case gynecomastia, but many types of steroids can lead to the condition if taken in high doses. This may be one of the most difficult types of gynecomastia to treat, because steroids induce the condition more rapidly; and this “bodybuilder gynecomastia” is usually a sheet of pure glandular tissue, rather than fat. This means it is thicker and more fibrous. You can reduce your risk of developing gynecomastia by staying away from anabolic steroids.

Preventing Gynecomastia: Being Proactive 

Following these proactive steps can reduce your risks for developing gynecomastia, an embarrassing condition that, for some men, can only be corrected with surgery. For questions on gynecomastia surgery, please contact one of our featured male breast reduction specialists.

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