Gynecomastia and bodybuilding
Gynecomastia and bodybuilding
It is true that an excessive intake of steroids may cause many side effects on our body. Among most important of them are considered a possible impotence and gynecomastia. In this article we will stop our attention on the second one side effect, since the problem of impotence caused by steroids use is more far-fetched, and is used as a scarecrow for diminishing the steroids use.
The same thing can not be said about the second side effect of steroids use- gynecomastia. It is a real danger, and have to be treated consequently.
Gynecomastia is called benign increase of male breast glands. It is called benign because breast enlargement malignant nature is nothing more than breast cancer. However, breast cancer among men is quite rare, while gynecomastia is more common. According to the World Health Organization report in varying degrees, this disease affects 30 to 50 percent of absolutely healthy men.
Have to be said that gynecomastia is a problem that have existed all times, not just in the period of fascination with androgens and anabolic steroids.
This disease can be identified quite simple, just with naked eye, or by palpation of breast enlargement. The size of this increase can be from 1 to 10 cm (average – about 4 cm). Externally, male breast enlargement looks like female small breasts. In most cases the gynecomastia starts with itchy nipples, familiar to most of male during the period of sexual maturation. But it is not an absolutely rule, since there are many people who didn’t observe such exchange in their body.
The moment when you detected the formation of seals though small sizes, even the size of a pea is the reason to get alarmed.
Gynecomastia has three stages:
a) Developing gynecomastia. This is the initial stage, and it lasts about 4 months. Interestingly, at this stage the process is reversible, that is, with adequate treatment, breast enlargement can return to its previous size.
b) Intermediate. This stage can last from four months to one year, in this period is the maturation of breast tissue. At this stage it is also possible to reverse the development process, but it happens very rarely.
c) Fibrous. This stage is characterized by the appearance in the breast mature connective tissue as well as the deposition of fatty tissue around the glandular tissue. Regression of breast enlargement at this stage is not possible ever.
There are three main types of gynecomastia. Also, the second type is also divided into two types.
First type – only iron, this is a true gynecomastia. The entire volume of space in retro areolar to pectoral fascia presented glandular tissue with minimal presence of fat and connective tissue. Most often true gynecomastia is combined with hormonal and hereditary diseases.
Second type – iron and oil – mixed with a predominance of gynecomastia glandular component. In some cases, elements of the glandular tissue found near the pectoral muscle fascia. Always combined with the presence of fibrous process. This type is the most interesting for us, because very often it is caused by medication, including androgens and anabolic steroids. Another important thing is the fact that in case of this type of gynecomastia is possible the secretion of breast through pressing on it.
As we said the second type of gynecomastia is divided in another two types. Since about first one we talked above, further we will see the specific of the second one.
Fat and iron is a mixed type of gynecomastia with predominance of fat component. Usually, elements of glandular tissue are found,only retro areolar. There is always a pronounced fibrotic process. The most common form of this is noted in cases when in adolescence had noted breast enlargement, but it was left later untreated. In many cases this kind of gynecomastia is associated with ptosis of the nipple. Also, have to be noted that the secretion of breast through pressure is not released.
Third type represent only fat, also called false gynecomastia. Such condition is caused by excessive accumulation of only fat in the breast and ptosis, the nipple-areola complex. False gynecomastia can almost always be seen in case of obese people.
What cause gynecomastia?
As we mentioned above not only anabolic steroids are the cause of gynecomastia occurrence. use. So, it is absolutely normal to want to know about all factors that may trigger gynecomastia.
Contrary to what we used to think one of the causes of gynecomastia may be just the low level of testosterone in the blood plasma. Reduced levels of testosterone, or to be more precise – a change of attitude testosterone / estradiol in the blood plasma in in favor of the last one is the cause of the so-called age of gynecomastia. That’s why those 30 -50 percent of healthy men affected by gynecomastia, as a rule, are older than 50 years.
In addition to this, transient gynecomastia occurs in infants and boys during puberty age 13-14 years.
As we said gynecomastia can be caused by the use of a largely list of drugs. The most common and interesting in this list are:
amphetamines, diazepam, methyldopa, reserpine, tricyclic antidepressants;ketoconazole, metronidazole (included in anti-dandruff shampoos, but the danger is only when administered);marijuana; Spironolactone (Aldactone) – a diuretic; Theophylline – bronchodilators; and, of course, androgens and anabolic steroids.
