Gynecomastia is becoming one of the emerging problems among the adults probably as more males are more image conscious. Most people think of estrogen as an exclusively female hormone, but men also produce it albeit in small quantities. However, male estrogen levels among adults that are too high or are out of balance with testosterone levels can cause gynecomastia. Adults that develop gynecomastia after their teenage years may have little to no psychological distress. However, for many, it can leave them feeling embarrassed or emasculated and can lead to poor body image. Substances that can cause gynecomastia include Marijuana, Methadone, Heroin, Alcohol, Amphetamines, and other drugs. Plant oils, such as tea tree or lavender, used in shampoos, soaps or lotions have been associated with gynecomastia. This is probably due to their weak estrogenic activity.
Herbal products, ART (antiretroviral therapy) are also recognised causes for gynecomastia among adults. Several health conditions may also cause gynecomastia by affecting the normal balance of hormones. These may include: hypogonadism, tumours, aging, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, malnutrition and starvation, liver failure and cirrhosis. When your body is deprived of adequate nutrition, testosterone levels drop, but estrogen levels remain constant, causing a hormonal imbalance. Gynecomastia can also occur once normal nutrition resumes. Men suffering from prostate cancer who undergo certain types of hormone treatment (eg, antiandrogen monotherapy) are at risk for developing gynecomastia. Pre-treatment with radiation or taking medication along with the antiandrogen are two options for preventing breast growth. UK Gynecomastia clinics provide mainly surgical treatments gynecomastia. Many patients would already have seen their GP for initial assessment before attending our clinics.