Gynecomastia in Bodybuilders – Possible reasons
Gynecomastia is an enlargement of the mammary glands in men, which occurs due to the growth of glandular tissue or due to fat deposits in the chest area. In this article, we will establish the possible causes of gynecomastia in bodybuilders and consider treatment options for this disease.
Symptoms of Gynecomastia
It is manifested by a visible enlargement of the breast, a thickening of the glandular tissue. On average, the size of the enlargement of the breast is about 4 cm. But in some cases, it can be much larger – up to 10 cm. As a result of the development of gynecomastia, a man loses a flat male torso, his figure takes on a feminine shape. Also, a feeling of heaviness and painful sensations in the chest area are possible. It should be borne in mind that breast enlargement in men is not only an aesthetic but also a medical problem. Since such hypertrophy may be due to internal pathological processes.
Types of Gynecomastia in Bodybuilders
The disease with a proliferation of glandular tissue in the mammary gland is true gynecomastia. And adipose tissue deposition is a false one. There are also two forms of gynecomastia in men: physiological and pathological. The physiological variant of breast tissue enlargement usually happens in newborns and adolescents. As well as it can occur in older people, in whose body the level of testosterone decreases sharply. In this case, the female sex hormones – estrogens – begin to prevail in men`s organism. Gynecomastia in the neonatal period occurs due to the influence of the hormones of the mother, which enter the baby in utero.
In adolescence, many adolescents suffer from bilateral enlargement of the mammary glands. Which usually go away on their own without any treatment. The problem happens because of the changes in the hormonal background. Namely, it happens with an increase in the number of estrogens and their predominance over male sex hormones.
Сauses of gynecomastia in men
Gynecomastia in men can occur at any age – newborn, adolescence and adulthood. The main cause of this disease is hormonal imbalance. Quite often, gynecomastia reveals diseases of the testicles and adrenal glands.
True pathological gynecomastia in men can be caused by the following groups of reasons:
- violation of the ratio of testosterone and estrogen in the body of a man. This condition can be observed with hormone-active tumours of the pituitary gland, testicles, adrenal glands, stomach, pancreas and lungs. It can also occur in cases of insufficient functioning of the sex glands, prostate adenoma or the inflammatory processes in the testicles;
- hyperprolactinemia – increased secretion of prolactin in pituitary tumours, hypothyroidism;
- diseases accompanied by metabolic disorders – with diffuse toxic goitre, diabetes mellitus, obesity, pulmonary tuberculosis;
- non-endocrine diseases – with intoxication, cirrhosis of the liver, renal or cardiovascular failure, HIV infection, chest injuries, herpetic damage of the chest, normalization of nutrition after exhaustion;
- taking drugs acting on receptors of breast tissue that increase the production of estrogen or prolactin. That can be anabolic steroids, isoniazid, metronidazole, antidepressants, diazepam, and many others;
- drug use, marijuana and alcoholism.
Gynecomastia after steroids
In bodybuilders, gynecomastia is most often associated with the use of anabolic steroids. But do not think that all athletes will have breast enlargement after taking the best steroid courses for gaining muscle mass. Most often, the occurrence of this pathology occurs due to a violation of PCT. Post-cycle therapy is exactly what helps prevent gynecomastia. Read more about PCT in this article.
Unfortunately, many bodybuilders neglect post-cycle therapy. Often, athletes take the safest course of steroids constantly or taking short breaks. But this approach is extremely wrong. We must not forget that taking steroids directly affects the endocrine system. And the main task of a bodybuilder is to minimize harm to his body on a course of steroids.
How to diagnose gynecomastia in Bodybuilders?
First of all, this is an examination of the mammary glands by a doctor. Such an examination can be performed by a surgeon, oncologist or mammologist. During the inspection, you must pay attention to the size and shape of the mammary glands. An experienced surgeon will also pay attention to the shape of the nipple, the discharge from it. The patient must definitely tell the surgeon whether the examination is painful or not.
Secondly, your doctor will refer you for laboratory tests. This, as well as general ones – blood and urine tests, as well as hormonal tests. The latter include a blood test for FSH, LH, total and free testosterone, estrogens. Complete the examination is with the help of instrumental tests. This may be an ultrasound scan, MRI or CT scan. It is with the help of these tests that you can determine what changes have occurred in the breast.
How can gynecomastia be treated?
As with almost all diseases, treatment can be medication and surgical. Of course, it makes no sense to immediately perform surgery in the initial stages of the disease. In many cases, gynecomastia can disappear on its own. This often happens in adolescents.
You should begin treatment with lifestyle changes. This includes diet, exercise and rest, full sleep. If some kind of medication caused gynecomastia, it will also have to be abandoned. Gynecomastia which occurs even after the best steroid courses on strength should be treated with antiestrogens, such as Tamoxifen.
If the disease progresses and medical treatment does not help, you need to contact a surgeon. Usually, mammoplasty is performed to treat gynecomastia. Experienced surgeons perform the operation so that the scar is invisible on the skin.
Gynecomastia is a disease that should be prevented. After all, her treatment can be long and affect the whole body. And in order to prevent the development of an increase in the mammary glands, it is worth choosing the right anabolic steroids with the best steroid manufacturers rating and not forgetting about the post-cycle therapy. You can find high-quality anabolics and drugs for post-cycle therapy in the Anabolic Menu online store.