Keeping abreast of 'moobs'
21:17 GMT, 14 July 2012
Gynaecomastia is a condition where men grow breast tissue. Up to a third are affected and in some cases, it can be a sign of a more serious problem.
Gynaecomastia: Weight gain in the chest area in men can sometimes resemble breasts and is usually a result of obesity
Isn’t gynaecomastia just a fancy name for ‘moobs’
Weight gain in the chest area in men can sometimes resemble breasts and is usually a result of obesity.
Weight loss can often remedy the problem. True gynaecomastia is the growth of breast tissue due to an imbalance of sex hormones.
Testosterone wanes in old age so the condition is common in over-70s. It can also occur during puberty, and as a result of diseases such as liver cirrhosis, testicular cancer, kidney failure and an overactive thyroid. In a fifth of cases it’s caused by medication.
What medication causes the condition
Drugs such as digoxin, amiodarone and amlodipine, used for high blood pressure. Anti-psychotic drugs for many mental health problems are a cause, as is anything that interferes with testosterone, including drugs for prostate problems.
Can the condition be treated
Yes. Initially, treatment focuses on the underlying cause – replacing the testosterone. Drugs to inhibit the hormones such as the breast cancer drug tamoxifen are used with a relative degree of success. Where treatment fails, surgery may be the only option.