Pseudogynecomastia: Everything You Need to Know

pseudogynecomastia

Have you recently noticed an increase in the size of your chest? Or does more fat seem to be ending up around your nipple areas than anywhere else? This may be the first sign of a common condition called pseudogunecomastia. Countless men across Australian and around the world experience it, and many are blissfully unaware. However, there’s a critical difference between pseudogynecomastia and true gynecomastia. True gynecomastia is more complicated, less easily reversed, and therefore more important to pinpoint in its early stages for effective intervention. In a small number of cases, true gynecomastia can point to more serious underlying health problems, making it even more important to differentiate between gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia.

What is Pseudogynecomastia?

The term gynecomastia derives from the Greek words gynae and mastos, which mean woman and breast respectively. It refers to the development of female-like breasts in men. The pseudo part of pseudogynecomastia comes from the Greek word meaning false. The condition gets this name because it can appear at first glance identical to gynecomastia, which is an enlargement of glandular breast tissue underneath the nipple and breast area, leading to a change in the shape and size of the male chest, and potentially the development of feminine breasts. In pseudogynecomastia, a change in the shape and size of the male breasts is purely composed of fat deposits.

How can You Tell if You have Gynecomastia or Pseudogynecomastia?

Generally speaking, men who are otherwise relatively active and slim who notice the development of extra tissue are more likely to be experiencing gynecomastia, while men who suffer from a bit of excess fat distribution all over their body are more likely to be dealing with pseudogynecomastia, but it isn’t that cut and dry. No matter what your body type or medical history, it’s possible for you to have either type. And since each type responds very differently to treatment, it is important to get a correct diagnosis early on.

True gynecomastia usually leads to sensitivity and soreness to the touch, and occasionally swollen, itchy and sensitive nipples, none of which are normal in ‘man boobs’ caused by fatty deposits.

Given that we difine gynecomastia as a driven by glandular growth, and pseudogynecomastia as a pure fat deposit, the surest way of determining which condition you have is to determine what the additional tissue you’ve noticed on your chest is made of.

The Diagnosis

To form a concrete diagnosis, your GP will do a quick physical exam first. This will involve taking off your shirt and lying flat on your back with your hands behind your head. If your GP can feel a firm, fibrous tissue, roughly in the shape of a disk, underneath one or both of your nipples, then you’re probably dealing with gynecomastia. However, if the mass is soft and fairly loose beneath the skin, it’s probably just pseudogynecomastia.

A professional medical exam like this, when performed by your GP, is usually sufficient for a firm diagnosis. To be certain, your doctor may also ask for a medical history, with special attention paid to any medications used, recreational or performance enhancing drugs used, or previous symptoms of hormone imbalance. If there is any reason to suspect a hormone imbalance, your doctor may send you to the pathology nurse for a saliva, urine or blood test. An ultrasound may be ordered if your doctor can’t quite tell what sort of tissue is there. If a malignant (rather than benign) growth is (even remotely) suspected, your doctor may order you to undergo a mammogram x-ray.

Possible Causes for Pseudogynecomastia

It’s important to understand that there’s a range of causes, and that no overview could mention them all. To provide the most useful information to the highest number of readers, we’re going to focus on the main causes identified by specialists in the majority of cases.

Use of Steroids

If you dabble in performance enhancement drugs, you have a shockingly high risk of developing either gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia. Many people think of working out and building pectoral muscle as the antithesis of ‘man boobs’ caused by fat, but this isn’t the case. There are two main mechanisms through which steroid use leads to pseudogynecomastia. In the first mechanism, excess testosterone levels in the blood are metabolized into oestrogen by a naturally occurring enzyme known as aromatase. Excess oestrogen can cause true gyneocmastia by stimulating breast tissue to start increasing in size, but it can also simply tell your body to start depositing fat on your chest, leading to pseudogynecomastia. Secondly, steroids build up muscle with unnatural speed, and your body will eventually break that muscle down into extra, unwanted fatty deposits.

An Excess of Oestrogen

Excess oestrogen can be caused by a great many things other than illicit steroids, including prescribed steroid treatments for medical conditions, especially prescribed treatments for prostate cancer. A poor diet, including a deficiency of zinc, b6, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as excess body fat, can all contribute to an environment in body that facilitates a little too much testosterone being metabolised into oestrogen.

It is quite normal for levels of oestrogen to briefly spike in relation to testosterone during infancy and puberty, and for levels to increase again during age. Higher levels of oestrogen change the amount and location of fat deposits on your body.

