What Is Bodybuilding Gynecomastia
If you regularly compete in bodybuilding, the secret sauce, aka steroids, can lead to a medical condition called Gynecomastia or Gyno for short. Bodybuilding is based upon balanced aesthetics and building more muscle mass; therefore, anabolic steroids are commonly used to maximize muscle growth. We’re going to talk about what bodybuilding gyno is and how to best treat gynecomastia.
What Is Gynecomastia/Gyno
Gynecomastia is the development of breast tissue in the male anatomy. Gynecomastia is often due to an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen hormones. Gyno can develop and lead to puffy, enlarged, and a swollen breast like appearance under or around the nipple.
According to published research gynecomastia is caused by an increase in circulating estrogen to androgen ratio. Depending upon the severity and progression, gyno may require surgery if the condition persists to remove the enlarged glandular tissue.
How Common Is Gynecomastia In Bodybuilders
Although it is difficult to determine the exact number of cases of gyno and how common it really it is, there is some published research that shows gyno is experienced by a wide majority of male bodybuilders.
A study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that between the years of 1980 and 2013 1574 body builders were treated surgically for gynecomastia [R]. Additional research suggests that at least 30% of all males willl be effected with gynecomastia at some point during their life [R].
Testosterone is one of the most readily used anabolic agents in bodybuilding. To be clear, the abuse of hormones is what leads to unwanted effects.
When injected a portion of testosterone is converted to estrogen, by the enzyme aromatase. When the body senses to much testosterone in the system, it tries to reduce the amount through a process called aromatization. Many bodybuilders will pair an injectable synthetic testosterone, with an aromatase inhibitor or estrogen blocker.
Aromatase inhibitors can increase testosterone, along with other hormones, by inhibiting the ability of androgens to be converted to estradiol in the body. This decreases the overall level of estrogen in the body.
How To Treat Gynecomastia
The recommended treatment for gynecomastia is complete cessation of drugs and anabolic steroids immediately. If treated in early stages, development of gyno can be reversed, however depending upon severity and duration of symptoms, surgery may be required. Surgical treatment for this entity involves a combination of liposuction and direct excision.
Estrogen blockers may also be prescribed by a physician to help increase testosterone production and decrease the levels of estrogen in the body.
Supplements may also help reduce the severity of gynecomastia such as indole-3-carbinol, known as DIM. DIM works as a natural aromatase inhibitor. We recommend Swolverine’s product ZMT to help naturally increase testosterone and reduce estrogen.
Bodybuilding Gyno: Takeaway
Gynecomastia is a condition that can affect more men than just bodybuilders. As you age, testosterone levels will naturally decrease with an increase in estrogen. Testosterone levels decrease as people age, which can be due to abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (which controls essential hormones).
Gynecomastia is not a life-threatening condition, however it can contribute to emotional and distress and due to the focus of aesthetics in bodybuilding. If you are concerned about the development of gyno or need help with treatment, consult a healthcare professional.
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