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Is There A Way To Get Rid Of Gynecomastia?

Published: July 19, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I am a teen (17yrs old) and have had this for a while I know its called gynocomastia, is there a way I can get rid of this? I've heard push ups help and I've read about scary situations where they don't go away, it's crippling to my confidence any help? if it helps the puff also comes and goes like sometimes they're fine and sometimes it's major like in the pictures I'm just so scared and need help

Signed: Is There A Way To Get Rid Of Gynecomastia?

Dear Is There A Way To Get Rid Of Gynecomastia?,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate the difficult feelings you are dealing with related to your gynecomastia diagnosis. It is common for men with this diagnosis to feel embarrassed, to feel their self-esteem negatively affected and to sometimes even feel depressed. As far as dealing with this medically, gynecomastia can go away on its own. It would be helpful for you to speak to your doctor about it so that he/she can assess for any contributing factors that need to be addressed, as well as to follow-up with you over time to see if the condition is going away on its own or requires treatment. As far as your emotional well-being, consider speaking to a therapist, family member, and/or members of a support group of other people dealing with this diagnosis so that you can get the guidance and support you need in coping with this.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

 

For more information, including symptoms, treatment, coping and prevention, read below.  

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Gynecomastia is swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. Newborns, boys going through puberty and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels, though other causes also exist.

Generally, gynecomastia isn't a serious problem, but it can be tough to cope with the condition. Men and boys with gynecomastia sometimes have pain in their breasts and may feel embarrassed.

Gynecomastia may go away on its own. If it persists, medication or surgery may help.

Symptoms and when to see the doctor:

Symptoms include swollen breast gland tissue and breast tenderness. It is important to see your doctor if you experience swelling, pain, tenderness or nipple discharge in one or both breasts.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following information about treatment:

Most cases of gynecomastia regress over time without treatment. However, if gynecomastia is caused by an underlying condition, such as hypogonadism, malnutrition or cirrhosis, that condition may need treatment. If you're taking medications that can cause gynecomastia, your doctor may recommend stopping them or substituting another medication.

In adolescents with no apparent cause of gynecomastia, the doctor may recommend periodic re-evaluations every three to six months to see if the condition improves on its own. Gynecomastia often goes away without treatment in less than two years. However, treatment may be necessary if gynecomastia doesn't improve on its own or if it causes significant pain, tenderness or embarrassment.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following information about coping and support:

For a man, enlarged breasts can be stressful and embarrassing. Gynecomastia can be difficult to hide and a challenge to romantic relationships. During puberty, gynecomastia can make boys a target for teasing from peers. It can make activities such as swimming or changing in the locker room traumatic.

Whatever your age, you may feel like your body has betrayed you and you may feel unhappy with yourself. These feelings are normal, but to help you cope you can:

  • Get counseling. Talk therapy can help you avoid anxiety and depression caused by gynecomastia. It can also help you communicate with your partner or family members so that they understand what you're going through.
  • Reach out to your family and friends. You may feel embarrassed to talk about gynecomastia with the people you care about. But explaining your situation and asking for help will likely strengthen your relationships and reduce stress.
  • Connect with others who have gynecomastia. Talking with men who have had a similar experience can help you cope. Websites such as Gynecomastia.org provide a forum for connecting with others who have the condition.

 

Prevention:

There are a few factors you can control that may reduce the risk of gynecomastia:

  • Don't use illegal drugs. Examples include steroids and androgens, amphetamines, heroin, and marijuana.
  • Avoid alcohol. Don't drink alcohol, or drink in moderation.
  • Review your medications. If you're taking medication known to cause gynecomastia, ask your doctor if there are other choices.
Signed: TeenHealthFX

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