Gynecomastia is a common problem. Referred to colloquially as “man boobs,” gynecomastia is the technical term for the development of enlarged breasts by a male. This can occur in both breasts, in which case it is bilateral gynecomastia. Unilateral gynecomastia occurs only on one side. Unilateral and bilateral gynecomastia often shares some of the same causes, and can be treated by many of the same methods. Understanding the root cause for your own gynecomastia is important when determining which type of treatment you’ll pursue.
Causes of Bilateral Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia technically refers to the enlargement of the breasts which occurs in response to a hormone imbalance. However, some men also develop larger than average breasts due to weight gain. Being examined by a doctor can help to confirm whether the cause is weight gain, hormonal imbalance, or both. Hormonal imbalances are often the result of taking other medications for different conditions, so it’s vital to consult with your doctor to see if chancing your medication may help to stall or reverse breast development.
Severity of Bilateral Gynecomastia
One problem many patients face is waiting until their gynecomastia has become severe before seeking help. Because they’re embarrassed initially, they may resort to hiding the problem rather than confronting it. If you’ve begun to notice swelling in the tissues of your chest and nipples, don’t hesitate to bring it up with your doctor. The issue is not an uncommon one, and it’s easiest to treat when caught early on. However, if you have already developed severe gynecomastia, don’t give up hope.
Treatment of Bilateral Gynecomastia
Having a more masculine chest again is possible. Diet and exercise, even when the issue is hormone imbalance, can be helpful. When hormones are out of harmony, your doctor can prescribe testosterone supplements, also. In addition to prescription testosterone, there are also over the counter supplements that support your body’s ability to produce its own testosterone. Finally, there are also surgical solutions, including liposuction and removal of glandular tissue. Because each case of bilateral gynecomastia is different, there’s no one right answer—you’ll need to research your options and choose the solution or combination of solutions which best suit your lifestyle.