Gynecomastia, or excess male breast tissue, is an embarrassing problem that afflicts up to 70 percent of men. Recent research has indicated a connection between smoking marijuana and developing male breasts. Indeed, weed is now the leading cause of man boobs among men aged 18 to 35.
At Grossman | Caparo Plastic Surgery, our board-certified cosmetic surgeons are committed to bringing high-end care to our Denver patients. With the popularity of legal marijuana still expanding in Colorado, we want to educate men on the cosmetic risks associated with using the product. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your male breasts, our surgeons can help you achieve a flatter, more masculine chest.
What is Gynecomastia?
Contrary to popular belief, gynecomastia is not the result of a man developing more fat in his breasts. Instead, breast size in men and women is pot by hormone levels. Changes in hormone levels can cause changes in breast size, and they are triggered by numerous things.
Every person is born with a combination of male hormones, such as testosterone, and female hormones, such as estrogen. Testosterone controls bodily functions, such as muscle growth, body hair, and sex drive. Estrogen regulates women's menstrual cycles and helps dictate breast size.
Gynecomastia, then, develops when a man's hormones become imbalanced. When a man's testosterone levels decrease, or his estrogen levels increase, the higher proportion of estrogen in his body can lead to the development of breast tissue.
Causes of Gynecomastia
There are many possible triggers for the hormonal imbalance that causes gynecomastia. It often occurs naturally at one of three stages of life:
- Infancy: Greater than 50 percent of infant males are born with gynecomastia. This usually goes away within three weeks of birth.
- Puberty: This is a period of intense hormonal changes in men and women. Men can develop gynecomastia during adolescence, but as with infant gynecomastia, most cases go away without treatment.
- Old age: Testosterone production naturally decreases as men age. Because of this, at least one-quarter of men between the ages of 50 and 69 develop gynecomastia.
Links Between Gynecomastia and Marijuana
Although the full extent of the connection between smoking weed and gynecomastia is still unknown, studies have indicated that the relationship exists. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana. While it's what gives pot users the feeling of being high, it also interacts with the body in other ways, such as interfering with numerous functions of the adrenal and hormonal systems.
One of these functions is the release of GnRH, which is a hormone that's responsible for the release of other hormones. The release of GnRH is the catalyst of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, or HPG, axis. In men, the HPG axis is responsible for testosterone production. Because marijuana blocks the release of GnRH, it hinders every aspect of the HPG axis, including the manufacture of testosterone.
If a man's body produces less testosterone, his male and female hormone levels become imbalanced. This can lead to the development of breasts.
Contact Our Denver Plastic Surgeons Today
At Grossman | Caparo Plastic Surgery, we understand the pain that having man boobs can cause. No man should feel ashamed to take off his shirt at a pool or in front of an intimate partner. Our surgeons have decades of combined experience, and we want every man to have the self-confidence and healthy body image that comes with having a body you're proud of.
We serve Denver, Aurora, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and nearby areas of Colorado. Call (303) 320-5566 today to schedule a consultation.