What is Gynecomastia?
Have you ever seen a male counterpart with enlarged breasts? That is a condition known as gynecomastia. Sometimes individuals refer to this condition as the male boobs. The condition is majorly witnesses in old age, infancy and puberty. Gynecomatia is not an abnormality but is always caused by a number of factors. Medically, this condition is thought to be caused by the alteration of the ratio of the estrogen in the body to that of the androgens. This is said to mediate by the increase in; the estrogen production, decrease in the production of the androgen and the combination of the increase in estrogen and the decrease in androgen. Apart from the infancy, puberty and old age causes of the condition, researches have also shown that diseases, cosmetics, and drugs can cause gynecomastia.
Causes of Gynecomastia
It is very sad to note that some conditions can be the cause of other conditions in the human body. Medical experts have listed the various health hazards in men that can be the cause of this condition. Some that have been mentioned include the liver and the kidney failure. Individuals with the kidney failure are often malnourished. This malnourishment may be a major contribution to the development of this particular condition. During the kidney failure, many individuals experience hormone imbalance in their bodies because of the suppression caused by the generation of the testerone. This alteration is seen due to the damage of the testicular caused by the increased level off urea.
People who suffer liver failure or cirrhosis may lack the ability to metabolize hormones such as estrogen. Worse still, those with the alcoholic liver diseases are further prone to the development of this condition in their system. This is because the ethanol present in the system may hinder the synthesis of testerone. The presence of alcohol in the body system may cause an increase in the levels of the estrogen and testerone. Certain conditions and diseases that are likely to cause the malabsorption or ulcerative colitis may in turn produce gynecomastia.
Apart from the chronic diseases that have been mentioned above, testicular tumors such as sterol cell tumors and the leydig cell tumors may also result to gynecomastia. In most of the cases the tumors in the system of an individual may lead to the production of hormones that alters the female –male hormone balance that in turn cause gynecomastia. This tumor includes the pituitary gland tumor, brochogenic carcinoma, adrenocortical tumors among others. Lastly, an individual who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are undergoing a treatment with androgen deprivation therapy may also be affected with gynecomastia.
Other medications including aldosterone antagonists, mathedone , HIV medication, heartburn and ulcer medications, hormone treatment for prostate cancer, calcium channel blockers, antibiotics such as metronidazole, antifungal medications such as ketoconazole, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, cancer chemotherapy, herbals such as lavender, dong quail and tea tree oiare also known to cause gynecomastia. During the process of chemotherapy, many harsh and complex, toxic chemicals are administered to kill the cancer cells. These drugs may lead to the unbalancing of the levels of sex hormones present in the human body, which can in turn cause abnormal breast growth especially in men. Additionally, the mixtures of drugs that are used to manage AIDS, known as highly active antiretroviral therapy, may be among the causes of gynecomastia. Most of the researches including the Mayo clinic.com explain that the combination that includes the anti-retroviral drug is most likely to increase the growth of breast tissue thus this condition.
It is true that everything has an effect. In the same way, drugs have effects on the body of humans. Although the drugs are usually administered for positive effects, the results can be both positive and negative. Many forms of the drug prescription can cause gynecomastia, including antibiotics, antidepressants, amphetamines, ulcer medications, and blood pressure drugs. Apart from that, some herbal remedies can also trigger this condition. In one small study, lavender oil and tea tree oil that are the common ingredients in soaps, shampoos, conditioners, relaxers and lotions can contribute to the development of gynecomastia.
Taking too much of drugs such as cocaine, marijuana among others can cause liver disease .Liver diseases affects the hormone metabolism. It can alter and affect the way the body system metabolizes hormones, resulting in breast enlargement. Too much of alcohol can also cause kidney failure which is a contributor of hormone balancing disruption. This condition can result in gynecomastia. These street or illegal drugs can disrupt the balance of sex hormone and induce the female secondary sex characteristics by altering the female –male hormones ratio in the body. In return, it may lead to the development of the female characteristics including increased breast growth, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The use of the cosmetics is also another cause of this condition. For example, gynecomastia especially in children are usually associated with the regular use of the skin care products such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos. The products especially those that contains tea tree oil and lavender oil among others are the major contributions to the alteration of the female –male hormone ration. Scientifically, these oils usually contain plant estrogens that can affect the system of an individual thus altering the body’s hormone balance. This condition can be resolved completely after stopping the usage of such products. Cosmetics with lavender oil and tea tree oil works is a similar way as the action of female estrogen. This oil, in the same way as the female hormone estrogen, mainly works to block the male hormone androgen. On the other hand other cosmetic products such as the Soy products such as soymilk, do not cause gynecomastia unless the consumption in large quantity.
In a nutshell
In summary, this condition may be caused by various factors ranging from cosmetics, drugs, diseases and even the individual stage of life. An individual should therefore see a doctor in case he is experiencing the symptoms of this condition. One should not worry because the remedies are available and efficient.