What are the most common gynecomastia symptoms?

Gynecomastia is a common condition that refers to the enlargement of breast tissue in men. In addition to the obvious gynecomastia symptoms of swelling and tenderness in one or both breasts, other health problems may be present. Depending on the underlying causes of the disorder, a man may experience nipple discharge, mood swings, feelings of fatigue, and nausea. Doctors can usually treat gynecomastia symptoms by suggesting lifestyle changes and prescribing medication. Surgery may be necessary if the breasts grow unusually large or if a suspicious tumor is found in the breast tissue.

Most cases of gynecomastia are the result of imbalances in the levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body. Several different factors can influence hormonal changes, the most common of which is male puberty. Many pubescent boys exhibit mild symptoms of gynecomastia for several months or years, eventually with their chests returning to normal. Newborns can also have enlarged breasts for up to a month after birth due to exposure to high levels of estrogen from their mothers in the womb. When gynecomastia occurs in older men, the problems may be related to medication use, hyperthyroidism, glandular tumors, or kidney or liver damage.

The most common gynecomastia symptoms are puffy nipples and soft, palpable breast tissue. Many men experience asymmetrical enlargement, which means that one breast grows larger than the other. The breast tissue is often tender to the touch, and the skin around the nipples may be slightly darker or redder than usual. High estrogen levels can also cause mood swings, decreased sex drive, and swollen and tender testicles. If glandular tumors or organ failure are responsible, a person may experience chronic fatigue, fever, and gastrointestinal problems.

Breast cancer is very rare in men, but when cancerous tumors are present they can cause additional symptoms of gynecomastia. A hard lump can be felt under the softer layers of fatty tissue behind one of the nipples. Also, a thick, bloody discharge may leak from the nipple as a tumor grows. It is essential to visit a doctor at the first signs of possible breast cancer so that treatment can be given right away.

When an adult patient shows signs of gynecomastia, a doctor will usually run a series of diagnostic tests to identify the underlying cause. The doctor usually first performs a physical exam and asks about any prescription medications and recreational drug use. X-rays and other imaging scans are done to check for signs of tumors in the breast tissue or elsewhere in the body. Also, blood tests can confirm hormonal imbalances.

Patients who have gynecomastia may need hormone replacement therapy to restore regular hormone levels in the body. Testosterone injections or supplements are often very effective in reducing symptoms within a few weeks or months. If tumors are found, a combination of surgery and radiation may be necessary. When the causes are accurately identified and treated, most men can recover from the condition.

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