THE HOW, THE WHY AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT!
Lockdown’s been hard for all of us.
One of the casualties has been our expanding waistlines. The months of takeaways, inactivity and excess calories from boozing has taken the toll and over half of us have piled on the pounds.
With the light at the end of the tunnel, and with Summer insight, it’s time to get moving again and shed the lockdown love handles.
An unfortunate side effect of extra weight in men can be the development of ‘moobs’. The NHS advise that up to 90% of men are impacted by this at some point. Quite shocking figures as that only leaves 1 in 10 men not affected.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY?
Properly referred to as pseudo gynecomastia – moobs are where fat builds up in the breasts, due to being overweight or obese. In most cases, this is a combination of fat and glands, but mainly fat. Sometimes this can lead to sensitivity and tenderness.
Moobs / pseudo gynecomastia is quite different from Gynaecomastia. This is a complex imbalance of the body's endocrine system and is sometimes triggered by underlying health conditions and medications. It’s a common condition that causes boys and men’s breast tissue to swell and become larger than normal. It most commonly occurs in teenage boys due to hormonal imbalance and older men with around 15% of males will be affected at some point in their lifetime.
This condition won’t go away with diet and exercise and may be associated with a variety of underlying causes that require medical investigation.
The likelihood is that unless you were suffering from this issue before lockdown, your moobs are far more likely to be related to extra fat and weight and an imbalance of testosterone.
WHAT ARE THEY EXACTLY AND WHY AM I GROWING THEM?
As the moobs reference suggests, there is an engorgement of breast tissue and there can be some tenderness. Although moobs don’t cause any medical risks, they do lead to men suffering considering emotional and mental distress. Most guys don’t want their chest to become feminine in this way and panic about the changes to their body that seem out of their control.
Moobs are increasingly common as we are living in an obesity crisis and men’s testosterone levels are at an all-time low. These two factors are the driving force behind these unwelcome changes in men of all ages.
The Health Survey for England 2019 found that around ¾ of men aged between 45-74 are overweight and 27% are obese. Overweight men produce more oestrogen due to an enzyme in our fat cells called aromatase which converts testosterone to oestrogen. The fatter you are, the more oestrogen you produce and the more oestrogen you produce the fatter you get. Rather a catch 22 for modern men.
In addition, modern men’s T levels are half of what they were 50 years ago, leaving 1 in 4 men deficient. All of this is bad news for men’s health, looks and sex drive.
Like testosterone deficiency and low T, moobs are a condition that most men try to keep on the downlow. However, the symptoms are much harder to hide.
As explained moobs are often the result of a hormone imbalance from when a man’s ratio of oestrogen to testosterone shifts and it becomes dominant. Breast tissue in both men and women feeds off oestrogen leading to the increase in size. This is double bad news as extra oestrogen means less available testosterone causing more symptoms than moobs including loss of libido, low mood, fatigue and loss of muscle.
HELP!! WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
It’s a distressing condition to have, and far from ideal for any man, but the good news is that you should be able to resolve your moobs without
any medical treatment.