What Is Gynecomastia?

Definition of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is when a man or boy's breast tissue remains swollen for an extended period of time. It can affect one or both breasts and can be not only painful, but embarrassing, as well.

Symptoms of gynecomastia include:

  • Swollen Breast Tissue
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Nipple Discharge

A study shows that gynecomastia in teenage boys can have negative effects on their self-esteem, as well as cause various other emotional health problems. While gynecomastia may not be the most serious health problem for men, in many cases, surgery can be required. Invasive single or double mastectomy surgery is a horrible remedy to the atypical breast growth in males, but is often the only solution.

Causes of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia occurs when there are drastic changes in a man's testosterone levels.

Various factors can cause testosterone levels to decrease such as:

  • Natural Hormone Changes
  • Medications
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Health Conditions
  • Herbal Products

Various medications are linked to the development of gynecomastia. Anti-androgens, which are used to treat prostate enlargement, prostate cancer, and many other conditions, can cause gynecomastia, as well as anti-anxiety medications, tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, and heart medications.

Risperdal and Gynecomastia

Risperdal—a drug used to treat adults with schizophrenia, acute mania, and/or episodes associated with those who suffer from bipolar disorder—is known to cause gynecomastia. Ingestions of this type of antipsychotic drug has caused many young men and boys to develop gynecomastia. Many Risperdal gynecomastia victims required surgery to resolve abnormal male breast growth.

Men and young boys who take Risperdal are potentially at risk for gynecomastia because it is shown to block dopamine. When dopamine is blocked in a male's body, the pituitary gland can release prolactin, which is a hormone that stimulates milk production and breast enlargement in women. Those who suffer from gynecomastia often require surgery, such as liposuction or breast reductions.

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