Anabolic Steroids And Gynecomastia
There is an inherent link between anabolic steroids and gynecomastia. In this article, we’ll look to define what gynecomastia is, how it’s caused, how it’s treated and why there’s a correlation between steroid use and the development of gynecomastia.
The contents of this article are for information only, if you feel as though you’re suffering from gynecomastia, I would urge you to consult a registered physician for the treatment of gynecomastia.
What is Gynecomastia (Gyno)?
As per the dictionary definition;
“Gynecomastia is the enlargement of a man’s breasts, usually due to hormone imbalance or hormone therapy.”
But essentially, it’s a swelling of the male breast tissue, that’s caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone.
It can onset at any time, however in this case we’re going to talk about onset as a result of the adverse effects of steroid use and how testosterone levels play a contributory factor.
The symptoms of gynecomastia are as follows;
- Swollen breast glandular tissue
- Breast tenderness
How is gynecomastia caused with steroid use?
Gynecomastia is caused by a hormonal imbalance in male’s between testosterone and estrogen, where testosterone levels are lower than that of estrogen.
Anabolic steroids can cause the condition as we have an enzyme that converts some androgens into estrogen, estrogen then bonds to receptors found in the male chest and causes the development of unwanted breast tissue.
How is it treated?
Most cases disappear over time without the need for treatment, however in extreme cases, there are both medications used to prevent and repair, as well as surgical options.
If taking anabolic steroids, you will most likely be recommended to cease use if you have induced gynecomastia, however reports may vary as to the best course of action in this instance and adequate PCT protocols may improve the condition.
Medications used to treat breast cancer such as tamoxifen (Soltamox), raloxifene (Evista) and aromatase inhibitors (Arimidex) can be used to treat the condition, however have not been approved specifically for this use.
Surgical excision is also an option to treat gynecomastia either through liposuction (to remove breast fat, but not the gland tissue itself), or a mastectomy (where the breast gland tissue is removed). Both surgical methods are less invasive than other options and require a lesser recovery time.
Hopefully this helps you to understand what gynecomastia is, its causes and how it’s treated. I would urge you to seek medical advice if you feel as though you have symptoms.