- Experts warn that too much consumption of fast foods and soft drinks, hormone injected milk and metabolic steroid, often found in muscle building drinks, is causing adolescent obesity which is further leading to condition called ‘male breast enlargement’ among young boys
- with 5 to 10 adolescent boys coming to experts with Gynecomastia every month, of which 3 to 4 being operative candidates, the condition is slowly turning into an epidemic
New Delhi: Experts raise concern over the rapidly rising incidence of Gynaecomastia or ‘man breast’ among adolescent and teenage boys. They attribute the trend to increased consumption of unhealthy and high-calorie foods, hormone laced milk and metabolic steroid found mostly in muscle building drinks.
“The sudden surge in the incidences of Gynaecomastia among adolescent and teenage boys is very concerning. While in most cases, maintaining a healthy body weight may help in reducing the breasts tissues but in some cases, breast enlargement is irreversible and requires medical intervention,” says Dr Ajaya Kashyap, Medical Director, KAS Medical Centre and MedSpa.
Unhealthy eating practices is causing childhood obesity resulting in fat cells to deposit around the nipple that gives the appearance of the breast. Additionally glandular tissue may increase.Scientifically speaking, the enlargement of the male breast which is entirely due to adipose tissue is called pseudo-gynaecomastia and is often reversed by maintaining healthy body weight. When the glandular tissue itself increases in true size, ” gynecomastia” it does not go down even after significant weight loss.
However, experts point out that these days not only the fatty and high-calorie food consumption has increased but also the intake of hormone and metabolic steroids through milk and muscle building drinks, which has worsened the situation. Oestrogen, a female hormone, also present in males in small amounts, triggers breast enlargement in both the sexes. On the other hand, testosterone, a male hormone, also present in females in small amounts, suppresses breast enlargement. An imbalance of these two hormones causes Gynaecomastia in male adolescents.
Dr Ajaya Kashyap says “Nowadays most animals are injected with hormones to produce more milk. Consumption of milk laced with female hormone may cause problems in males. Since growing children are often made to drink milk, they are naturally more vulnerable. Secondly, the rise in the consumption of muscle-building drinks, which have lots of metabolic steroids, is another reason for hormone imbalance in young boys. Along with unhealthy foods, these factors are making Gynaecomastia more common and often irreversible,”
Dr. Vivek Kumar, Senior Consultant, Dept. of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hopsital Says “Gynaecomastia cases are increasing these days due to increased awareness in the society . People are more conscious about their looks specially during outdoor activities like swimming and while wearing tight dresses . Steroid, often found in muscle building drinks, is also one of the reason for causing Gynaecomastia among adolescents.”
As explained above, often milder grades of Gynaecomastia resolve with age or by losing weight. However, cases of Grade III Gynaecomastia require more drastic medical intervention like surgery.
“Rise in childhood obesity, compounded with penetration of hormone and metabolic steroids in the diet has led to a surge in incidences of irreversible and painful grade 3 Gynecomastia among adolescents and preadolescent. We can wait for a mild degree of gynecomastia to go down with time and weight loss, but severe degree needs surgery even at a young age,” says Dr Kashyap.
Dr Ajaya Kashyap told that with 5 to 10 adolescent boys coming to him with Gynecomastia every month, of which 3 to 4 being operative candidates, the condition is slowly turning into an epidemic. The youngest candidate to receive surgery by Dr Kashyap was 12-years-old, who had a massive breast enlargement that was very painful and tender. He told that unlike adult Gynecomastia, tenderness is more common in teenagers and therefore requires immediate and effective treatment.
While the treatment options for Gynecomastia is safe and effective, experts advise parents to be careful about the diet and lifestyle of their children. Too much junk food, sugary drinks, lack of physical activity, hormone injected milk and careless use of muscle-building drinks all this should be avoided for a healthy body.