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Is low testosterone causing my gynecomastia and what does low testosterone (male hypogonadism) do to men?

When men have low testosterone or hypodonadism (which is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males) a variety of problems can happen. Low sex drive isn’t the only thing that can happen; that most of us would think is only affected.  The sperm count will be low; the testicles can shrink, among many other issues including developing breast tissue.

But, is by low testosterone causing men to have puffy nipples or grow breast tissue causing gynecomastia?

What is Gynecomastia?

Sometimes men get enlarged breast tissue when testosterone levels are low.  It can happen in young men or older men.  What happens is; your hormonal levels aren’t balanced correctly—between estrogen and testosterone. 

The condition can happen to both or just one breast. While it isn’t an emergency situation, it can be remedied by surgery and sometimes diet and exercise as well as compression shirts by Esteem Apparel can help make the chest look better.  The compression shirts and tank tops can be beneficial for helping deal with this issue and helping men look their best even in this upsetting and annoying condition.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

  • Low sex drive
  • Infertility or little movement or no sperm found
  • ED or Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • Obesity
  • Hot flashes
  • Losing pubic or armpit hairs
  • Over all body can become smaller
  • Testicles shrinking
  • Brittle bones
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Poor concentration

What does having low testosterone do to men and can it cause gynecomastia?


Having low testosterone can do many things to a man as noted above and can also contribute to breast tissue growth as well as having puffier nipples.  As we learn in Biology 101 courses, the hormone testosterone is used for the development of reproduction tissues in a man (prostate and testes).  It is also used for being able to increase bone and muscle mass in men.  It is also used and is responsible for sex drive, sperm abundance and more. 

As men age, unless they are driven to exercise, generally improve health with supplements, mindfulness and a healthier diet—hormones will drop levels even faster.  As anyone ages this is true of many different hormone levels in both men and women—they drop.  This is also true of stomach acid—levels decrease as we age just like hormone levels. Muscle and bone mass also withers away more if we don’t keep up our health and we can even decline in height.

So, when testosterone levels drop and weight increases, this is when breast tissue can grow and men can develop gynecomastia (breast tissue growth, puffy nipples and sagging chest areas).

It is very important to make sure that men know how their levels are doing as they age.  Once a man reaches forty these levels start to drop a bit and understanding improvement ways of health is very important—otherwise nature starts taking its course.

Testosterone—what the hormone does and doesn’t do and it’s not just for or in men

The hormone doesn’t make men angrier or have road rage—but it does cause the subcortical areas of the brain to produce aggression. When a man gains weight the reason testosterone is lowered is from the increased amount of cortisol and serotonin to lower the hormone levels of testosterone. The hormone is also essential to have because at lower levels men are likely to develop prostate cancer when they are older. Boys during puberty having too little amounts of testosterone don’t go through normal phases of becoming a man. Voice doesn’t deepen normally, mood swings can happen, and other issues of development may need to be assisted by a doctor to improve these conditions.

Also, unless you are always keeping up with general biology—women do have levels of testosterone.  Women do have the hormone and it is produced in ovaries and the adrenal gland. It is used in similar ways and over time like in men, the hormone declines in the body.  Because of this, and also in men, it reduces sex drive, can lower bone mass—this happens more when women stop getting their menstruation cycle; the menopause phase.

The role of men having testosterone

  • Develops penis and testes
  • Lower voice which happens during puberty
  • Growth and appearance of pubic and facial hair
  • High amounts of testosterone can also cause men to bald
  • Strength of muscles
  • Size of muscles
  • Sex drive and sperm count

Other facts about testosterone:

  • Synthesized from cholesterol
  • Too much cholesterol doesn't mean your testosterone will be high
  • Levels are pituitary gland controlled in the brain

Low testosterone—should you have testosterone therapy?

Men steadily lose the level of testosterone as they age. By the time they reach mid-forties, some men may consider taking a hormone replacement however it isn’t all the time needed.  Usually, it is needed for helping improve prostate gland or reducing issues that could cause a bone fracture risk.  There are however also supplements such as D and calcium that can help this. 

Eating healthier and exercise and lowering inflammation in the body and improving intake of certain vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatories such as quercetin can also help improve prostate.

At this time using hormone replacement for testosterone is used for boys during puberty who aren’t developing like they normally would.  They have low levels of testosterone that are causing delayed development. 

Using testosterone treatment can help can improve symptoms:

  • Feeling weak
  • Low or no energy
  • Frail
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sexual function problems
  • Cognitive issues

Signs of breast tissue growth in men:

  • Pain, particularly in adolescents
  • Swollen breast tissue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nipple sensitivity with rubbing against clothes

Medications and illicit drugs can also cause gynecomastia (not just low testosterone):

  • Anti-androgens used to treat an enlarged prostate
  • Anabolic steroids and androgens to treat hormone deficiencies
  • AIDS medications
  • ADD medications (Adderall)
  • Anti-anxiety medications (Valium, Klonopin, Ativan)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Ulcer medications
  • PPI and H2 blockers (Acid eliminating and reducing medications)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Heart medications (Calcium channel blockers and others)
  • Motility medications (Domperidone and Reglan)
  • Alcohol
  • Anabolic steroids used to build muscle and enhance athletic performance
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Methadone

Health conditions that can cause gynecomastia:

  • Hypogonadism
  • Aging
  • Tumors
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure and cirrhosis
  • Malnutrition and starvation

Risk factors and complications of having gynecomastia include:

·      Adolescence

  • Older age
  • Anabolic steroids use
  • Liver disease
  • Keynes disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • HIV infection
  • Hormonally active tumors
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Other conditions could cause it as well, talk to your doctor about improving health conditions you currently have

Understanding your testosterone levels and ways of prevention

If you or someone you know suffers from gynecomastia just remember there are solutions or ways to temporarily feel better about yourself and appearance.  It can be hard on the mind dealing with this issue.  Always be sure to avoid alcohol, eat healthier, live healthier and incorporate chest exercises and cardio into your weekly routine.    

Stay away from illicit drugs and even marijuana. It has been suggested that using marijuana can also contribute to developing the condition but if you need it for medical reasons talk to your doctor before stopping, especially if you already suffer from a chronic pain condition. Maybe fitting in more chest workouts a week or adding other supplements to improve hormone levels for increasing testosterone is right for you.

Again, talk to a primary care doctor and check your blood work to know what your testosterone levels are. Talking to a dietitian and personal trainer could also help assist you in reducing breast tissue and helping improve your chest look and feel.  To feel more confident even sooner, during this process purchase a compression shirt or two and use these on your road to a healthier, body and reduce the gynecomastia appearance.

Esteem Apparel Gynecomastia Chest Compression Shirts
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