The Dad Bod was popularised a few years ago by older females, who wanted to…
Gynecomastia, or gyno, is a common problem that destroys the physical attractiveness of a man’s physique, when it otherwise could look fantastic.
Despite having more muscle than a woman, a man with a bad case of gyno could well end up resembling a woman, especially around the nipple area.
The puffiness, the lumpiness, and the emotionality involved tends to drive these men crazy (and I would be the exact same if it was me), with it affecting at least 30% of men at some point in their lives according to this study.
What Is Gyno Exactly?
Gyno isn’t just ‘body fat’ in a particular area.
The tissue is actually more glandular in nature, and is firm to touch (as opposed to the ‘squishiness’ of your lower belly fat, for example).
The glandular tissue then grows over time to encompass a larger area around the nipples, which is why it’s important to attack the gyno much earlier on, before the need for surgery arises.
If your nipples are looking puffy and feeling itchy?
Get to a doctor.
But essentially, gyno is caused by having too much estrogen in the body relative to testosterone. There can be an underlying genetic component to this, but it’s almost always due to diet and lifestyle. What you do and do not put into your body plays a huge part in this.
Let’s look further into the causes of gyno…
When young boys are starting to enjoy their voices breaking, hair growth, and other masculine characteristics, the unfortunate reality is that estrogen is often on the rise too.
The likelihood is that this is due to increased aromatisation from all this new testosterone into estrogen. Often, this is genetic. But things like getting enough sleep and minimising sugar intake can make an enormous difference too.
From this study:
“In mild cases, simple reassurance coupled with advice on diet and exercise may be sufficient.“
This needs to be emphasised more for all men with non-steroid-induced gyno. Diet, sleep and exercise are absolutely essential for preventing and controlling gyno. Steroid-induced gyno is a little different.
The vast majority of the time, boys between age 11-16 will lose their gyno within 18 months or 2 years. This is especially true if they stay relatively lean, they lift weights (no, it’s not ‘dangerous’) and they eat healthily.
Cereal is not healthy. Take-aways are not healthy. Staying up until midnight is not healthy (if they have school the next day).
So this one occurs much later in life of course, and has a couple of differences that separate it from puberty-induced gyno.
Men aged 50+ tend to have a lot more body fat than 11-16 year olds. Especially in today’s society, as their habits have had more time to accumulate, plus their hormones are very much against them (unless they’re on TRT).
Body fat itself, converts more of your testosterone into estrogen.
So getting leaner is of utmost importance to men over age 50 or so.
Furthermore you tend to see higher levels of SHBG in older men, which means that while their total testosterone levels may appear to be okay on a blood test, their free testosterone (useful stuff) is pretty terrible.
Free testosterone is what counts, and older men tend to have less of it.
Not all steroids will do this, but there’s a fair amount that will aromatise from testosterone into estrogen. Namely, testosterone (any ester), dianabol, anadrol, deca, and a few others.
Diet, sleep, and body fat % will not save you from gyno if you’re literally injecting super-high levels of testosterone into yourself every week. There’s just too much test, and it WILL aromatise.
The only solution for this is to get aromatise-inhibitor drugs, like Aromasin or Nolvadex.
If your body fat % is well over 30 or so, you’re definitely at a higher risk of gynecomastia. There’s increased levels of aromatisation from the fat itself, as we mentioned before.
But whether or not gyno occurs, is dependent upon testosterone dropping too.
Very Low Testosterone
There is significant overlap between this, and obesity and aging. Both of the latter can cause hypogonadism (sub 300 testosterone, I believe).
But hypogonadism can affect non-obese men under the age of 50, usually due to a variety of factors including lifestyle, diet, alcohol consumption, and even being raised by a single parent.
By default, if you have clinically low T, more estrogen will be produced. As testosterone levels go down, estrogen goes up, putting you at risk of gynecomastia.
Leading on from this:
If you’re hypogonadic, then a tumour could be responsible for this (although highly unlikely), and this would therefore affect your treatment.
Tumours can also occur in the adrenal glands or elsewhere, and this removing this via surgery would be the best outcome.
How To Get Rid Of Gyno
Getting rid of gyno depends on the cause.
If the cause is puberty, then 9 times out of 10, it simply disappears on its’ own, and will disappear much sooner if the teen sorts out his eating and sleeping habits.
If the cause is aging, then most likely the man needs to lose some body fat (ideally getting below 15%), and start a TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) protocol at a local hormonal clinic. The Ultimate Testosterone Manual guides you through the step-by-step process for TRT.
Remember, free testosterone is all that truly matters, and be prepared to take an AI for a while until your estrogen levels are where they need to be.
If it’s caused by anabolic steroids, then estrogen levels must be controlled via an AI. If that fails, the steroids should be stopped.
With obesity, the obvious answer is to lose a significant amount of weight. Check out my Ultimate Guide To Intermittent Fasting to learn more. You don’t have to get as lean as 10% body fat, but you do want to be aiming for ~15%.
The solution to hypogonadism, regardless of your age, is to start TRT. You will need to explain your issue to the doctor though, and he will make sure your estrogen levels are kept in check (likely with an AI).
Now, if you either have a severe case of gyno that has been lingering for quite some time, OR you have an underlying tumour somewhere, then surgery is the answer.
“Because gynecomastia usually regresses spontaneously, if the appropriate work-up does not reveal any considerable underlying pathology, reassurance and periodic follow-up are recommended at 6-month intervals. In some cases, treatment may be needed, for example if severe breast enlargement, pain, or tenderness interferes with the patient’s normal daily activities.“
How Much Is Gyno Surgery?
It’s about £3,500 – £5,500 in the UK, and anywhere from $3,000 – $7,000 in the US. So not cheap.
It should also be noted that a significant percentage of men who had gyno surgery were dissatisfied with the end result, from an appearance standpoint.
Whilst it definitely beats having man boobs, it will never look as good as your pecs would have looked if you’d never had gyno in the first place. Just to set your expectations in advance.
It pays to have an experienced surgeon.
Here’s the corrective process (study):
“Surgery is the criterion standard treatment for gynecomastia. The most commonly used technique is subcutaneous mastectomy that involves the direct resection of the glandular tissue using a periareolar or transareolar approach with or without associated liposuction. Liposuction alone may be sufficient if breast enlargement is purely due to excess fatty tissue without substantial glandular hypertrophy. 18 Skin resection is needed for more advanced cases.“
Having said this, it’s unlikely that you’re going to need surgery. There’s many steps you can take BEFORE surgery, that will enable you to get rid of your gyno well before it reaches this stage.
Get To 10% Body Fat
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