The enlargement of both breasts in guys is a condition called bilateral gynecomastia. It occurs as a result of hormone imbalance, specifically the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Men are supposed to have more of testosterone while women should have more of estrogen. But sometimes men will have more estrogen instead resulting in more obvious female characteristics in their body, particularly bigger boobs. It’s considered a serious problem because men and boys who have it are embarrassed about their chest and as a result they tend to have low self esteem, poor social life and even become depressed.
Difference Between Unilateral and Bilateral Gynecomastia
It’s fairly easy to figure out the difference between these two types of gynecomastia. Basically, unilateral is one sided man boobs while bilateral is two sided man boobs. Symptoms generally include swollen breast tissue and tenderness when touched. Those who have bilateral gynecomastia experience these symptoms on their two breasts although at times swelling and tenderness will only be felt in one side.
What Causes It?
There are many factors that have been attributed to the condition. As mentioned earlier, when estrogen levels in a man’s body is increased and bigger in number compared to testosterone, the result is gynecomastia. The occurrence of this hormone imbalance have been associated with hormonal changes, health disorders and medications. But one thing you need to understand is about one-fourth of the cases have no apparent cause.
On the other hand, for those that may be attributed to hormone imbalance, the reasons include natural aging, liver disease, the use of anabolic steroids for body building, chemotherapy to treat cancer, lung and testicular cancer, the use of marijuana, estrogen exposure, dialysis, hormone replacement therapy, and radiation. All of these have been known to cause an imbalance in hormones, and consequently, gynecomastia.
How is Gynecomastia Diagnosed?
If you suspect you have gynecomastia, you should see a health care provider. They will conduct a thorough physical examination and get your medical history. They will also want to know what medications you are taking and will conduct palpation of your breast tissue, genitals and abdomen. They may order some blood tests to check your hormone levels as well as request for X-rays, CT scans, mammograms, ultrasound, biopsy and MRI. All these tests may be required to determine whether you have fatty tissue in your breast and what may be causing it.
What are the Treatments of Bilateral Gynecomastia?
Treatments of bilateral and unilateral gynecomastia are generally the same and most of the time, if the condition is severe, your doctor will recommend surgery (excision of fatty tissues). Of course, treatment choices vary depending on the level of discomfort and the cause of your condition. Other options include liposuction, mastectomy, and laser treatment.
If you want to have a less intense kind of treatment, you can find lots of information about this on the Web. In fact, a lot of former- gynecomastia sufferers recommend proper nutrition and lifestyle changes. These things are aimed towards bringing some balance back to your hormones which in turn will lead to the gradual shrinking of your man boobs.
Some experts also recommend exercise, particularly compound workouts. These workouts are designed to build muscle so if you focus on your chest area, such as doing flat bench press and deadlifts, you will be able to turn the fat into muscle. Instead of having a female chest, your chest will look like that of Christian Bale’s in Dark Knight. Take note however that the path to recovery will take a long time, and sometimes, the results will not be significant enough.
So is it possible to avoid bilateral gynecomastia or gynecomastia in general? Maybe. First of all, you should quit using all kinds of recreational drugs such as steroids and marijuana as these can greatly contribute to bigger boobs. Secondly, keep a balance diet. When you are healthy and active, you can prevent your body from accumulating fat which also is a factor in the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. And finally, if you are taking medications that have been known to cause a hormone imbalance, you might want to check with your doctor for a possible alternative.
There are many cost effective ways to cure gynecomastia available on the market so choice the one which you think best suits for you.