Patients are sometimes concerned about the possible side-effects of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), including the potential correlation between supplementary testosterone and gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is enlargement of the male breast tissue, a condition that’s commonly referred to as “man boobs,” an undesirable physical side effect that understandably threatens men’s sexuality and identity.
Let’s discuss the causes and, more importantly, prevention.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
The simple answer is, “Too much estrogen,” but it’s actually a little more complicated.
It’s not just the simple amount of female hormones present in your system that leads to gynecomastia.
Research indicates that gynecomastia is usually caused by a hormone imbalance between male hormones (testosterone) and female hormones (estrogen or estradiol), with the ratio between the two as the determining factor.
This kind of imbalanced ratio is often caused by health factors that include the following:
- Advanced age
- Anabolic steroids or androgens (especially illicit and unsupervised doses used to increase athletic performance)
- Liver and kidney disease
- Klinefelter’s Syndrome
- Thyroid disease
- Certain tumors
Hormones are your body’s communication network, and excess estrogen (in proportion to testosterone) signals the body to develop more female characteristics, which may include the development of breast tissue in men.
How Are Supplemental Testosterone and Gynecomastia Connected?
Knowing that a hormone imbalance may cause gynecomastia, you may be wondering, “Is there such thing as testosterone induced gynecomastia?”
It seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?
Shouldn’t the question be, “Can testosterone cure gynecomastia?”
It seems logical that more testosterone would correct the imbalance, except for the critical fact that your body metabolizes testosterone into estradiol, a form of estrogen.
That means excess testosterone can become excess estrogen — it can cause or contribute to a hormonal imbalance, leading to enlarged breast tissue.
That has lead to the term testosterone-induced gynecomastia.
A Cycle of Excess Estrogen Production
As the hormone balance tips toward estrogen, it is entirely possible you’ll gain adipose tissue (fat), which is itself an estrogen-producing organ.
That means even more estrogen production, adding to the possibility of gynecomastia.
Testosterone replacement therapy, coupled with the right dose of estrogen-blocking medication, can not only prevent the out-of-control rise of estrogen levels, but may also help to reverse weight gain and thereby stop the cycle of excess endogenous estrogen production.
Though side effects are possible when undergoing treatment for low testosterone, and gynecomastia is only one of these possible side effects, in practice, if you’re under the care of a medical provider who specializes in hormone replacement therapy, you’re unlikely to experience gynecomastia (or any other side effect).
Even if you do experience side effects, regular testing of your hormone levels helps ensure that we quickly find the appropriate dose for you and mitigate or eliminate those side effects entirely.
Does Testosterone Cause Gynecomastia?
Unsupervised (or poorly supervised) use is certainly reckless, and it could result in unbalanced hormone levels that lead to unwanted side effects.
If you performed a quick online search for “prevention of gynecomastia,” nearly all articles are concerned with PED (performance enhancing drugs) used for bodybuilding or enhancing sports performance — the locker room at the local gym is unlikely to be monitored by a qualified medical professional.
This is important — once gynecomastia becomes established, simply cutting out the cause is not going to reverse the present condition. There’s no such thing as taking, as a sort of cure, testosterone for gynecomastia — testosterone is not a treatment for gynecomastia.
Quite simply, this is why you should always receive testosterone replacement therapy (or any other hormone therapy) from expert medical providers specializing in hormone treatment.
Testosterone and Gynecomastia — The Best Treatment is Prevention
There are preventative measures that can be taken to stop gynecomastia from occurring in the first place.
At Testosterone Centers of Texas, we test your hormone levels regularly as the first step in preventing a serious imbalance from occurring at all.
The second measure we take is to, in most cases, issue an appropriate dose of estrogen-blocking medication with each treatment, depending, of course, on the unique needs of your body.
Each dose of the estrogen blocker is based on the results of your blood work — the dose is calculated precisely to ensure that there’s no excess estrogen appearing in your system.
These measures assure that you can achieve the testosterone level you need to feel your best without the danger of a sudden spike in estrogen (and the associated side effects).
Simply put, we prevent the imbalance from happening at all.
Testosterone and Gynecomastia — Get Expert Help
At Testosterone Centers of Texas, we want you to feel your best, free from the symptoms of low testosterone.
Click the button below to schedule a free consultation. Let’s find out if testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.
We’d be happy to discuss any concerns about testosterone and gynecomastia, and we can answer any other questions you may have.