Gynecomastia and Body Building
Anabolic steroid use by body builders is a common source of gynaecomastia. Not everyone who takes anabolic steroids will develop gynecomastia; however, one should keep in mind that it is a possible result. It is almost impossible to foretell who will develop male breast enlargement, but it seems that younger men who have already developed some amount of gynecomastia are more likely to have further development.
Professional and especially amateur bodybuilders, take anabolic steroids with the hopes of enhancing performance and muscle size. There is process called “aromatization” that the most common anabolic steroids go through. It is a conversion to estrogen like compounds, when this happens; the conversion causes a shift in the ratio of testosterone to estrogen, and thus the development of breast tissue. Providing an extra source of hormone in the male body, the use of these steroids will causes a type of “negative feedback mechanism”, resulting in a reduction in the normal production of testosterone in the testes. This puts the ratio of testosterone and estrogen off balance which leads to extra breast gland tissue. After this tissue forms, the steroid-induced breast tissue will not go back to normal once the steroid has been discontinued. With continued use of steroids, the tissue will gradually build up over time and accumulate glandular breast tissue.
There are drugs called estrogen-blockers that are taken as the estrogen-levels rise. If the timing is perfect it is said that this may help or reduce the development of gyno. These estrogen blockers have not been completely studied to determine their safety or effectiveness. It is, however, clear that once the gynaecomastia develops there is no drug to reduce the gyno breast gland tissue. The development of the “gyno” usually occurs when the steroid cycle is discontinued. The orally or injected steroid tells the body that it has enough testosterone, so the body reduces the normal production of testosterone. When the cycle is stopped the body takes a while to begin to produce the normal levels of testosterone. During this period, the estrogen level is high compared to the testosterone level. This is when a steroid user may see the development of breasts. The hormone levels will gradually reach the normal balance but the gyno-breast gland has developed and seldom resolves on its own.
The best advice Dr. Delgado has is to avoid steroids altogether. All advertised over the counter drugs and prescription drugs for curing gynecomastia have not been tested and are merely anecdotal, and therefore are not a realistic solution. Again, Dr. Delgado emphasizes that there is not a drug that will prevent “man boobs”. The only treatment for the condition still is gynecomastia surgery.
Male breast enlargement due to steroid usage is one of the more difficult gynecomastia surgeries. The reason is due to the firm consistency of the gyno breast gland tissue. The gland is very difficult to cut through and precision is more difficult. Many men want the gland tissue removed completely. This is usually not possible because it will leave a defect and un-natural appearance. This is not a “cancer” surgery but a cosmetic procedure and aesthetics are crucial. Dr. Delgado has vast experience with steroid-induced gyneacomastia. He will be able to treat your condition and advise you for the future.
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