Gynecomastia and Body Building
BY MIGUEL DELGADO, M.D.
Body builders who use anabolic steroids often experience this condition. While not all anabolic steroid users develop “man boobs”, as they are often referred to, it is nearly impossible to tell who will. However, men who experienced adolescent Gynecomastia are more likely to develop it when using anabolic steroids as adults. While Dr. Delgado, a highly trained surgeon who specializes in treating Gynecomastia does not recommend steroid use; he is committed to helping his patients resolve the condition with the most effective treatment available. As a double board certified surgeon and an expert in the field, Dr. Delgado’s goal is to ensure patient safety and patient satisfaction.
How Anabolic Steroids Lead to Gynecomastia
Both professional and amateur body builders use anabolic steroids in order to increase muscle size and performance. Typically, anabolic steroids go through a process called “aromatization”, which is a conversion to compounds similar to estrogen. The steroids provide an added supply of hormone to the body, causing the normal production of testosterone to decrease. This process is called “a negative feedback mechanism” and it causes an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen production. The resulting shift in testosterone and estrogen levels is responsible for the development of extra breast tissue in men. This imbalance leads to additional breast gland tissue that causes the appearance of feminized breasts. It is important to note that once this tissue forms, its growth cannot be reversed. Even though some people stop steroid use in the hopes of the condition going away, the steroid-induced breast tissue that has developed becomes permanent. Should steroid use be continued, the breast tissue will gradually keep growing as well.
Treatment for Body Building induced Gynecomastia
There are certain drugs that attempt to block the increasing estrogen production during steroid use. Some claim that estrogen-blockers when timed perfectly with the rising level of estrogen can help prevent the growth of breast tissue in men. However, it is imperative to understand that these drugs have not been completely analyzed or studied to confirm if they are safe and effective. Regardless, once gynecomastia develops there is no medicine available that can decrease the breast gland tissue. During steroid use the body lowers testosterone levels because it is erroneously convinced that it has enough. Therefore, estrogen levels are abnormally higher, resulting in extra breast tissue. Once steroid use is discontinued, the body attempts to rebalance the hormones, however, the breast tissue that has developed remains present.
Due to the fact that no over the counter medicine or prescription medicine has been proven to be an effective solution for gynecomastia, surgery remains the most reliable and successful treatment for the condition. Breast reduction surgery due to steroid usage is one of the more complicated gynecomastia surgeries because of the firm consistency of the breast gland tissue. In addition, the rigidity of the gland tissue makes precision when operating more difficult. This is yet another reason why it is crucial to consult with a surgeon with extensive expertise and experience performing steroid-induced Gynecomastia breast reductions, such as Dr. Delgado.
Dr. Delgado, along with his Sacramento office team, understands the importance of this cosmetic and aesthetic procedure. His goal is to make sure each patient receives the best treatment for his condition. For more information, contact Dr. Delgado’s Sacramento office today.