Gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, is a common problem among both younger and older males. Called “gyno” for short, gynecomastia can be an embarrassing problem for many men. While plastic surgery can remove excess breast tissue, many men want to know how to get rid of gyno without surgery.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Whether you call them man boobs or just male breasts, gynecomastia occurs when there are hormonal imbalances in the body. All genders have both testosterone and estrogen, but male traits are enhanced by testosterone and female traits by estrogen. Men who have more estrogen can develop gyno.
When testosterone is high, it cancels out the effects of estrogen. While girls develop breasts when their estrogen levels increase, most males have enough testosterone to cancel out any estrogen effects. When testosterone dwindles, or estrogen increases, this is when males can develop breasts.
There are multiple reasons estrogen can increase in males. Teenage boys can have fluctuations in hormone levels, leading to gyno or puffy male breasts. For young men, this can be embarrassing, but it usually resolves on its own as the hormones balance naturally. Other reasons for higher estrogen include:
- Gaining weight – not only can you store fat on the breasts if you gain weight, but it can increase estrogen levels.
- Anabolic steroids – while bodybuilders take steroids to up their testosterone, it can also increase estrogen levels, leading to gynecomastia.
- Aging – gyno is more common among older men who have waning levels of testosterone, which naturally occurs as men age.
- Food and alcohol – the foods and alcohol you consume can impact both testosterone and estrogen production.
- Medications – drugs can impact hormone levels, including prescription drugs, and recreational drugs like heroin.
- Health conditions – some organ failures like kidney, liver or testes can result in either higher estrogen or lower testosterone.
Regardless of the cause, men with gyno are often motivated to find gynecomastia treatment without surgery. There are changes that can be made to either increase testosterone production or lower estrogen levels for those who want to know how to get rid of gyno naturally.
How to Get Rid of Gynecomastia
While you can find many supplements that claim to offer gynecomastia treatment without surgery, there are no FDA-approved supplements to get rid of gyno. There are also no medications approved by the FDA for gynecomastia. However, there are lifestyle changes that can help get rid of gyno naturally.
- Losing Weight
- Any men that have excess breast tissue and also are overweight should try losing weight to get rid of gyno. The weight gain can enhance the breast size and impact estrogen levels. For many men, reaching a healthy weight can resolve their man boobs without any other treatment needed.
- Adding more exercise, especially strength training, can help boost testosterone. Building muscle can increase testosterone levels – the bigger the muscle, the more impact it can have. Doing a full-body workout that builds leg, abdomen, chest and arm muscles can help minimize gyno for many men.
- Food Intake
- There are foods that can impact hormone levels. Soy is known for its ability to increase estrogen, which is what you do not want if you want to know how to get rid of gyno without surgery. Sugar is also linked with higher estrogen. Foods to include for higher testosterone include spinach, broccoli, fish and kale.
- Rest is important for hormone balance. If you are not getting enough sleep each night, it may be contributing to your gyno. Make an effort to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy and allow the body to repair and balance hormone production.
- Reduce Alcohol
- Alcohol consumption has been linked to higher estrogen and lower testosterone. Those who want to get rid of gyno naturally should limit alcohol consumption or try eliminating it altogether to see if it helps reduce their male breast tissue.
Off-Label Gynecomastia Treatment Without Surgery
There are some treatments doctors may recommend for counteracting the effects of gyno. While there are no FDA-approved medications or supplements, there are a few options that may help either increase testosterone or reduce estrogen in the body. These include:
- Testosterone injections. The quickest way to increase low testosterone is with hormone therapy. This can include a series of testosterone injections.
- Changing medications. If you are taking a medication that is contributing to your gyno, your doctor may recommend different medication.
- Off-label drugs. There are some drugs that have had side effects of reducing estrogen or increasing testosterone. While not approved for gyno treatment, these may be recommended off-label by your doctor.
If you want to know how to get rid of gynecomastia, you should first visit your doctor. Testing your hormone levels can determine if you have low testosterone or high estrogen. Understanding what is causing your hormone imbalance can indicate how to get rid of gyno naturally.