Sex, sunbathing by the pool, charging into battle on horseback – there are certain things in life that are best enjoyed without a shirt on. Sadly, however, there’s a cruel affliction hellbent on depriving men of these simple pleasures.

Man boobs – medically, gynaecomastia – is often the result of a hormone imbalance, when a man’s ratio of oestrogen to testosterone shifts too far to the female side. It’s actually more common than you think and is a problem that affects around half of all men – and treatments are waiting for you. So, regardless of how you grew them, your man-nary glands can be remedied. What can’t be shed in the gym can be concealed with clever wardrobe choices and what can’t be concealed can – in extreme cases – be removed with the help of a skilled professional.

What are man boobs?

Of all the indignities age thrusts upon your body, sudden swelling in your chest might be the toughest to stomach. Man boobs are caused by the formation of excess fat or breast tissue, which gives the appearance of breasts. For sufferers, it can be an extremely embarrassing issue, leading to problems with self-esteem, body confidence, and an overall decline in mental well-being.

Gynaecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia

If you’re going to stand any chance of getting rid of yours, it’s important to know how they got there in the first place. There are two main types:

1. Gynaecomastia – is true enlargement of the breast tissue in the male chest. All males have some element of breast tissue, and this can sometimes grow due to hormone fluctuation or weight fluctuation.

2. Pseudogynecomastia – is an enlargement of the chest appearance, but not due to breast tissue alone. In most cases, this is a combination of fat and gland, but mainly fat. The cause of this is weight fluctuation.

So, to break that down: gynaecomastia = hormone-related enlargement of breast tissue; pseudogynecomastia = enlarged breasts due to an increase in body fat.

What can cause man boobs?

Consuming more calories than you’re burning off is a surefire way to put on weight. And one place that weight could choose to appear is on your chest. Not only do bad eating habits increase fat, but this extra fat creates an imbalance of a hormone called leptin, which can inhibit the production of testosterone, making matters even worse.

Age can also be the culprit as from around the age of 50, testosterone production in men begins to deplete rapidly. By the time most hit 80, their levels have dropped between 20 and 50 per cent, meaning that as you age, it becomes harder to keep a fuller chest at bay.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause you to gain weight. But particularly hoppy beers have also been found to increase estrogen levels, in turn stimulating the production of breast tissue.

And, while it is rare, it can’t be dismissed: Illness. Tenderness or swelling in the breast area can be indicative of an underlying medical condition such as kidney failure, liver disease, or Klinefelter syndrome, the name given to when a man is born with an extra X chromosome.

How To Get Help

In addition to smaller lifestyle changes, there are also several proactive steps you can take to banish unwanted boobs for good. But before you embark on your path towards flat-chested freedom, it is always worth consulting your doctor first.

A free consultation with Mantality Health can reveal your current testosterone levels along with treatment plans to alleviate this symptom and help curb the development of man boobs. Just know that there are always options, and the first step is to simply reach out to a medical professional to see what’s going to be the right treatment for you.