Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Do Female Hormones in the Water Cause More “Man Boobs?”

Will the U.S. see more cases of gynecomastia, the much-despised condition resulting in “Man boobs” or “Moobs,” as they are also known?

It may be due to the many pharmaceuticals found in U.S. drinking water.

Some plastic surgeons in England have already noticed that their rate of performing gynecomastia surgery is going up. In 2007, according to the British Association of Plastic Surgeons, 4,000 “blokes” had cosmetic plastic surgery to create flatter, more masculine chests. In contrast, 2005 saw only 2,100 such operations.

During 2007, the U.S. recorded 20,289 such cases, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Here’s a typical story (“How I got Rid of My ‘Moobs’”) about what a guy with large breasts must put up with from his “mates.” Read more.

Doctors and other scientists say no single drink of tap water is like getting a dose of medicine. It’s just that the trace elements in water build up over time to create the effect.

Gynecomastia Causes

However, drinking water is not the only culprit. If a “bloke” drinks too much booze, uses street drugs, has hormone therapy for cancer of the prostate, eats foods containing the female hormone estrogen, his breasts often enlarge -- even in thin guys -- to the average size of teen girl.

(I know what you’re thinking! Should you wear a bra if you have gynecomastia? Or a training bra, at least? Actually, Seinfeld once called bras for men “bros.” Anyhow, this is not the way these guys wanted to get in touch with their feminine sides!)

A then 14-year-old patient is pictured on the left before his gynecomastia was corrected through surgery. (Photo courtesy of Elliott Jacobs, M.D.)

There appears to be no way to work off or exercise away gynecomastia. Alan Kingdon, M.D., a London cosmetic surgeon, noticed the increase in male breast reduction surgery and conducted a study on the tissues removed. He found that bone fide mammary gland tissue, which normally grows only in women. More.

Given the nature of male humor, it’s only a matter of time until some U.S. fraternity writes a new song for their parties and names it, “Drink and be Mary.”

But wait, there’s more! A popular shampoo may also cause gynecomastia. More.

And: read about an MTV contest winner who wanted to have a surgically created chest like that of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the “Governator.”

Guys: Tell Us about Your Life with “Man Boobs.”

Gals: How do You React to Guys with Fleshy Chests?

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