We field lots of questions about testosterone online at gynecomastia.org and in our man boobs consultations in South Florida each year. Guys know that hormones and moobs are related in many cases, and they want to know how. Some men have the idea that perhaps a self-prescribed supplement might banish their enlarged breasts—we hope that’s not you! But many just want to understand how hormones work so they can make good decisions about gynecomastia along with their physicians.
According to Johns Hopkins, the body’s endocrine system and the hormones it produces are responsible for growth and development, metabolism and energy, reproduction and response to stress, injuries and external influences. In other words, a properly functioning endocrine system is key to living a normal life. Read the organization’s excellent overview here.
Men and women have both testosterone and estrogen in their bodies. For guys, testosterone is dominant but estrogen must also be present. The two hormones need to be balanced, particularly for optimal sexual function and other “male” characteristics such as muscle development, hair growth and so on.
Some men develop low testosterone as a result of hypogonadism—when the glands produce lower than normal amounts of hormones. But testosterone levels do fluctuate naturally during a man’s life and can even vary to a degree during the course of a day.
As guys age, testosterone production declines gradually and naturally. That’s why old age is one of the three typical times males experience breast growth (the others are infancy and adolescence). Whatever and whenever the trigger, gynecomastia can develop if testosterone is low relative to estrogen levels.
When guys who’ve experienced lower than normal testosterone levels visit us, man boobs aren’t usually the only effect they report. For some, fatigue is the first problem they notice, with mood changes, a declining sex drive and other issues right behind. With patients like these who have not seen another doctor, visits to the primary care physician and an endocrinologist are in order. Why? We want to be sure our man boobs patients’ systems are all functioning well, they’re feeling good and breast tissue growth is stabilized.
Unfortunately, if excess breast gland and fat is present, surgery is the only remedy. There’s really no reliable way to reverse growth as of today. If you have moobs already, the last thing you want to do is try increasing testosterone or decreasing estrogen in your body. Your endocrine system is finely tuned—mucking around with it yourself is a recipe for disaster. That goes for taking supplements that contain ingredients that mimic testosterone too.
Patients with lower than average testosterone levels should be able to adopt a regimen of hormone therapy without sprouting a case of moobs. A hormone specialist will test both testosterone and estrogen, in case you have testosterone that has changed (aromatized) into estrogen. Depending on what’s found, you may be prescribed testosterone, an estrogen blocker or both.
An expert endocrinologist is worth their weight in gold if you’ve acquired a case of gynecomastia and your hormone levels are out of whack. We like to think we can be worth our weight in gold, too, when it comes to getting rid of those man boobs. For guys that number in the hundreds each year, that’s what we specialize in.
If you’ve developed a case of moobs that didn’t start in adolescence, and you’re not near senior citizen status, check your other symptoms in this Healthline article. See your primary care physician and ask if you should visit an endocrinologist. Once your hormone levels have been evaluated if warranted, come in and see us. We’ll be very pleased to work with you to get rid of the moobs. Contact us when you’re ready.
Photo by Engin Akuyurt from Pixabay
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