Gynecomastia (sometimes called "man boobs") is a condition that causes the breasts of boys and men to swell and grow more prominent than usual. Male teens and older men are more likely to suffer from this condition.
It is caused by an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone, though other causes can also be responsible. Gynecomastia can affect either or both breasts, and sometimes unevenly.
Gynecomastia is generally not a severe condition, but it can be frustrating to deal with. Occasionally, men and boys with gynecomastia experience breast pain and may feel embarrassed.
Symptoms range from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to prominent breasts.
There are times when breast tissue can be tender or painful, but this does not always occur.
There can even be nipple sensitivity with rubbing against the clothes.
Gynecomastia can be caused by the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Breast tissue grows when estrogen levels are high.
Gynecomastia is usually caused by being very overweight since being overweight can cause an increase in levels of estrogen, which in turn causes breast tissue to grow. Overweight people are also likely to have excess fat in their breasts, enlarging them.
The hormone levels of boys fluctuate during puberty. When testosterone levels drop, estrogen can stimulate the growth of breast tissue. Many teenage boys have enlarged breasts.
The testosterone production of men decreases with age. Additionally, older men tend to have more body fat, which can cause more estrogen to be produced. Excessive breast tissue can result from this change in hormone levels.
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