Are you worried about your enlarged breasts; well, you are not alone.
Gynecomastia, commonly called “man boobs,” is a condition whereby males grow enlarged breast tissue resulting from hormonal imbalance.
The condition affects around 60% of men globally at various stages of their lives.
Meaning that out of ten men, six will experience gynecomastia at one point, either while in puberty or old age.
In this post, we look at ways to eradicate gynecomastia naturally without undergoing surgery.
In some cases, gynecomastia may be caused by the type of food that you eat. Here are some dietary changes you will have to make to eliminate your gynecomastia.
Increase iodine intake
Inside your body is a small organ known as a thyroid gland. The gland is found in front of your neck around the trachea.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that are critical to your overall wellbeing.
For instance, the small production of thyroid hormone will affect the normal functioning of Leydig cells, which are important in the formation and secretion of testosterone.
Hence, it would be best to take adequate amounts of iodine, so your thyroid organ works efficiently.
However, before you add more iodine to your diet, you need to consult a doctor so he can check your iodine levels.
Your doctor will help you determine if you need more iodine and how much is safe to avoid excess.
Eat enough food
If you are on a diet, such as the Keto diet, which limits the amount of calorie intake, it may lead to reduced testosterone levels. In turn, you will develop gynecomastia.
So, you must ensure that you get sufficient calories following your age and body size.
On average, most men require 2500 calories to maintain a constant weight. However, the number may vary depending on activities that one undertakes and age.
Also, avoid skipping meals, even if you are “busy,” that will not only affect your testosterone levels it may also lead to
- Reduced blood sugar levels
- Slower metabolism, which will make it harder to lose weight
- Increased chances of getting diabetes due to lower blood sugar levels
- Eating more and gaining more fat.
- Increased stress levels since you will not have the energy to carry out your duties effectively.
Eat a balanced diet
Apart from eating sufficient amounts of food, the foods you eat must provide all the essential nutrients.
Your diet should include lean proteins, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.
Studies have shown that some foods directly influence the production of testosterone hormone.
Such foods include:
- Fortified plant milk
- Vegetables like kale, Swiss chard, and spinach
- Fatty fish such as trout, sardines, herring, salmon, and Atlantic mackerel
You should also avoid some foods, as they increase your body fat, which heightens aromatases activity.
Aromatase is an enzyme that converts androgen (particularly testosterone) into estrogen.
Therefore, the more fat you will have, the higher the estrogen levels, which leads to gynecomastia.
Some of the foods to avoid include:
Many pre-packed and frozen meals or snacks fall under the processed food category.
They provide minimal nutritional value and have immense amounts of fats, sugar, and salts.
Researchers have also found that some processed foods have a lot of trans fats, which may affect the testicular function and lower testosterone levels.
Foods packed in plastics or cans
Eating foods packed in plastic containers or cans can negatively impact your hormone levels.
For example, the plastics or cans used to package the foods contain chemicals like bisphenol S and bisphenol A (BPA).
The two chemicals reduce testosterone production and secretion, thus increasing the chances of gynecomastia.
Reduce alcohol intake
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, excessive consumption of alcohol interferes with your body’s hormonal balance.
The condition can even lead to infertility in both males and females.
For instance, researchers from the institute studied 20 alcoholic men and 20 who didn’t drink alcohol.
The researchers observed that the alcoholic men had higher folic stimulating hormone and estrogen levels than the other group.
Therefore, if you can’t stop taking alcohol, you must drink it in moderation.
Some lifestyle habits could be the cause of your gynecomastia. However, there are some changes you can make to improve your physique.
This applies whether you are obese or not, but more so if you are obese.
The reason is that overweight people have a higher chance of developing gynecomastia, as they have more fat in their bodies.
Exercising for at least 200minutes a week will help you reduce weight and increase your testosterone levels.
In addition, exercise
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Prevents numerous chronic ailments like cardiovascular diseases
- Reduces stress
- Enhances your quality of sleep
- Improves your brain function
- Strengthens your bones and muscles
- Improves your body physique
Some forms of exercise you can do to get rid of gynecomastia are
- Sprinting 100 or 200 meters
- Pushups, particularly decline pushups
- Bench presses
- Goblet squats
Tips for an effective exercise routine
Start slow; if it’s walking, aim to cover half a kilometer on your first day, then increase the distance as you continue. The same applies to lifting weights or any other type of exercise.
While in the gym, be careful to lift the weights correctly to avoid developing back problems or other injuries.
You don’t have to exercise daily; three times a week will do.
Stop abusing drugs
Most of the drugs people abuse could lead to the development of gynecomastia.
- Steroids like prednisone
It may be a challenge to stop abusing the drugs on your own. Hence it would help if you reached out to a rehab center for help.
Avoid products that have plant oils.
Products made using plant oils such as tea tree oil or lavender oil could boost the production of estrogen hormone and worsen your condition.
Therefore, you need to stop using products made from such oils. They include some soaps and lotions.
Change your dressing
Gynecomastia isn’t a medical condition, as it poses no risk to your wellbeing. However, the condition can embarrass you, especially when people judge you.
You can make your gynecomastia less noticeable by wearing a sports bra or, better yet, Esteem Apparel vests. The vests will help smoothen your chest, making your condition unnoticeable.
In addition, Esteem Apparel vests don’t become elastic after regular use, and you can wear them under any shirt or sweater.
Be patient as it will take time to get results.
Once you start making the required changes to your diet and your lifestyle, all you need to do is be consistent, and you will realize results.
Don’t lose hope if you fail to notice improvements earlier; it takes time. Even for teenagers, the condition can take up to three years to disappear.
When to see a doctor
If you suspect your medications are causing the gynecomastia
Some medications could lead to the development of gynecomastia. They include
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Anabolic steroids
- Antiretroviral medications
- Some antibiotics
- Heart medications
- Chemotherapy medications
Talk to your doctor if you suspect that your medications could be the reason for your gynecomastia.
Depending on the assessment, he may reduce the dosage or switch you to another drug that doesn’t have such side effects.
When you develop other symptoms
Earlier on, we learned that gynecomastia isn’t a dangerous condition.
However, there are some conditions that you can develop alongside the gynecomastia that could be worrying, such as
- Pain in your nipples or around the breasts
- Discharge from the nipples
- Enlargement of only one breast
- Tenderness around the breast.
Let your doctor know if you have any of the above symptoms so he can tackle them earlier.
Contrary to popular belief undergoing surgery isn’t the only way to get rid of gynecomastia.
You can treat the condition naturally by eating enough nutritious food, exercising, reducing alcohol intake, and avoiding drugs. Yes, the procedure may be slow, but it works.