Gynecomastia: The Most Common Man Boobs Signs and Symptoms
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Mon 24 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Stefano Pizzo, MD
Gynecomastia or gyno or man boobs, whatever you want to call them, occur when the body over produces estrogen and prolactin, and this is usually accompanied by drastically lowered testosterone.
Real gynecomastia - the actual growth of soft tissue and eventually the harder glandular tissue - is seriously embarrassing condition and it can be prevented and corrected (in many cases even without a surgery), but before you dabble into that, it's good to make sure that if you feel like you have gyno, it's actual gyno and not just normal fat that is caused by elevated body fat percentage.
So here's some symptoms of gynecomastia and signs that you can use to spot the real deal from just normal fat:
What Most People Have is Pseudogynecomastia
Most people who are freaking out about gyno, are actually suffering from pseudogynecomastia.
This is a medical term for what appears to be man boobs, but after closer inspection proves to be only normal fat caused by high body fat percentage.
This often occurs in obese men, but also in skinnier men who are "skinny-fat" (light weight, low muscle mass, higher fat mass).
Another group of men that tend to suffer from pseudo gyno, are bodybuilders who bulk up and suddenly think they developed gyno. Since these people tend to have already muscular chest area, packing on fat pounds on top of it makes it look like gynecomastia.
If you think you have gyno, but fail to feel "hard lumps" (glandular tissue) in the chest area, and know that your body fat percentage is over 20%, it's likely that you suffer from pseudogynecomastia instead of real gyno.
How to Actually Determine Real Gynecomastia
The American society of plastic surgeons has set four grades of gynecomastia to fully understand the severity of the condition.
The levels are as follows...
- Level 1 (mild gynecomastia) - feeling of small button like hard lumps around the areolas.
- Level 2 (mild-moderate gynecomastia) - clear growth of breast tissue that exceeds the edges of the chest area and starts to spread much wider than just around the nipples.
- Level 3 (moderate-severe gynecomastia) - breast tissue is even more pronounced, the hard lumps begin to grow bigger, and the man boobs start to visually sag and droop down, instead of the nipples pointing straight, they now point closer to the floor
- Level 4 (severe-feminized gynecomastia) - at this point the man boobs start to look more like that of females. The breast tissue now completely droops downwards and the nipples point directly towards the floor. You can clearly feel hard glandular tissue.