“Man boobs” isn’t just slang to describe a male with excess fat in the breast area. In fact, man boobs is actually a real-life medical condition called gynecomastia. The most common reason that men visit a physician to receive a breast evaluation is to address issues pertaining to gynecomastia.
This condition is so common within males, that a staggering number become diagnosed with the condition throughout many different stages of their lifetime. Gynecomastia has a tendency to become prevalent during spans of time when the body is going through change. This condition has been known to sprout up during periods of infancy, puberty, and during middle-aged to later stages in life.
Those with gynecomastia can feel the growth within their breast. It is typically located in an area symmetrical to the nipple. The enlarged tissues tend to have a rubbery or firm texture. When gynecomastia is present in the male breast, they may become tender and over-sensitive to touch. However, most cases report little to no severe pain.
WHY MEN DEVELOP GYNECOMASTIA
The root of gynecomastia is the enlargement of the glandular tissue. This technicality is what separates gynecomastia from just having fatty tissue deposits in the breast. The cause of this growth has to do with hormone production going on within the body.
Both men and women produce the hormones testosterone and estrogen. What gives men the characteristics that make them masculine, such as thick beards, an abundance of muscle mass, strong sex drives, and production of sperm stems from the fact that men produce more testosterone than estrogen. Just like what gives women their breasts, regulates their periods, and causes females to have less body hair is higher levels of estrogen compared to testosterone.
SIGNS OF ESTROGEN DOMINANCE IN MEN
Hormones become imbalanced at many points in our lives. That is why gynecomastia pops up during vulnerable moments in a male’s life such as in puberty and in older age. It is in these periods of change that hormones are in varying stages of development, which makes it easier for estrogen levels to outnumber the levels of testosterone in the body. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, gynecomastia becomes prevalent in approximately 1 out o 4 men who lie between the ages of 50 and 80.
Estrogen levels tend to trump levels of testosterone as we age because of a lifetime of mitigating factors that include:
- Consumption of foods and beverages from plastic containers. Plastic is not created naturally. Therefore, the synthetic materials that comprises plastic causes chemical reactions with any food and beverage the material comes in contact with. These reactions alter the makeup of the food and beverages we consume, which causes a shift in hormone production in our bodies.
- Eating foods that treated with hormones. Whether it be pesticides used in the production of crops, or steroids being injected into meat on farms, we are ingesting added hormones into our bodies as we eat. This alters the production of hormones in our bodies.
- Cardiovascular Disease. If you are suffering from cardiovascular disease, then your heart isn’t pumping blood readily through the arteries. Typically, arteries become clogged over time due to diets filled with high fats and refined sugars. When pathways throughout the body become clogged, that means the blood isn’t being pumped into the testicles, which is where testosterone is produced.
- Carrying Excess Weight. Fat cells produce an enzyme called aromatase, which is the precursor to the production of estrogen. Therefore, the more excess weight you carry on your body, the more estrogen it is producing.
If you believe you may be suffering from estrogen dominance, you may have any or all of the following symptoms:
- Cold and Clammy Hands and Feet
- Constant Fatigue
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Hair Loss
- Headaches and Migraines
- Hot Flashes
- Lack of Sex Drive
- Memory Loss
- Rapid Mood Swings
- Tenderness and Swelling in the Breasts
- Weight Gain
If you are under the assumption that you may have gynecomastia, please consult a physician to discuss treatment options.
HOW TO REVERSE GYNECOMASTIA
Luckily, you do not need to live your life embarrassed by the growth of man boobs. Gynecomastia is treatable and can be reversed. Just like the condition comes as a natural byproduct of decisions made throughout life, the condition can be combated the same way.
Making a few changes to your everyday life can pay huge dividends in your body. Not only will these tips help regulate hormone production, but also improve your mood, muscle growth, sex drive, sperm production, and overall well-being.
The key to reversing gynecomastia is to control the levels of estrogen within your body. By slowing down the production of the female hormone, the growth of tissue in the breasts will eventually cease.
Here are three ways to naturally reverse gynecomastia.
As we note , excess weight throughout the body will result in excess fat in the breasts of men. The number one reason for this is that fat cells naturally create estrogen. One study linking obesity to the production of estrogen stated, “Weight loss through either caloric restriction or gastric bypass surgery has been shown to lead to a reduction in circulating estrogens.”
The reason for this is that as fat cells develop, one of their byproducts is to release a complex of enzymes called aromatase into the bloodstream. Naturally, aromatizing of testosterone happens in males anyway. Estrogen is created in men to promote homeostasis, which is done to balance out the production of testosterone. However, the production of estrogen goes into overdrive when fat cells bring even more aromatase into the equation.
