Can Alcoholism Cause Male Breast Enlargement?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

My son is an alcoholic.  He has bunches in both breasts, could this have anything to do with the liver?  He is having blood work done.

Doctor's response

Chronic alcohol intake in high doses can damage the testicles and cause them to shrink (atrophy). Normally, the testicles produce the male hormone testosterone. When the testicles are damaged, the testosterone blood levels decrease. Low blood testosterone levels in males can lead to the development of female physical characteristics, such as weight gain and breast tissue enlargement.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018