Hormones are chemicals synthesized by glands or organs. They act on cells, stimulating or reducing their activity, and through the blood reach the skin, muscles, and all body systems. Deficiency or excess of one or more hormones leads to impaired body functions. And diet is often the cause.
One of the consequences of hormonal failure in men is gynecomastia. The article details this condition and its effective treatment. Try to study the material carefully and get answers to common questions.
What is Gynecomastia (Man Breasts)
Gynecomastia is an enlargement of the mammary glands in men. Today, it is a fairly common disease and can be physiological and pathological, bilateral (symmetrical) and unilateral (asymmetric). According to Park S.H. and Kilm J.H., it occurs in approximately 70% of adolescents during puberty and in 30% of men over 40 years of age.
Causes of Gynecomastia
The following are the main causes of gynecomastia:
- Hormonal imbalance;
- Metabolic disorders;
- Reduced immunity;
- Various endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism, adrenal tumors, etc.);
- Taking medications not prescribed by a doctor (for example, drugs with a high concentration of estrogen, which is essential for women, especially during pregnancy, and cause hormonal imbalance in the male body);
- Liver problems;
- Frequent use of anabolic steroids;
- Intoxication of the body;
- Genetic predisposition and hereditary diseases;
The first symptoms of the disease can be a rapid increase in the diameter of the mammary glands, enhanced sensitivity and soreness in the nipple area, as well as pain and discomfort in the chest.
Impact of Diet on Hormones
A healthy diet is very important for overall well-being. And everyone knows it. But what effect does diet have on hormones? Let’s figure this issue out together.
Role of hormones
First of all, it seems appropriate to note the role of hormones for humans. They take part in the following long-term body processes:
- Mental, physical, and sexual development;
- Adaptation to changing environmental conditions;
- Ensuring the stability of the most important physiological indicators (homeostasis);
- The body’s response to stress;
- Functioning of other organ systems.
Entering the blood, hormones are distributed throughout the body and perform humoral regulation of the functions of various organ systems and tissues. Their action is based on the stimulation or inhibition of the catalytic function of certain enzymes, as well as the effect on biosynthesis due to the activation or inhibition of the corresponding genes.
How diet can influence hormonal balance
Food affects hormones in different ways. Some products can help restore balance, while others can completely destroy it. Thus, inorganic foods contain chemicals that disrupt the work of the endocrine system and artificial hormones that negatively affect the body’s natural hormonal balance. Fat, antioxidants, and fiber, on the contrary, help maintain normal hormone levels.
It is important to consider here that the physiological processes occurring in the mammary gland are under constant hormonal influence. The mammary gland is a target organ and contains receptors for many hormones. Any excess secretion of hormones (such as estrogen) can initiate a cascade of reactions towards breast enlargement.
Foods That Cause Man Breasts
Male breast enhancement foods include soy-based products, processed foods and additives, alcohol and beer, dairy products, etc. See the paragraphs below for details.
Soy foods (soy milk, soy oil, soy yogurt, soy cocoa, tofu, etc.) boost estradiol and estrogen levels in men, resulting in gynecomastia. Abstinence from taking such products allows males to normalize hormone levels and avoid negative consequences.
Processed foods and additives
Processed products are also among the foods that cause gynecomastia. They go through one or more processing steps in terms of food engineering. Processing increases shelf life, improves appearance, and speeds up cooking time. But the high content of salt, saturated fats, and artificial additives negatively affects human health, leading to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hormonal imbalance.
Alcohol and beer
One of the proven causes of gynecomastia is alcohol. What is the mechanism of action in this case? Scientists point to two pathological factors.
Firstly, drinking alcohol leads to an increase in the volume of adipose tissue in the area of the mammary glands due to the high-calorie content of alcoholic beverages;
Secondly, beer hops can be converted into estrogen. An excess amount of hops is not processed in the liver and accumulates in the body. The result is the response of the male body in the form of the development of true gynecomastia.
Foods that increase gynecomastia include dairy products. And milk plays a key role here. It all depends on whether the milk is organic or non-organic. Non-organic milk packaged in plastic containers is usually characterized by a high level of insulin-like growth factor 1, which promotes the growth of breast tissue in men.
Foods That Help Prevent Man Breasts
Foods to avoid for man breasts include vegetables, products rich in antioxidants, and fiber-rich products.
To prevent gynecomastia, you need to eat enough vegetables. They are rich in vitamins and minerals (iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, etc.), contain organic acids and essential oils that normalize hormonal levels.
Foods high in antioxidants
Male breasts do not increase if there are enough antioxidants in the body. The largest amount of these substances is found in berries: blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and prunes. If we talk about vegetables, then these are beets, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, red cabbage, onions, beetroot, and sweet peppers. Tea, red wine, and dark chocolate are also excellent sources of antioxidants.
Fiber-rich foods also prevent the development of gynecomastia in men. These include beans and peas, white rice and wheat, oats and barley, nuts, almonds, olives, and fresh vegetables.
How to Treat Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia treatment should be comprehensive. It is necessary to consult a doctor and start taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods and engaging in regular exercise.
Consult a Medical Professional
Faced with an increase in the mammary glands, you must first consult a therapist. The doctor will conduct an initial examination. Depending on its results, you may need to consult an endocrinologist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, urologist, geneticist, oncologist, infectious disease specialist, ophthalmologist, nephrologist, cardiologist, or surgeon.
A presumptive diagnosis is established on the basis of complaints, palpation of the chest and axillary lymph nodes. To confirm gynecomastia, ultrasound of the mammary glands and lymph nodes is usually performed.
If you want to get rid of gynecomastia, try changing your daily habits and getting hormone therapy. It is recommended to start a healthy diet, avoiding fried and fatty foods, alcohol, and soy products; start doing fitness, as physical activity has a good effect on testosterone levels, which prevents the development of male breasts. Weight control is also important, as allows understanding the real level of chest fat and taking timely measures to eliminate it.
Hormone therapy can cure gynecomastia without surgery. It consists in taking hormonal drugs aimed at normalizing the natural hormone production in the body.
Gynecomastia is a common problem today. The main mechanism for the occurrence of this pathology is an imbalance of sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone), the level of which is usually affected by foods that cause breast fat. Do not eat these products and get rid of the problem already today!
How can I reduce my male gynecomastia naturally?
Start eating more vegetables, foods rich in fiber and antioxidants, engage in regular exercise, and undergo hormone therapy and you will get good results.
Can gynecomastia go away naturally?
Gynecomastia usually goes away on its own if it starts in adolescence. But an adult man needs proper nutrition, medication, and physical activity.
Can gynecomastia go away with testosterone?
Testosterone therapy can help men cope with breast enlargement if the natural hormone levels are low.
What does grade 1 gynecomastia look like?
This is the initial stage of male breast development. The person usually has a slight increase in the breast, imperceptible through clothing.