Reports that tee tree oil causes male breast enlargement continue to grow in numbers. So far, limited studies have been conducted on the subject matter. Those that have been completed suggest that the phenomenon is more prominent in young males but may also occur in men of all ages. The condition, which is called gynaecomastia, was once considered very rare. However, some researchers now believe that as many as 50 per cent of all men could experience the condition during their lifetime. Additional research will be required to pinpoint all of the factors that must come into play for the condition to take place. However, there is some agreement on the following information, as conveyed in the next section.
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Be aware that gynaecomastia is not uncommon among boys during puberty. As many as 75 per cent of all males may experience the condition during this time. In the short term, this is normal. However, it could cause a problem if the condition continues beyond puberty. The condition is caused by a major imbalance between the male hormone testosterone and the female hormone oestrogen. If oestrogen levels are too high and testosterone levels too low, the body assumes itself to be female and begins to respond as such. Each individual's body tissue can respond differently from others within the same age group. In some males, an imbalance of testosterone might not have a major impact. However, in others where their tissue is more prone to respond, high levels of oestrogen may trigger unwanted breast growth.
Things to Do to Ward off the Problem
Maintain a healthy weight. Boys whose body mass (weight) is high in relationship to their height are far more prone to gynaecomastia. Avoid medications--both over-the-counter and prescription--that could have a negative impact on normal male hormone growth and regulation, such as Tagamet, Pepcid and Prevacid. Some relatively common perscription drugs such as Abilify, Flexeril, Haldol and Thorazine are also thought to do the same. There are many more such drugs (see Resources below). There is some indication that interrupting the cycle of male hormones might be a major factor in gynaecomastia, as might the encouragement of oestrogen growth. It is also important to stay away from vitamin supplements such as PABA and artificial oestrogen products such as Estrovin. Certain other vitamin B supplements seem to encourage breast growth in some elements of the male population. While it is common for small amounts of oestrogen to be found in males, those suffering from breast enlargement seem to have oestrogen levels that are uncommonly high. Choose foods with good vitamin and mineral content. Not all physicians agree that this will have a large impact on preventing the condition. Nonetheless, many insist that proper nutrition will help restore the body's natural hormonal balance. Discontinue using any product that contains tea tree oil. This includes certain bath products, shampoos, lip balm and skin creams.
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