Gynecomastia is an extremely embarrassing condition that is caused by imbalances in the hormonal production of estrogen and testosterone. Men that produce more estrogen than testosterone can develop gynecomastia. This can be brought on by a myriad of causes. Some causes include puberty, although enlarged breasts in males going through puberty usually works itself out, and other causes can range from antidepressants to antibiotics. There are also medical conditions that cause this enlargement of breasts in men and adolescents.
Although very rare, Klinefelter’s Syndrome is characterized by having 47 chromosomes rather than the typical 46. In males, it is an extra Y chromosome and in females, it is an extra X. Men with Klinefelter’s Syndrome are sometimes referred to as XXY males.
For the males that have Klinefelter’s Syndrome, symptoms do not usually show, but if they do become apparent, they happen after the onset of puberty. Symptoms and signs of Klinefelter’s Syndrome include having a “less muscular body, less facial and body hair, and broader hips. As teens, XXY males may have larger breasts, weaker bones, and a lower energy level than other boys.”
There are conditions other than Klinefelter’s Syndrome that contribute to hormonal imbalances in men, and ultimately gynecomastia. Both testicular and pituitary tumors can cause gynecomastia in males. Cirrosis of the liver can also lead to gynecomastia because the liver will lose it’s ability to break down estrogen over time, thus leading to an imbalance in the body.
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