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Author Topic: Chinese herbs-induced gynecomastia : will my body go back to normal?    (Read 2984 times)
amethyst tint
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« on: September 06, 2010, 06:56:20 PM »

Hello all: I'm 39 and recently (about two months ago) came down with a case of mild-to-moderate gynecomastia. I'm pretty sure it came from a brief treatment for hair loss with a traditional chinese medicine practitioner - who said nothing about potential side effects, btw.

I'm really frustrated because I only took the herbal supplements for four or five days (and not even at the full dose), plus a few direct applications of some kind of hair oil. Not to mention the fact that I went to a respected TCM practitioner to avoid the side effects that can accompany mainstream medications. My guess is that the supplements and/or oil had some estrogenic properties.

Anyway, my question is, am I realistically looking at surgery as the best option for dealing with this (say, six months or more from now)? Is there still a chance that my body will go back to normal within the next 6-12 months? My condition doesn't seem to have improved much, if at all, since the problem started, so I'm feeling pessimistic at this point...
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combatwombat
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 11:13:00 PM »

im no doc, but from what i've been reading here,  if its true gyne, then surgery is the only option. 
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Dr. Elliot Jacobs
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 06:39:49 PM »

No harm in waiting 3-6 months to see if there is some spontaneous resolution.  Certainly, would not rush into surgery.

And obviously, you should stop the medications.

You might also consult an endocrinologist to see if there are any hormonal abnormalities -- and if so, perhaps there is a way to treat it.

If, after six months or more, there is no change in your chest, then you might consider consulting with an experienced gyne surgeon.

Dr Jacobs
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Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS
Certified: American Board of Plastic Surgery
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amethyst tint
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 07:43:41 PM »

Thanks for your response.
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DrBermant
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 08:31:38 PM »

Hello all: I'm 39 and recently (about two months ago) came down with a case of mild-to-moderate gynecomastia. I'm pretty sure it came from a brief treatment for hair loss with a traditional chinese medicine practitioner - who said nothing about potential side effects, btw.

I'm really frustrated because I only took the herbal supplements for four or five days (and not even at the full dose), plus a few direct applications of some kind of hair oil. Not to mention the fact that I went to a respected TCM practitioner to avoid the side effects that can accompany mainstream medications. My guess is that the supplements and/or oil had some estrogenic properties.

Anyway, my question is, am I realistically looking at surgery as the best option for dealing with this (say, six months or more from now)? Is there still a chance that my body will go back to normal within the next 6-12 months? My condition doesn't seem to have improved much, if at all, since the problem started, so I'm feeling pessimistic at this point...

There are many Drugs and Medications that can Cause Gynecomastia. The problem with your premise over herbal options is that it is not the manufacturing process causing the body's response, but the medication itself. I gained awesome respect for Chinese Herbal Medications during my time in China learning and teaching Plastic Surgery. Herbs are just another source of potentially powerful medications. The problem is that potency is harder to control unless the herbalist is familiar with the specific source. The best I learned maintained their own gardens to have the greatest predictability.

No matter what the source of causing gynecomastia, gland swelling can resolve. If it does, being patient with total resolution is much better than even the best surgeon's scar. Once symptoms resolve and glands stop shrinking, what is left usually does not go away. The timing is just too variable to give a specific time frame. I have seen men who had their delicate hormone axis messed up with something they stopped years before with continued breast growth. It can take active intervention by an experienced Endocrinologist to restore the axis.

This is a similar situation as adolescent gynecomastia. In so many cases, subtle problems such as Puffy Nipple Gynecomastia still swollen from the imbalance of hormones can completely resolve itself without surgery. In that situation, what has not gone away by 2 years usually does not. A single short application of medications is different from the changes of puberty in that the insult is often more time specific. But each situation is best assessed before giving a time schedule for resolution.

Hope this helps,

Michael Bermant, MD
Learn More About Gynecomastia and Male Breast Reduction
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Dr. Cruise
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 01:02:27 PM »

It is hard to say whether or not your gyne is caused by a 3-5 course of this Chinese herbal medication and oil. Typically when patients get gynecomastia they want to attribute it to some external force (i.e. medication). While some medications may contribute, the #1 cause of gynecomastia is the breast tissue over reacting to a normal level of body hormone (.i.e. estrogens).It has also been attributed to an abnormal ratio of estrogen to testosterone. Certainly stop take the medication and oil. The effects should be out of the system within a week. It is reasonable to wait 6 months to see how the chest recovers.  Hopefully your problem will resolve!
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Grandpa Bambu
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 09:16:59 AM »

Typically when patients get gynecomastia they want to attribute it to some external force (i.e. medication).

However... Finasteride/Propecia use is known to cause G... Yes/No?

I'm not saying that AT was subjected to Finasteride, but there are external forces out there that do in fact, cause Gynecomastia... Certain anabolic steroids is another example...

GB...
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TheOregonKid
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 12:51:17 PM »

Herbs can be an effective tool in treating a number of health problems.  However, like medication, they usually have side-effects.  People tend to think that since something is herbal that it only has health benefits and no detriments.  Unfortunately, this isn't true.  There are countless herbal products available to bodybuilders to suppress estrogen so there is no reason to believe that there aren't herbs that would increase its presence or cause hormonal imbalance.
This is why you should talk to a doctor before starting use of herbal products and do exhaustive research online.
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“Whoever despises himself still esteems the despiser within himself” -Friedrich Nietzsche
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