What is Low T and How Does It Relate to Gynecomastia?
Low T and Gyno
Starting around puberty, a male’s testes begin producing increasing levels of a hormone called testosterone. This process causes the voice to deepen, hair to develop on the body and many of the other physical changes that are associated with becoming a grown man. The body must then maintain a certain level of this male hormone to maintain adequate health. As men age, this level naturally declines. However, low testosterone, or Low T can become a problem at any age—and it can trigger potentially embarrassing symptoms like gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, four in every ten men over the age of 45 experience low testosterone, which is also known as hypogonadism. Likewise, the Mayo Clinic states that this condition affects one in four men between the ages of 50 and 80, which highlights the fact that levels of the hormone drop naturally with age. In fact, starting at around age 30, levels of this crucial male hormone begin to drop by a rate of around 1 percent per year.
What is Testosterone?
To understand low levels of the male hormone and the resulting relationship to the growth of larger breasts in males, it helps to understand what the hormone is and what it does. This hormone first develops in males during puberty, causing the voice to deepen, the penis and testes to enlarge and muscles to build. It works to keep those muscles strong, and it helps to maintain a strong sex drive. In healthy males, normal and healthy levels of this male hormone range from 300 nanograms per deciliter, or ng/dL, to around 800 ng/dL. Typically, when the level falls to between 100 ng/dL and 200 ng/dL, symptoms of hypogonadism appear. Any otherwise healthy male who suspects that he may be experiencing low levels of this hormone can have it checked via a blood test, and treatment options may be explored at that time.
What Causes Low T?
Declining levels of testosterone are a normal part of the aging process in men. As noted previously, levels tend to remain highest up until around the age of 30; from there, they decline at a rate of about 1 percent per year thereafter. Even though declining levels of this hormone are normal as men age, men do not have to endure the unpleasant symptoms that often go along with them. Plenty of treatment options are available ranging from hormone replacement therapy to products like compression shirts that work to conceal the larger breasts of gynecomastia. Although it is natural for levels of this male hormone to decline with age, they may also drop for a number of other reasons. Aging is not the only cause of Low T. In fact, hormonal fluctuations during puberty can cause boys to develop enlarged breasts, large areolas, swollen nipples and other signs of gynecomastia. Additional potential causes of declining levels of this hormone in men include:
- injury to the testes, which produce the hormone
- diseases that affect areas of the brain like the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus
- testicular cancer or treatment for it via radiation or chemotherapy
- chronic liver or kidney disease
- type 2 diabetes
Symptoms of Low T
The symptoms can vary a lot and many men fail to be properly diagnosed within a reasonable amount of time. Common symptoms of hypogonadism include:
- erectile dysfunction
- low libido
- issues with concentration or memory
- moodiness or irritability
- a decrease in general well-being
- loss of muscle strength
- depressed mood
- drop in hemoglobin, which can cause mild anemia
- decline in body hair
- increased body fat
Large Breasts and Low Testosterone
One of the most readily apparent – and potentially embarrassing – symptoms of a drop in male hormone is often an increase in breast tissue, which leads to larger breasts. Known as gynecomastia, this condition can also cause swollen nipples, puffy nipples and large areolas. Suffering from "man boobs" can do serious damage to one's self-confidence.
Coping with "Man Boobs"
If you are a male experiencing a growth in breast size without many of the other symptoms of low levels of the male hormone, it’s important to know that treatments are specifically available for this condition. Medications like tamoxifen and raloxifene can help, and surgical options like liposuction and mastectomy are also available. However, many men find relief through simply hiding the appearance of their enlarged breasts. This can be successfully accomplished through the use of well-designed compression garments.
Larger Breasts Due to Low T? Confidence Bodywear Can Help
If you are tired of feeling self-conscious about your large breasts, there are solutions. A well-designed compression shirt by Confidence Bodywear can help! Whether you choose to wear compression shirts, nipple covers or t-shirts to hide your gynecomastia, Confidence Bodywear has you covered. Visit our website to learn more about what our compression garments can do for you.