Gynecomastia | Causes & Risk Factors

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What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is usually caused by changes in hormones at birth, puberty or as part of aging. Gynecomastia may be caused by changes in the balance of 2 hormones: estrogen and testosterone. In adults, the balance of hormones may be affected by:

  • Aging
  • Disease, such as:
    • Tumors of the adrenal glands, testes or pituitary glands
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Hypogonadism
    • Kidney disease
    • Liver failure
  • Medicines, such as:
    • AIDS medicines
    • Anti-anxiety medicines
    • Antibiotics
    • Chemotherapy
    • Some medicines for cardiovascular disease
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Ulcer medicines
  • Illegal drugs, such as:
    • Anabolic steroids
    • Amphetamines
    • Heroin
    • Marijuana
  • Alcohol

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00

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