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  • Male Body Development

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    Old 08-19-2016, 05:27 PM   #1
    twitterer
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    Male Body Development

    I have some issues which reach a climax every so often when I find myself staying up late looking for answers online. I found this board and thought it was worth a shot asking. I am a 33 year old man and have been concerned about my body development for years. My doctor spotted something odd about my body shape when I was prepubertal and referred me to an endocrinologist. Some tests were done and I'm honestly not sure what happened after (I suspect my mother didn't follow up). I was chubby but grew very skinny looking, whilst still maintaining a belly a some fat on my chest, through my teens with no noticeable muscular or skeletal development other than in my height (I'm 6'2").

    When I reached 24 I decided I'd reached the point where things weren't going to change on their own so I went to my doctor to ask his opinion. I had some blood tests done which all came back normal (not sure of all of them but definitely included testosterone levels which is the main one I was looking out for). The doctor said my body shape could just be a case of 'extreme genetics'. He said Marfans syndrome could be a possibility (though he didn't seem convinced) and he was referring me for cardio testing and said any diagnosis would be with the intention of monitoring the heart problems that come with the syndrome. I never received the referral and never followed it up (it was a huge deal for me to go in the first place and I buried my head in the sand a lot of the time).

    I'll be more specific about what bothers me. I'm very tall but very narrow. I have extremely thin legs and arms (especially forearms and wrists), thinner than most women I know my age. I still maintain some stubborn belly fat. My hands and feet are also very small for my height (I'm UK size 8, US size 9 and very narrow). I guess my penis is average size but the foreskin doesn't pull back (sorry for being graphic but thought it could be relevant) and my testicles are small. My voice isn't very high pitched but not as deep as you would expect for a man my height and it's prone to breaking occasionally (though I know this can be tiredness and straining my voice at times in my work as a teacher). I also have a very small head and thin neck. Over the years, I've gone through phases of focusing on different body parts and my head size is the thing I've been most bothered by in the last few years. I know it's not my imagination as a particularly insensitive student once informed me in front of class that I had a really small head for my size. Another student asked why I was so tall and skinny. Students I work with now aren't so forward but I'm constantly thinking about what people think of my appearance.

    This may seem an odd comment, but I'm also aware of how women perceive me. In particular, female colleagues will comment on attractive male colleagues and I know from how they talk they don't consider me so, even though I have a decent enough face (my face, in isolation, is the only body part I'm not self-conscious about, although I do have small features which might be considered feminine or boyish) and I dress as best I can to suit my build.

    My partner (also male) and I have been lifting weights for around three years in our own home gym. He was also fairly thin but he's made huge gains and I have not, despite trying out different workouts and different high protein diets.

    In many ways, I feel like puberty never really did what it was supposed to do with me. I do have body hair and facial hair but all the other stuff seems to never have come. I'm particularly conscious of this working with teenagers, many of whom are more masculine looking than me. I'm also hyper-aware of my disproportionate build in photos with groups of friends, especially head size. I'll often try to angle myself to minimise this and I prefer closer up photos where this can have an effect but when a group photo is taken which shows everyone head to toe my small head is really evident. I hate the selfie-obsessed culture but when friends want to take a group photo I've found myself quickly volunteering to take a selfie with me at the front, so the picture has my face bigger than everyone's at the front!

    My partner has suggested I have body dysmorphic disorder. I initially dismissed this but when I read this can be related to perceived OR real imperfections I realised he's probably right, but that it's a symptom of my real body development issues.

    I know I need to go back to the doctor if I want to pursue this further but does anyone have any ideas of what this might be in order to help guide my consultation? We get ten minute appointments and in the past the doctor wasn't particularly keen to take on my concerns so I'm reticent to go back and have to explain everything. Is there any chance of making any changes at my age or is my only hope to try and cope with and be happy with what I have? I've read about growth hormone making people's heads bigger but is that just silly, wishful thinking? Could it make other parts bigger too?

    I'm sorry this post is so long. Any advice will be much appreciated, even if it's to suggest potential conditions I can research further. Thank you for reading.

     
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