Gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) is a condition no man desires; not only is it unpleasant at best even the idea of it is horrifying. While Gynecomastia is by no means life-threatening it can be severely damaging to one’s personal state of mind, as it can cause the best looking physique in the world to look like a giant heap of garbage. There are many forms in-which Gynecomastia can take and many starting points that led to the condition. However, some are simply due to age and hormonal imbalances and many cases are due to anabolic androgenic steroid use, again, causing a hormonal imbalance.
Gynecomastia is simply a condition in-which the chest of a man begins to take female shape; as is evident by the name itself as Gynecomastia means “woman breast.” In most cases a hormonal imbalance causes the problem and estrogen buildup is almost always the culprit but progesterone can also play a key role.
There is often a Gynecomastia form known as Pseudogynecomastia that affects many men but this is somewhat of a misguided term. Pseudogynecomastia really has nothing to do with a hormonal imbalance but is rather simply excess adipose tissue in the pectoral region. While simply losing weight will often fix the problem it is nevertheless as bothersome as a pure glandular form.
As it pertains to glandular Gynecomastia there are three common groups of people and surprisingly to many a large portion is comprised of young adolescent boys. Often this is caused by excess hormones being passed on from the mother at birth but fortunately for the majority of young men as they reach adult hood it will normally dissipate; however, approximately 30% of all pubescent Gynecomastia cases will require surgery to remedy. Those who are of an elderly nature may find a similar situation as the young adolescent; as age creeps on hormonal imbalances can occur and because the skin is often softer at an older age it can look pretty nasty. In most cases those who are elderly will only find surgical remedy to be their saving grace; however, hormone replacement therapy does provide a chance of remedy but it is by no means a guarantee.
Anabolic steroid users are some of the highest risk candidates for Gynecomastia due to the very nature of steroid use and many anabolic steroids direct mode of action once administered to the body. As you understand, most anabolic steroids are testosterone derived and as such they convert to estrogen in the body via the aromatase process via the aromatase enzyme. This process causes a buildup of estrogen in the body that binds to the receptors in the pectorals causing Gynecomastia. Most commonly this condition will result in puffy nipples that droop and in some cases, although slightly rarer full blown Gyno or “Bitch Tits” as it is commonly called.
Many athletes who use anabolic steroids stave off the effects of Gynecomastia and quite frankly there are really very few people who should ever fall prey if they are responsible and take precaution; however, some will be so sensitive to steroid use that all the precaution in the world will do them no good at all. By-in-large Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s) are the most common means of prevention; including aromatase inhibitors and estrogen receptor antagonists.
For decades many athletes who use anabolic steroids have supplemented with the SERM Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) to combat such issues. Nolva, as it is commonly known acts to block the estrogen from binding to the receptors; it does not reduce estrogen as is commonly thought by many who take it. However, while this is a solid prevention measure, for many it is not enough and only an aromatase inhibitor will do. An aromatase inhibitor will actually reduce the amount of estrogen in the body and bind it what’s left. While perhaps not completely accurate but to give you an idea, for the prevention of Gynecomastia when steroids are present look at Nolva like Aspirin and aromatase inhibitors like morphine; far stronger. The two most common aromatase inhibitors that will in most cases get the job done include Anastrozole (Arimidex) and Femara (Letrozole.)
Once Gynecomastia is set in it is in most all cases impossible to get rid of without surgery, this is why it is important to take precaution if anabolic steroids are being used. If your breast tissue begins to feel tender or your nipples become sore you will necessarily need to begin a heavy Femara therapy plan to stave off the impending disaster. For this reason, it only makes sense to supplement with low doses of Femara or Anastrozole before things begin to get out of hand.
Even so, as was discussed, some are so sensitive all the aromatase inhibitors in the world won’t do a thing. For this individual surgery will be the only option and the glands in the chest must be removed; normally the process is very quick and an outpatient procedure. In most cases a small incision will be made in the areola and will generally leave no scaring. Liposuction may be part of the process too as excess adipose tissue may be part of the problem as we discussed above.