In the bodybuilding community, steroid use in common in men; whether they are competing professionally or amateurs. Anabolic steroids, growth enhancers, and hormone stimulators can change the biological balance in the body, making it easier to accumulate muscle mass. However, changing the hormonal balance can also have negative impacts, including gynecomastia otherwise known as “man boobs.”
Link Between Steroids and Gynecomastia
Anabolic steroids used for recreational or professional bodybuilding are often testosterone derived and go through an aromatase process that converts the steroids to estrogen. This buildup of estrogen can lead to excess breast tissue or gynecomastia in as little as one week after use. While there are drugs that can be taken to help combat this effect, without blocking the estrogen from attaching to receptors, or an aromatase blocker that prevents the conversion, they are not always effective.
Once “man boobs” form due to steroid use, there are only a few options. Stopping use of the steroids can, in some cases, reverse the effects and the excess breast tissue can dissipate. But, often once gynecomastia is present, it will need medication or surgery to reduce the excess tissue in the breast area. This is an unfortunate condition and frustrating for many men when the drugs they took to help improve their physical appearance turn out to be the cause of the deforming of their body with the appearance of man breasts.
Treatment Options for Man Boobs
If steroid use causes gynecomastia or “man boobs” that do not digress when steroid use ceases, there are only two options for removal of the breast tissue. There are medications that can help shrink the breast tissue, but there can be residual changes in the breast area that do not go away with medication; such as nipple or skin sagging. The other option is surgery; which can remove the excess fat and tissue for permanent reversal of gynecomastia.
For men that have used anabolic steroids and noticed a change in their breast tissue, it is best to have the condition diagnosed by a doctor. If it is gynecomastia, there are treatment options available that can help reverse the condition or remove the tissue to improve their appearance and self-esteem.