Although there are many conditions, medications, and/or other substances that can lead to the development of gynecomastia, many of these boil down to one thing: hormonal imbalance.

This is where fluctuations in testosterone and estrogen levels disrupt the body’s equilibrium, which can result in male breasts. Understanding this concept and its contributing factors is key to addressing gynecomastia effectively.

At the New Jersey Gynecomastia Center, we are here to help get you going in the right direction. Schedule a consultation today to meet with our doctors.

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What Causes Gyno?

Gynecomastia is, in essence, an excess of estrogen, a lack of testosterone, or a combination of both. When thinking about how to get rid of gynecomastia, it’s important to bear this in mind.

The defining characteristic of gynecomastia is the enlargement of male breasts, and it may be caused by this imbalance.

It should also be noted that in many cases, the causes of gynecomastia are unknown. In these cases, hormonal imbalance may not be the driving factor.

Be aware that man boobs can ALSO be caused by excess fat in the breast. This can be a standalone issue (pseudogynecomastia), or more frequently an issue in combination with the excess breast gland tissue. If you happen to just have excess fat in your chest, true gynecomastia causes will not be the main culprit.

A male baby may suffer short-term gynecomastia as a result of the remaining estrogen from his mother still in his system. The condition generally resolves on its own.

The hormonal changes brought about by puberty can cause temporary gynecomastia. The problem generally resolves itself within six months to two years.

Alcohol, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and methadone abuse.

Many kinds of medication including anti-androgens, HIV treatments, anabolic steroids, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic meds, chemotherapy, ulcer medication, heart medication, and certain antibiotics.

Aging leads to a progressive drop-off in testosterone levels in men, and is common over the age of 50.

Steroids can increase the amount of testosterone, but the body may respond by converting excess testosterone into estrogen.

This can lead to increased fat storage in the chest and higher levels of estrogen.

Several health conditions can cause or exacerbate gynecomastia. These include hypogonadism, aging, certain cancers, hyperthyroidism, kidney/liver failure, cirrhosis, and malnutrition/starvation.

Infancy and Puberty

Both infant boys and those who are entering puberty can develop temporary cases of gynecomastia.

The former is caused by lingering excess estrogen from the mother’s body and quickly resolves itself in a matter of months. The latter is caused by the inevitable hormonal upheaval that happens during puberty and usually resolves within 6 months to 2 years.

Gynecomastia is common in adolescent boys. As many as 60% will have some signs of the condition by the age of 14, largely due to the hormonal changes we all undergo during puberty.

This is a perfectly normal stage of puberty, and the symptoms will usually resolve themselves within two years. In other cases though, the gynecomastia symptoms can continue and surgery may be required to resolve the issue.

Substance Abuse & Alcoholism

The excessive use of certain substances can lead to cases of gynecomastia. Such substances include heroin, methadone, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other members of the amphetamine family.

Alcoholism is another form of substance abuse. It’s one that’s much more prevalent than illegal substance abuse.

Beer is a particular factor in this because it’s packed with plant-based compounds called phytoestrogens. These compounds are so named because they mimic the effects of estrogen.

Though it hasn’t been definitively proven, some scientists believe that excess phytoestrogen can lead to similar effects to that of excesses of true estrogen.


Aging leads to a progressive drop-off in testosterone levels in men. This starts at around the age of 30 and continues throughout the rest of your life.

Over-50s are particularly at risk of developing gynecomastia. It is estimated that as much as 65% of men in this group will develop senior gyno.

Anabolic Steroids

Gynecomastia is often observed in professional bodybuilders for one simple reason: the use of anabolic steroids.

These steroids promote the production of testosterone. In turn, the body may respond by converting excess testosterone into estrogen. This leads to bodybuilder gynecomastia in many cases.

High Body Fat Percentage

High body fat leads to higher rates of gynecomastia in two ways: increased fat storage in the chest (increased fat issue), and higher levels of estrogen (which, in turn, make the development of breast gland tissue more likely).

Higher levels of fat also lead to a reduction of testosterone and an increase in estrogen; an enzyme called aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen.

The bulk of this conversion happens in fat tissue (85% of it, in fact), and so the more fat tissue you have, the higher your estrogen levels may be.

Gynecomastia Surgery Before and After 3


Hypogonadism is a condition wherein the (male) subject suffers from a lack of androgens (male hormones).

This may be caused by damage to the testes (whether radiological, mechanical, or pathological in nature) or it may be caused by damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.

Chronic Diseases

Disease of the liver and kidneys, as well as hyperthyroidism, can all wreak havoc on hormonal balance and lead to an increase in estrogen and a decrease in androgens.

Hyperthyroidism can also lead to an increase in androgens, which ironically results in a corresponding increase in estrogen (the excess androgens are converted by the body).

Prescription Medications

Many cases of gynecomastia can be attributed to the use of prescription medications. These include:

  • Ulcer medications
  • HIV medications
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Certain heart disease medications
  • Antiandrogens
  • Hypertension medications

Check with your doctor if using these medications may lead to a reduction in testosterone or an increase in estrogen production. If so, that’s not a reason to stop your medication; it’s simply better to be prepared and to take steps accordingly.

Contact a New Jersey Gynecomastia Specialist

Schedule an appointment at the New Jersey Gynecomastia Center and let us help you achieve your ideal results. Our compassionate team is here to provide personalized care and effective solutions tailored to your needs. Schedule your consultation with a New Jersey gyno specialist and take the first step towards addressing your gynecomastia.

At the New Jersey Gynecomastia Center, we’re all about giving you top-notch care from start to finish. From your very first consultation to your recovery and beyond, we’re here for you every step of the way. We’re honored to be entrusted with your care, and we take that responsibility seriously. Our team, led by board-certified gynecomastia plastic surgeon specialists, is dedicated to providing the absolute best in patient care and outcomes. We understand that every person is unique, so we tailor our approach to suit your individual needs. Got questions? Ready to schedule your in-person or virtual consultation? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the New Jersey Gynecomastia Center today. We’re here to help!

New Jersey Gynecomastia Center
1567 Palisade Avenue #3A
Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024
(551) 201-1110