Gynecomastia, Steroids and the Bodybuilder
With exercise and weight lifting, the pectoral muscle which lies underneath the breast tissue will lift the breast making it higher and more prominent. While this is a goal for many women, men that have a propensity for gynecomastia(moobs) may get results they do not desire. By developing the pectoral muscle, especially to an extreme, as bodybuilders do, the result for those with some form of gynecomastia will see a much more pronounced condition of the male breast.
When gynecomastia occurs naturally, it is a slower growth process of both glandular and fatty tissue. But with the addition of an anabolic steroid, which is very popular with bodybuilders, the gynecomastia breast develops much faster and mostly consists of glandular tissue. When there is too much testosterone in the body, it tries to reduce it by a process called aromatization. Aromatization converts testosterone to estradiol which can cause an increase of breast tissue to grow. Once the breast tissue has developed, it most likely will not go away on its own and would have to be removed surgically. Abruptly stopping the use of steroids will throw the estrogen and testosterone balance way off and even more breast tissue is likely to develop until the natural testosterone level returns.
There are drugs that may block the development of estrogen if taken before the gynecomastia occurs and estrogen levels get too high, but these drugs have not been fully studied for their effectiveness. Dr. Delgado advises his San Francisco and Bay Area patients that most experts agree that once the breast tissue has formed there is no drug available that will remove or reduce gynecomastia.