Gynecomastia vs Pseudogynecomastia – The Differences Explained

If you suffer from man boobs and you want to get rid of them, you first need to understand the condition that you have.

Are your man boobs due to a condition called gynecomastia, or do they stem from Pseudogynecomastia?

To help you determine, here are clear definitions of the two different causes of man boobs.

Note – While the below is to help give you more information on why you have man boobs, you should consult your doctor to get proper medical opinion of the cause

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is actual breast tissue growth, and occurs when there is an imbalance in the hormone estrogen and testosterone.

The symptoms of gynecomastia are swollen nipples, which are often tender to touch.

There are several different situations that may cause this hormone imbalance to occur, with the resulting swelling of the nipples.

The first, and most common is when a man reaches certain stages of their life where hormone levels become more erratic.

Puberty is often the first major change in a man’s life, where the hormones are working on overtime, and the body is changing significantly. 

Puberty was the stage in my life when I developed man boobs, and was then diagnosed with gynecomastia by a doctor (I didn’t actually see a doctor about this until after having had man boobs for around 10 years).

Gynecomastia can also occur in new-born’s too, but this mostly disappears after a few weeks.

It is also prevalent in males between the ages of 50 to 69. It is known that around 1 in 4 men are affected with gynecomastia in this age group.

Gynecomastia caused by medication

Some medication can cause gynecomastia as a side effect too. Below is a list of some known medications that can cause this:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Androgens
  • Some AIDS medication (HAART – “Highly active antiretroviral therapy” and Efavirenz are the two most commonly linked AIDS medications with gynecomastia
  • Anti-anxiety medication (Diazepam and Xanax)
  • Some antibiotics
  • Chemotherapy treatment used for cancer sufferers
  • Antidepressants
  • Some heart medication such as Lanoxin

Then there are some illegal substances and street drugs that can cause gynecomastia too, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids (Heroin and Methadone)

Some medical conditions are also known to cause gynecomastia as well:

  • Kidney failure causes significant hormonal changes, that often leads to man boobs
  • Liver failure also produces hormonal changes in the body
  • Hypogonadism conditions such as Klinefelter’s syndrome or pituitary insufficiency can create an interference with the production of testosterone

Treatment for gynecomastia

It should ne noted that often gynecomastia will go of its own accord after 6 months to two years, once the estrogen and testosterone imbalance corrects itself.

But if like me, you have what is known as “persistent pubertal gynecomastia”, then you could be stuck with them for life. This is what lead me to look for other solutions to get rid of my man boobs

The most effective treatment for gynecomastia is surgery.

This is not always successful though, as I myself have experienced. 

Although my nipples were flat and looked perfectly normal for about 2 years post surgery, the condition came back for me after about two years (this was also at a time when I had put on some weight too).

Diet and exercise can help, but will not get rid of gynecomastia completely on their own.

But you can greatly reduce the effect of gynecomastia (as I have now done) by using natural techniques such as diet and exercise.

What is Pseudogynecomastia?

Now we will look at the other cause of man boobs, which is Pseudogynecomastia.

The term “Pseudo” means fake or false, and the reason it is used here is because Pseudogynecomastia is caused by an increase in fat levels, so it is not true ‘gyno’.

The fat build-up that causes Pseudogynecomastia usually manifests itself behind the nipple area, and often across the surrounding area.

The nipples look the same as in gynecomastia sufferers, very puffy, although they are usually softer when Pseudogynecomastia is the cause.

Men that are overweight and have man boobs, it’s often because of Pseudogynecomastia rather than gynecomastia.

Treatment for Pseudogynecomastia

The good news is that if you suffer from Pseudogynecomastia, then you can get rid of your moobs without having to have any surgery, through diet and targeted exercise.

Surgery is still an option for you though, even if you do have Pseudogynecomastia. So if you’re not afraid of the surgical knife, then you could still seek this option if you wanted a fast solution.

But the great thing for you to know is that if you do have Pseudogynecomastia, then you can get rid of your man boobs by starting the right exercises that target the relevant areas

And then starting to eat the right foods, which will have a very positive effect for you.

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