Abuse of Drugs and Other Substances

Recreational drugs can harm your liver, kidneys and disrupt normal pulmonary function, especially over time. Anything that puts extra strain on your system could potentially disrupt your body’s normal rules about where fat is supposed to get deposited. The list of harmful addictive substances should be extended to sugar, since excess sugar in your diet can lead to insulin resistance, and weight gain around your middle and on your chest.

Cancer

This is the least likely cause but also the scariest. Breast cancer accounts for about 1% of all diagnosed cancers in Australian men. The average age of diagnosis is 69, and most men make a full recovery. It is vital that you either identify or rule out malignant growth early on in order to receive the best treatment.

Options for Treating Pseudogynecomastia

You’ll find you have a number of options for treatment. Different methods will suit different people, and you may find that one treatment isn’t working and then switch to another, or else use two different tactics to try and get rid of your pseudogynecomastia faster.

Fat-Burning Chest Workouts

The good news is that male chest fat is generally easy to burn since the chest is one of your largest muscles, and quite easy to target directly with resistance and weight training. Do some research on fat-targeting chest exercises and make sure to include some cardio as well to boost your metabolism.

An Appropriate Diet

Start drinking at least two litres of water a day, and increase your intake of leafy greens, healthy oils, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or tahini (an important source of zinc) and some sources of b6 such as liver, chickpeas and black beans. An abundance of nutrients and variety will help your body balance out anything it’s been lacking. If you only make one change in your diet tomorrow, make it the introduction of turmeric, powdered or fresh – whatever you can get your hands on. To read more about the benefits of turmeric on the body, read this article.

Pseudogynecomastia Pills

If you’re looking for a way to really maximise the results you get from the hard work of diet and exercise, superfood supplements that target pseudogynecomastia are available. They will maginfiy your other efforts and achieve better results faster. Make sure that you don’t confuse gynecomastia pills for pseudogynecomastia pills, though.

There are a few brands that improve both true and false gynecomastia, and one of them is Gynexin. It contains a broad mix of active ingredients, many of which impact the causes of pseudogynecomastia. Since the active chemicals only work to allow your hormones to come to their natural balance, rather than triggering extra production of any certain hormone, Gynexin is just as appropriate for pseudogynecomastia sufferers.

Recommended Pills

Gynectrol seems to be highly recommended among global health improvement forums. It was specifically developed to burn excess chest fat. The Gynectrol manufacturer’s website claim that:

  • These are strong fat burning tablets with fast results
  • You will see the results in less than a month
  • It is produced in the US, in a facility which is FDA approved

Gynectrol was developed by CrazyBulk, one of the most popular producers of supplements.

Pseudogynecomastia Surgery

You might decide that you want to tackle this issue a little more aggressively. If you do, surgery is more expensive, more invasive, and involves a more painful recovery, but certainly achieves the fastest and most dramatic guaranteed results. If you are allergic to an ingredient common to pseudogynecomastia pills, and you have medical conditions that make weight loss difficult for you, then elective plastic surgery shouldn’t be ruled out as a solution.

Surgical treatment for pseudogynecomastia is much simpler, quicker and cheaper than surgical excision, which is required to treat true gynecomastia. Simple liposuction alone will get the job done. A chest liposuction procedure in Australia will set you back about AU$3000, and you can be fairly sure your insurance plan won’t cover it.

Compression Vests

Compression garments help to reduce the appearance of ‘man boobs’ by holding the chest down and smoothing it out, creating the illusion of a more overall toned look. Under an extra layer of clothing, the compression vest or shirt is invisible and the illusion is quite impressive. It won’t fool you, but it may help to boost your confidence while you go about your business and start tackling your pseudogynecomastia in your own way.

Compression garments are very affordable, have no side effects, and can be easily swapped and changed around for different activities or to keep up with your measurements as you loose weight.

By using a compression vest in conjunction with a weight loss routine, you can even help your skin snap back to its former tightness. Compression garments are used by many women after pregnancy because of this exact function.

If you have an important function coming up like an awards night, a wedding, or a date, you can quickly throw on a compression vest and gain instant confidence. The results are temporary, but high levels of confidence are crucial if you’re going to stick to a weight loss and work out plan in the long term, so you might as well try a few tactics to boost your confidence at the same time. Wearing a compression vest now can motivate you by showing you the body that you’ll be seeing in the mirror pretty soon if you keep up your fitness regime.