Gynecomastia (Male Breasts): Don’t ignore the warning signs…

Adult male breasts can be embarrassing. But they can also be your body’’s warning sign that you need to listen to underlying problems….

Alongside heart disease, cancer, dementia and diabetes, digestive disease has been listed as one of the 5 main killers of UK adults today.

With a whopping 7,503 wiped out each year by liver failure, it’s worth sussing some potential symptoms. And Gynecomastia (male breasts, sometimes cruelly termed man boobs) is actually one of them.

More about liver disease

Your liver filters toxins, regulates blood production and produces the bile which helps digest food. If you get liver disease, toxins build up in the body so the liver cannot function anymore. Blood-clotting can slow by up to 50%! Particular substances can cause damage to the liver, such as alcohol and painkillers.

Some symptoms of liver disease include:

  • tenderness in the upper right abdomen
  • jaundice (yellow whites of the eyes or skin)
  • intense itchiness, easy bruising and bleeding
  • red spider veins on the torso, red palms of hands
  • …and Gynecomastia.

Of course: it must be noted that Gynecomastia is by no means always a symptom of liver failure! Only about 1 in 109 UK people get liver disease, so do not panic if you display any of these symptoms, least of all male breasts! Liver disease is actually more common amongst women than than men.

If you are under 18, your Gynecomastia may not be a “symptom” at all: many young men experience male breasts during puberty – in fact, pubescent gynecomastia is so common that 80% of young men have it.

Only if the problem persists into adulthood need you be concerned. Even then, often exercise and maintaining your optimum BMI alleviates the problem. If excess chest tissue remains after this, it is time to start looking into potential health problems.

The take-home moral of this story?

Besides liver failure, gynecomastia is a potential symptom of many other health problems. Most are rare, but can be serious if left undiagnosed: for example:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypogonadism
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Tumours of androgen-producing glands
  • Syndromes such as Klinefelter’s Syndrome.

Therefore, we recommend your first port of call should always be your GP. Once all medical causes are ruled out, if your male breasts are still making you miserable, feel free to contact us on 01324 578290. Gynecomastia surgery can provide good results for removing male breasts and there are a number of different surgery treatment options, depending on your unique chest composition.