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Trying to Get Rid of ‘Man Boobs’? Here’s the Deal

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If you have what we like to refer to as “man boobs,” there’s a good reason why they might not disappearing with simple diet and exercise. There are two different base causes of man boobs.

One reason is your hormones, and for some people the excess tissue in the area is actually breast tissue that forms when puberty hits. As many as 50 percent of men have some range of this condition which is called gynecomastia, but in most men it just goes down to the point that it becomes unnoticable in adulthood.

Basically what happens is pretty simple. The body produces both estrogen and testosterone, but if things are a little unbalanced and not enough testosterone gets pumped out, then the estrogen takes the lead in the chest department.

Although this generally takes place at puberty, strangely it can occur at any point in life depending on again, your hormones. Many medications have the capacity of messing with your hormones, including anabolic steroids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, cholesterol treating drugs, hair-loss treatments, heartburn remedies, ulcer drugs, and ACE inhibitors. Up to 25 percent of gynecomastia is actually caused by medications.

The other version of this situation is called pseudogynecomastia, which is commonly seen in overweight men and is when the chest has a lot of fat, not actual breast tissue. When that is the case, working out and losing weight can actually help them go away.

But if you have actual gynecomastia diet and exercise is not going to help. Bummer, we know. However there are some pretty straightforward surgical procedures to get rid of them once and for all if it has become an issue in your life.

Most people who reach the point of choosing surgery are pretty fit and have realized that their fitness habits aren’t going to melt that fat away, however a lot of different body types can be good candidates for the surgery regardless of having weight that could be lost or not.

Even a very small amount of breast tissue can cause the areola to puff up and look more like a woman’s chest which is understandably disconcerting to many.

Unfortunately, the gynecomastia surgery is not always covered by medical insurance because it is considered a cosmetic surgery and not a necessary fix. The surgery usually runs between $5,000 and $8,000.

Even though the breast area can diminish in size with weight loss when pseudogynecomastia is at play, depending on how much weight is lost the results will vary. Some people who lose a lot of weight at once experience some skin sagging which can take time or surgery to fix as well. But ideally pairing fat loss with muscle building will help fill in some the space with the chest shape that you’re actually looking for.

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