As a man, you don't have to worry about breast tissue growing in your chest. You are not alone. Gynecomastia is a condition when chest tissue grows larger in men due to a hormonal imbalance. At certain times in a man's life, such as birth and puberty, gynecomastia is normal and will go away on its own. However, this condition can also be caused by problems and the use of certain drugs, including chemotherapy, radiation, steroids, alcohol, and marijuana. If you don't like how it looks, there are several ways to reduce gynecomastia. After consulting with your doctor, you can adjust how to take supplements, make changes to your diet, and adjust your lifestyle.
Method 1 of 3: Changing Your Diet
Step 1. Increase your iodine intake if your doctor recommends it
Iodine is needed by the thyroid to produce hormones. Since gynecomastia is usually caused by hormonal imbalances, increasing the intake of iodine in the body can help. However, the doctor should check the level of iodine in your body first.
To increase your iodine intake, make sure your salt contains this substance, and eat foods such as fish, dairy products, wheat, and seaweed
Step 2. Eat adequate amounts of food to maintain a healthy weight and prevent testosterone levels from dropping
If you are on a strict calorie diet, it could be that your testosterone levels are dropping along with your estrogen levels. As a result, you experience gynecomastia. Make sure your calorie intake is adequate for your age. Most men need 2,500 calories a day to maintain weight, although this can change with age and activity level.
In addition, nutrition is also very important which means your diet should include fruits and vegetables, low-fat protein, and whole grains
Step 3. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol can affect the body's hormonal balance. Ideally, stop consuming alcohol. Otherwise, try not to consume too much alcohol, preferably less than 1-2 drinks a day.
Method 2 of 3: Changing Your Lifestyle
Step 1. Ask your doctor if gynecomastia is a side effect of your medication
Some medications can cause gynecomastia. Even so, you should not stop using the drug just like that. Your doctor can help replace the problematic medication with another that is safe for you.
Drugs that can cause this problem include antibiotics, AIDS drugs, heart medications, anabolic steroids and androgens, antiandrogens, chemotherapy, and tricyclic antidepressants
Step 2. Lose weight for obese people
Obesity is closely related to gynecomastia. If you have a BMI above 25 kg/m, there is an 80% chance that you will develop gynecomastia. In addition to a healthy diet, you should also exercise 150 minutes per week. Aerobic exercise in general can help you lose weight and reduce gynecomastia.
Discuss the best way to reach your target weight safely with your doctor or licensed dietitian
Step 3. Make sure you are not taking illegal drugs
A number of illegal drugs or used illegally can increase the chances of developing gynecomastia. Some drugs that can cause problems are heroin, marijuana, steroids, and amphetamines.
Step 4. Stay away from products that contain vegetable oils as they can increase estrogen levels
Some plant oils, such as lavender or tea tree oil, can make your condition worse by affecting estrogen levels. Check the vegetable oil content in products such as lotions, shampoos, and soaps.
Step 5. Consider wearing a sports bra
Usually, gynecomastia is not a medical problem. In other words, it does not harm your health. If appearance is a major issue, you should wear a sports bra under your shirt to help "flatten" your chest.
Most sports bras are standard sizes, such as small, medium, and large (small, medium, and large), not based on the length of the straps and the arc of the bowl. So you should be able to find the right bra size easily
Step 6. Be patient
Gynecomastia is not uncommon to resolve on its own, especially if it occurs in teenagers. Even if you want to talk to your doctor, there's a good chance he'll just ask you to wait. Often, gynecomastia will shrink within 3 years.
Step 7. Consider plastic surgery after the medical problem has been resolved
If no medical cause is responsible for your gynecomastia, it means that the extra tissue in your chest will need to be removed through plastic surgery. Lately, plastic surgery is increasingly being performed on men so that it has become a normal procedure.
Ask your doctor for recommendations to find out if you need to undergo plastic surgery or not
Method 3 of 3: Seeking Medical Advice
Step 1. Make an appointment with the doctor
Your doctor can determine the cause of your gynecomastia and help you treat the symptoms appropriately. Since some diseases can cause gynecomastia, you should get proper treatment with the help of a doctor. Once your doctor knows the cause, you can choose the treatment that best suits your needs.
Some conditions that doctors can treat include Klinefelter syndrome, cystic fibrosis, ulcerative colitis, chronic kidney disease, thyroid disease, and liver disorders
Step 2. Call your doctor if you experience any worrying symptoms
While gynecomastia is usually nothing to worry about, it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem. Let your doctor know if your gynecomastia is accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- Swelling or sensitivity to pain in the chest.
- Pain in the chest or nipples.
- Discharge from one nipple
- Enlargement of only one breast or the presence of a large bulge in one breast, which can indicate breast cancer.
Step 3. Show your doctor what medications and supplements you are taking
Some medications and supplements can cause gynecomastia, so it's important for your doctor to know what you're taking. It's a good idea to bring the bottle, but you can also write the list down on paper.
Try not to forget to write down the dose
Step 4. Get a blood test to identify the underlying cause
Blood tests can identify certain medical conditions, as well as medications in the blood that could be causing these conditions. This easy diagnostic test is painless and can be done in the clinic.
- The doctor will also be able to use a blood test to check testosterone levels; Low testosterone levels can contribute to gynecomastia.
- Blood tests can rule out conditions such as kidney disease and drug side effects.
Step 5. Get a mammogram if your doctor recommends it
Your doctor may order a mammogram to determine the cause of gynecomastia. Although the mammogram test is usually done on women, men can also have it. This test helps doctors examine chest tissue in both men and women, which helps prevent and diagnose conditions such as breast cancer.
You may experience some discomfort during the mammogram test
Step 6. Agree to a biopsy if necessary to confirm the diagnosis
If your doctor is having trouble identifying the cause of your gynecomastia, he or she may need to take a sample of chest tissue. The sample is then examined under a microscope to identify potential causes of gyecomastia. When your doctor performs a biopsy, you will be given a local anesthetic to make you feel more comfortable.
You can feel a little discomfort
- While you may feel embarrassed, know that this is completely normal.
- Note that gynecomastia also occurs in 60-90% of newborns and goes away on its own within a few weeks.