So, when it comes to androgenic steroids occur the question if all steroids cause gynecomastia?
The answer is absolutely not.
But let’s talk first about why ASS cause this condition. As you know some AAS tend to flavor when they get transformed in one of the female sex hormones called estradiol. Not all anabolic steroids are prone to aromatization. Moreover, those ones who do not aromatize form the majority. That’s why it is more easier to list firstly those ones that are flavored.
Here they are:
Further are listed safe of AAS, that are not responsible for gynecomastia occurrence:
-Drostanolone has anti-estrogenic activity.
As you see Oxymetholone and Trenbolone are not listed in none of these lists. Indeed, these drugs are not converted to estradiol. Instead they have progestogenic activity, that is, mimic the action of the body of another female hormone called progesterone. Progesterone also contributes to plasma levels of another hormone which name is prolactin, and its raised level may contribute to the development of gynecomastia.
However, in case of Trenbolone progestogenic activity is not so significant, and in case of Oxymetholone its sharply occurs if it is taken in very high doses, namely more than 300 mg per day.That’s why these two types of steroids-Trenbolone and Oxymetholone- can be easily classified as conditionally safe type of AAS.
Nandrolone and Norethandrolone are other types of steroids that are hard to put into category, and have to talk separately. Since the Nandrolone is more popular among people looking to get massive muscle mass, we will talk namely about it. Nandrolone do not aromatizes in the classic pattern – it turns into estradiol without the aromatase enzyme. You have to know that in human body almost all chemical processes take place with the direct participation of enzymes. While the rating of aromatization of Nandrolone is very low, the progestogenic activity of this drug can not be qualified as being low as well. Moreover, it is high enough, that the risk of gynecomastia occurrence in case of Nandrolone use is not lower than in the case of drugs listed in “blacklist” .
Along with this have to be mentioned one very important advice. If you have chosen an AAS that may cause gynecomastia, try do not use along with it another one that have as side effect the occurrence of this condition too.
Try do not combine drugs from the dangerous list. More wisely would be to combine a dangerous and a safely AAS.
Like in case of many diseases, there have to be some ways to struggle with them. You can get rid of gynecomastia, but the way you can do it hardly depends of the stage of development.
The regression of gynecomastia is possible in the first stage of development, and much less on the second one.
However, the first stage lasts around four months, and you have enough time to notice that something go wrong with your body. You notice the slow change of your breast status, then do the right conclusions and fight against gynecomastia.
Secondly, you must understand the causes of occurrence of gynecomastia. If you take anabolic steroids, than everything is more or less clear. But there are cases when you cease steroid cycle for a while already, and you begin to notice a sudden increase of your breast.
In this case you have to pay attention to what medications you are taking at the moment, and whether they can cause gynecomastia.
If it is proved that the medications are not the cause of this condition, then it’s time to do some verifications. First, check the level of endogenous testosterone and estradiol in the blood plasma, and the condition of the liver, kidney and thyroid. Once you understand what are the causes, try to remove them.
In many cases gynecomastia occurs as a result of anabolic steroids use, but its removal may not be possible because you want to move further towards bulking. In this case, try to replace drugs that have a high risk of gynecomastia with safe ones. If you have not avilable such drugs, try to add to your diet antiestrogens preparates.
Usually are used such drugs as Clomid or Tamoxifen. In this case there are many chances that muscle mass will not grow as quickly as before, but you have to do this sacrifice if want to avoid the unaesthetic look of your breasts.
If gynecomastia is caused by the sharp increase of estradiol level in the blood plasma, it have to be lowered. For this purpose are indicated aromatase blockers such as Anastrozole, Letrozole, Exemestane.
Ultimately, when no other method work, gynecomastia can be removed surgically. This is quite a common plastic surgery, which may well hold in the plastic surgery clinic. It’s true that it is not a cheap one, but you have the chance to get rid of this disease.
There are few chances that of gynecomastia recurrence, but it may happen.
As you see, there are many ways to avoid gynecomastia and increase your muscle mass. For this use avoid dangerous steroids, and use the safest one. Al least try to combine them, and never use two steroids that have as a side effects gynecomastia. We have listed above steroids from both categories, so keep them in mind.
Also, it’s very important to start to fight against gynecomastia during the first stage, since there is no chance of win if you get more advanced stages of gynecomastia development.
Yes, adding antiestrogen drug to your diet can help you to maintain you muckle growth in slow temps, but with no chances to develop breast enlargement.