Bodybuilding Gyno From Steroids: How To Prevent And Treat This Condition
As you must be already aware that man boobs or gynecomastia can be caused because of several reasons like obesity, hormonal imbalance, side effects of medications etc.
But there is another major reason that can lead to male breast enlargement – heavy use of steroids.
Bodybuilders are the best example of this condition. A good number of heavyweight bodybuilders develop man boobs because of steroids abuse.
Let’s understand what causes gynecomastia in bodybuilders, steroids that can potentially lead to this condition and the different prevention measures you can take.
What Causes Gynecomastia in Bodybuilders?
You’d need first to determine if yours is actually the case of gynecomastia or not, in order to successfully determine its causes in your case.
A man/boy suffering from actual gynecomastia would have visibly enlarged breast tissues in his chest area.
Individuals without gynecomastia would merely have fatty tissue deposits, usually a result of lack of exercise and/or obesity.
In case you’re a bodybuilder who has developed man boobs or gynecomastia, it’s most likely that yours is a case of actual gynecomastia and not fatty deposits.
Some of the other well-known causes of gynecomastia include medical conditions, drugs, and puberty.
While gynecomastia caused during puberty usually disappears with time, the other two reasons might make the condition stick around for quite some time (unless of course, you take action).
Gynecomastia because of drugs is fairly common in today’s society.
Men who regularly consume antiulcer, antihypertensive and even certain types of heart medications are prone to this condition.
AIDS-related medications can also be the culprit.
Please note, a large majority of gynecomastia cases (as a result of drugs) don’t occur because of prescription medications.
It’s normally the drugs purchased from black market by fitness fanatics and bodybuilders that are to be blamed.
In fact hormone enhancers, growth promoters and anabolic steroids which are too commonly used in the bodybuilding circles can lead to gynecomastia in as less as one week’s time.
The visible effects of such gynecomastia are usually lifelong and would leave you with no option but to wear special clothing, undergo surgery or consume certain medications for fixing the problem.
Bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids are at the highest risk of gynecomastia, owing to the natural action of these steroids once they enter into your body.
Once a bodybuilder starts taking anabolic steroids, his testosterone levels rise. As testosterone is already supplied by an external source, the body automatically shuts down its natural production. Why? Because it’s trying to balance the hormone levels.
While your body can’t stop you from injecting steroids into it, it can stop natural testosterone production, and spike up the estrogen levels to balance things out.
Furthermore, majority of anabolic steroids are derived from testosterone and convert into estrogen through aromatization process in the body (through aromatase enzyme).
This process leads to a spike in the estrogen levels of the body, which binds to the receptors in the breast area, leading to gynecomastia.
While a great number of athletes and bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids avoid such negative side effects, there are some who are sensitive to steroid usage and develop gynecomastia regardless of the precautions they take.
Types of Steroids That Can Cause Gynecomastia
Although it’s a fact that steroids can lead to gynecomastia, it’s important to know that not every steroid will give you male breasts.
It’s only ones that aromatize, for instance, Dianabol, Sustanon, and Anadrol that can lead to this condition.
Whenever a bodybuilder consumes such steroids, they can potentially decrease his testosterone levels and spike up the estrogen levels, thereby leading to hormonal imbalance, and thus growth in the breast tissues.
Gynecomastia Prevention for Steroid Users
1. Stop Taking Steroids:
One of the best ways that bodybuilders and athletes can stay away from steroids-caused gynecomastia is by merely stopping the consumption of any such substances.
As also explained above, drugs like steroids can throw your body’s hormone balance out of whack and lead to abnormal growth in the breast tissues.
Regardless of the overwhelming number of bodybuilders who’ve suffered from gynecomastia due to steroids, many still wonder if steroids can actually reverse gynecomastia?!
The simple answer to that question is ‘No.’ Steroids are the things that cause this problem, and not fix it.
2. Use Safe Supplements as Alternatives to Steroids
Regular use of anabolic steroids not only causes gynecomastia, but it can also cause some other major side effects including damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart. Your testicles can shrink, and you might even become impotent.
They can also make your skin oilier and leave you with the problem of acne, spoiling your entire look.
What more, many people also suffer from mental imbalance because of steroids’ abuse and develop a condition known as ‘roid rage’.
While it’s a good idea to completely stop steroids consumption to avoid their negative side effects, you’d obviously need something more than food sources to develop and maintain your physique.
This has been made possible by some very safe fitness supplements that work as alternatives to steroids, and deliver the same bodybuilding effects as them, without any harmful side effects.
One such brand of supplements that definitely deserves a mention in this regard is Crazy Bulk.
They are a very reputed brand in the bodybuilding space and offer the same effects as steroids, without causing any harm.
Crazy Bulk has created its products in a manner that they work very effectively when used in stacks, same as how many athletes and bodybuilders use different anabolic steroids.
Crazy Bulk has even named its supplements based on the specific steroids in order to emphasize the kind of benefits they offer.
Some of their highly popular steroid alternatives are:
3. Undergo Post Cycle Therapy
Post Cycle Therapy or PCT for gynecomastia is something that a large majority of steroid users have no idea about!
Learning about this process can actually be the difference between a bodybuilder with gynecomastia and one with a flat muscular chest.
It’s also important to mention here that many steroid users are misinformed about the fundamentals of cycling, including PCT, which can help them tremendously in preventing man boobs formation.
Whenever you cycle on and cycle off bodybuilding steroids, they cause many side effects in your body.
Post Cycle Therapy is a process that involves many different pharmacological agents, nutrition, and chemicals, introduced into your body with the primary purpose of counteracting the adverse side effects of steroids.
As also mentioned earlier, some of these effects are excessive estrogen, suppressed natural production of testosterone, water retention, etc.
A well thought out Post Cycle Therapy can also address the issues of reduced stamina and muscle loss after you stop using steroids.
All these side effects are handled through one or more substances during PCT.
We talked about aromatization earlier in this article. One of the most important elements of Post Cycle Therapy to tackle gynecomastia is known as Aromatase Inhibitors. These inhibitors specifically target the aromatization process.
Another important element that is used in this regard is Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator. SERM counters the side effects caused by excessive estrogen in the body.
As testosterone levels of the body also go down because of excess estrogen production (due to steroids), testosterone boosters are also used for bringing them back to optimum levels.
All these three elements combined with an anti-estrogen diet and increased consumption of proteins can help in preventing muscle loss and man boobs’ development.
PCT from Crazy Bulk is a widely used product for Post Cycle Therapy. We also recommend it highly to our readers.
It is used by bodybuilders for safe and natural post-cycle detox, to maintain their gains.
Crazy Bulk’s PCT cleanses the body of harmful toxins, reduces production of free radicals and effectively combats oxidative stress.
On the whole, it is highly effective in helping steroid users alleviate the side effects caused by steroids, including gynecomastia.