ZocdocAnswersCould a hormonal imbalance be causing me to grow breasts?

Question

Could a hormonal imbalance be causing me to grow breasts?

I'm a 32 year old male and pretty much in good shape. It seems like my breasts are growing though or that I'm sort of getting breasts. No fat accumulation in other areas. Do I have a hormonal imbalance or a low testosterone level?

Answer

Enlargement of the breast tissue in males is a condition that is also known as gynecomastia, a Greek term for breast. This development can occur in neonates (a result of female hormones from the mother) as well as in adolescence and the elderly. In adolescence and in the elderly population, it can be a sign of an abnormal condition associated with disease or metabolic disorder. Although the causes of common gynecomastia remains uncertain, in general it has been attributed to an imbalance of sex hormones resulting in an increased estrogen action in the breast tissue or a drop of a testosterone level while estrogen levels remain constant that may be due to inadequate nutrition. Gynecomastia can also be associated with hormone changes that occur with normal aging or any of conditions that interfere with normal testosterone production, such as Klinefelter syndrome or pituitary insufficiency. In some cases gynecomastia can be an indicator of other more serious underlying conditions, such as testicular cancer, kidney failure, liver failure and cirrhosis. Some tumors involving the testes, adrenal glands or pituitary gland can trigger the production of hormones that alter the male-female hormone balance. As you can see, there are numerous causes of gynecomastia that I would recommend a visit with a primary care physician to have your condition evaluated and treated properly. Good luck.

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