Another reason to lose weight is that obesity is tied to cardiovascular disease. As refined sugars and fatty foods high in LDL cholesterol clog up the arteries, over time testosterone production ceases. That is because blood isn’t free to flow to the area of the body that creates testosterone, which are the testicles. When blood stimulates the testes, it signals for the gonads to secrete testosterone back into the system. As the testosterone production process slows down due to a continued presence of clogged arteries, as time passes it only lessens hormone production. This allows for the aromatase-laced fatty tissues to expand, creating even more estrogen in the body. An overabundance of estrogen results in the growth of man boobs.
- INCREASE TESTOSTERONE
Increasing testosterone may seem like a no-brainer, and that’s because it is. There are many things we can do in everyday lives to boost the amount of testosterone in our bodies without having to purchase hormone supplements. Here are a few:
- Work out – Working out helps increase testosterone in a couple of ways. First and foremost, when you shed weight, it will burn off the fatty tissues that create the estrogen-producing enzyme, aromatase. Secondly, exercising facilitates the production of hormones. Getting your sweat on causes endorphins in the brain to release, causing your body to feel less stressed. Stress is one of the top suppressors of testosterone production. Lastly, the most important hormone produced while working out is testosterone. Much like adding weight to the body adds to the growth of fatty tissues which results in the growth of gynecomastia, adding on muscle leads to the production of testosterone, which leads to the growth of even more muscle. Working out causes a chain reaction of testosterone production that in time becomes a finely regulated cycle.
- Eat the Right Foods – Just like we are made of hormones, chemicals, vitamins, and minerals, so is our food. There are many foods in the market that can help in boosting testosterone. These include:
- Garlic – This bulb produces nitric oxide during the digestion process. Nitric oxide is a gas that helps unclog arteries damaged by fatty foods and refined sugars. When the pathways open for increased blood flow, it allows for easier access to the testes. With the testes getting fresh supplies of blood, testosterone production happens much more seamlessly.
- Avocado – This superfood is packed with numerous vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fatty acids. On top of all these nutrients, avocados also contain a chemical called oleuropein. Studies have found that this particular compound can increase the production of testosterone by 250% due to its ability to inhibit the aromatase enzyme that creates estrogen.
- Healthy Oils – Oils such as olive oil, argan oil, and coconut oil contain many omegas and fatty acids that are essential to a healthy lifestyle. What makes these cooking oils so beneficial to testosterone production is their high levels of monounsaturated fats. These healthy fats facilitate the production of the luteinizing hormones, which are responsible for the production of testosterone in the testes.
- Oysters – This seafood is an aphrodisiac and a testosterone booster. Oysters contain two rare amino acids, D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspasrtate. Scientists have discovered that together, these two amino acids lead off a series of chain reactions that result in the production of testosterone.
- Tuna – Tuna is very high in Vitamin D, which is hard for your body to receive without prolonged exposure to sunlight or drinking fortified milk. What makes Vitamin D such a testosterone-boosting mineral is the fact that is lowers levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in the body. This protein tends to latch onto testosterone, rendering the hormone useless. Consumption of Vitamin D frees up testosterone to become more readily available for the body to use, resulting in increased muscle mass, fuller hair, stronger sex drivers, and more sperm production.
For more testosterone boosting foods checkout my popular post (20 foods that boost testosterone – Testosterone diet)
- REDUCE STRESS
As we mentioned, stress can do a number on hormone production. The reason for this is that when we are under stress, our body creates the hormone, cortisol. This is the hormone that causes us to go into fight-or-flight mode.
When we are in a constant state of stress, cortisol is continuously being produced. As this happens, cortisol begins to burn off stored energy within the body. This energy was being saved to aid us in workouts, food digestion, and other actions that help regulate the production of testosterone. With cortisol overthrowing the balance of hormones in the body off, it makes way for estrogen dominance to overtake the body.
To learn more about the relation between cortisol and testosterone visit this post (Connection between Cortisol and Testosterone (Can cortisol decrease testosterone?)
LIVING LIFE WITHOUT GYNECOMASTIA
Although hormone levels are bound to change throughout our lifetime, they don’t need to become unmanageable. If you find yourself suffering from gynecomastia, it can be treated and reversed. There is no need to live in embarrassment.
They key to reversing cases of gynecomastia is to balance out the levels of testosterone and estrogen. As a male, you should have higher levels of testosterone in your body as compared to estrogen.
If you believe you have elevated levels of estrogen, try losing weight, increasing testosterone naturally, and reducing the amount of stress in your life. Once you put these natural actions into effect, the levels of estrogen in your body should decline, ultimately reversing gynecomastia.