Treating Gynecomastia (Man Boobs)

What is Gynecomastia or man boobs? What causes Gynecomastia? How to get rid of Gynecomastia permanently?

Gynecomastia is a condition that many people suffer from today, it induces low body confidence and self esteem in an individual because it affects the general appearance of the body. Gynecomastia has many causes, and it may appear at different ages for different individuals, in this article we will explore the types of gynecomastia, its causes and treatment.

First of all, gynecomastia is an enlargement of the breast area in men, which causes an unpleasant and sometimes disturbing appearance.
This inflation is due to two main reasons:

  • Enlargement and growth of the mammary glands in men, this condition is called gynecomastia or true gynecomastia (gynecomastia); or 
  • Accumulation of fat in the breast area associated with obesity, this is known as the false Balttda (Pseudo-Gynecomastia)

The occurrence of the two may coincide, so the gynecomastia that usually occurs consists of accumulated fat and enlarged glands.

How do you differentiate between real and false gynecomastia?

You can differentiate between true and false gynecomastia through a simple examination conducted by a specialist doctor, or you can also build an initial idea by examining yourself.

The symptoms of gynecomastia are as follows:

  • The appearence of a breast
  • The nipple is slightly swollen or enlarged
  • Pain when touching or pressing the area around the nipple
  • A disc of glandular tissue that feels somewhat firm
  • Accumulated fat may also be present if you are overweight

As for false gynecomastia , it is characterized by:

  • The presence of only accumulated fat which gives a shape similar to the breast in the chest
  • No hard textured tissue, just fat

Now that we know the possible symptoms and types, let's learn more about gynecomastia, its causes and treatment.

Gynecomastia, its causes and treatment

What is it?

Gynecomastia is the unhealthy and abnormal enlargement of breast tissue and the glands that make up it in males.
This problem can occur at different ages for different individuals.


Hormonal changes

Male hormones such as testosterone, are associated with the growth and emergence of primary and secondary sexual characteristics in men.

In both sexes, the hormones testosterone and estrogen are secreted, and they are always balanced in the blood according to the needs of different bodily functions.

Therefore, changes in the balance of these hormones and their secretion rates in the blood may be accompanied by a change in the growth and emergence of these secondary characteristics.

What concerns us in this case is an excess of estrogen and/or a lack of testosterone. Excess estrogen promotes the emergence of secondary female characteristics such as enlarged mammary glands, and due to this gynecomastia appears in men.

The reason for these hormonal changes depends on the age, for example:

  • Childhood:  Gynecomastia occurs at this age as a result of the effect of the estrogen hormone transmitted from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy, and this problem may disappear alone.
  • Puberty:  The period of puberty is the most hormone-producing period due to the escalation of the growth of body tissues until they reach the stage of puberty. One of these hormones is estrogen, whose secretion may sometimes exceed the normal limit, causing the appearance of temporary gynecomastia.
  • Middle age:  This occurs naturally because with the passage of age, the secretion of testosterone gradually decreases, and this condition is known as Andropause

In summary this problem of hormonal change is a benign physiological problem, the problem often disappears and the body returns to its normal state.


Many drugs may be produce growth of the mammary glands as a side effect, and the reason is due to the direct effect of these drugs on the hormones and/or its receptors and/or the source of its secretion, or an indirect or undiagnosable effect.

Medications that affect testosterone:

  • Estrogen-like substances or stimulate estrogen receptors, such as: digitalis (a medicine for heart failure)
  • Anti-cancer drugs such as busulfan-vincristine
  • Androgens used by athletes
  • Antifungals such as ketoconazole and metronidazole
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics such as spironolactone-Aldactone
  • Medicines that resist stomach acid, such as cimetidine (an histamine receptor antagonist) and ranitidine

Medicines whose modus operandi is unknown: 

  • Anti-hypertensive drugs, such as calcium channel blockers
  • Antipsychotics such as haloperidol
  • Some antidepressants
  • AIDS drugs

Also, alcoholic beverages, marijuana, and amphetamines cause gynecomastia in men.


Several diseases are known for the appearance of gynecomastia as a side effect, and these diseases include:

  • Liver disease, especially cirrhosis
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Certain tumors, such as prostate cancer and lung cancer
  • Adrenal or pituitary tumors
  • Some diseases affecting the spinal cord
  • Kidney failure
  • Diseases that cause testicular atrophy


There are many popular foods and drinks that have a direct effect on estrogen secretions and/or testosterone inhibition.

These foods and drinks include:

  • Soy and its derivatives : they contain estrogen-like substances (plant estrogens), which may have the same effect on the human body.
  • Shrimp : The problem here lies in the chemicals that are added to shrimp to maintain its color, which have been found to have an effect on hormone levels in the blood.
  • Canned foods : They may contain phthalate, a substance similar to estrogen and may mix with canned food.
  • Sprayed fruits such as strawberries : These fruits may be sprayed with insecticides to preserve them, these pesticides mimic the effect of estrogen in the body if mixed with fruits and eaten by mistake.
  • Barley - beer : Barley contains plant estrogens, and alcoholic beverages have a harmful effect on the liver, which helps the appearance of gynecomastia.
  • Licorice : Licorice contains an acidic substance that has a direct effect on the inhibition of testosterone in the body.

The effect of these foods and drinks lies in the frequency of their consumption and the period of their use.


It depends on the age stage, for example, gynecomastia associated with puberty or in childhood often disappears with the passage of time and proper regulation of hormone levels in the blood.

It is also important to consider the causes of the emergence of this pathological or therapeutic gynecomastia, and to consult a doctor.

You should also stay away from foods that we have already mentioned that causes gynecomastia, so as not to aggravate the problem.

As for persistent gynecomastia, which causes severe discomfort, it can be treated as follows:

  • Medications : Some anti-breast cancer drugs (such as tamoxifen), but its use is not authorized without a valid prescription of a Medical Practitioner; or
  • Surgery : It is one of the most popular methods of treating gynecomastia, especially if the enlargement is large.
    It is performed by removing the part of the glandular tissue located in the chest area through a simple surgical incision. Only a doctor can suggest this procedure based on your health and possible outcomes. The advantage of this surgery is that its results are very good and there is no possibility of these tissues returning again.

  • Liposuction : This method is used in the case of limited and unobtrusive gynecomastia, and it is also used with the surgical operation to reach better results.

False Gynecomastia

False gynecomastia is the enlargement of the breast area in men, but due to the accumulation of fat as a result of excessive obesity and not due to the growth of glands or imbalance of hormones.

This type of gynecomastia is common with the prevalence of obesity, and many people suffer from the repulsive form of it. False gynecomastia may also cause sagging skin in this area. False gynecomastia can also prevent the chest muscles from appearing neatly due to the accumulated fat.

The main cause of false gynecomastia is excessive obesity or being overweight in general.

Treatment of Pseudo Gynecomastia

Treatment is in two main ways:

  • Obesity treatment: It is the main treatment for this problem, by following a healthy diet, that is able to stimulate the body to burn fat, such as a calorie deficit system.
  • Liposuction : This treatment is usually resorted to when the problem persists or has not improved much after slimming.


Gynecomastia may be true and involve the growth of glandular tissue, or it may be false as a side effect of fat accumulation in the chest area.
Therefore, the origin and nature of the problem must be determined in order to choose the suitable treatment. Best method of diagnosis is to see a doctor.

Most of the bodybuilders who are on high doses of Anabolics round the year usually opt to have their mammary glands removed permanently. This saves them from Gynecomastia Permanently and allows better exposure of muscles.