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Steroids That Cause Gyno: How to Avoid It
Bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids always have certain fears in the back of their mind. In order to become a pro bodybuilder, there are things you have to do to maintain a competitive edge.
Besides training hard, bodybuilders take all kinds of supplements as well as performance enhancing drugs (steroids). In this article, I will discuss the top steroids that cause gyno.
Most bodybuilders are concerned to some degree about the side effects steroids can have on their health.
One big concern bodybuilders have is the possibility of getting gyno. There is nothing that can hamper a bodybuilders physique like man boobs can.
Gynecomastia is a condition that is commonly seen in men who take anabolic steroids, but steroid use is not the only cause.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breasts, it is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance, it can affect men of all ages including adolescents during puberty.
As men age, testosterone levels drop, this can cause estrogen to rise and make the male breasts bigger.
What Causes Man Boobs
Causes of gynecomastia include:
- Being overweight (Obesity)
- Steroid use
- Excess alcohol use
- Narcotic drugs
- Hair loss drugs
- Liver or Kidney Disease
- Increase in estrogen
Signs of Gynecomastia
Some men might mistake gynecomastia with Pseudogynecomastia, a condition that it is not related at all to a hormone imbalance but rather extra fatty tissue in the breasts. There is a big difference between fatty tissue and glandular tissue.
Having rubbery or very firm tissue around the outer nipple area and surrounding breast area is a good sign of gynecomastia.
Anabolic Steroids Can Cause Gyno
Anabolic steroids are the biggest cause of gyno, while steroids can do wonders for gaining muscle. If you are not careful, it can give you some nice round tits. A nicely sculpted body with man boobs does not look good.
Most people think that only women produce estrogen, men also produce estrogen but in smaller amounts.
Elevated estrogen levels in men cause glandular tissue to accumulate within the breasts and nipples.
Why Steroids Cause Gyno
Most anabolic steroids are derivatives of testosterone. Increasing testosterone levels beyond normal ranges cause your body to convert the hormone into estrogen. This is caused by the aromatase hormone.
The end result is an excessive buildup of estrogen in your body which binds to the pectoral glands causing your breasts to become bigger.
Some men may experience subtle symptoms which can cause puffy nipples, others will suffer from full-blown gyno causing (Man Boobs).
Steroids That Cause Gyno
Ask a dozen men what steroids gave them gyno and you will get a dozen different answers, that is because the reactions from different steroids can vary.
Some men may experience severe side effects while others taking the same steroid show no signs or symptoms.
Some suspect that genetics may have an effect on causing gyno, others claim that taking too much of a certain steroid too fast can also cause the onset of gynecomastia. Regardless of genetics, there are certain steroids that are more likely to cause gyno than others.
Unfortunately, the more popular steroids are also those responsible for causing the most severe symptoms.
Ask most bodybuilders and they will tell you that Dianabol is the steroid with the biggest risk of causing gyno.
High doses of Dianabol can quickly increase testosterone levels and cause aromatization (convert to estrogen). The higher the dose the bigger the risk. Even low doses of Dianabol 15mg or less per day can cause gyno.
Not everyone is susceptible to the side effects of DBol, but if you begin to take it and begin to notice symptoms of itchy or puffy breasts it could be a cause for concern and would be best to stop taking it.
How to prevent the side effects of Dianabol
For starters, most will tell you if you suffer from even mild symptoms your best bet is to stop using the steroid. If a drug does not agree with you the temporary gains are not worth it.
The only other thing you can do to prevent the symptoms from Dianabol is to take an anti-estrogen like Nolvadex or Arimidex.
Anadrol (Oxymetholone) is another steroid that is known to cause man boobs. Anadrol is estrogenic in itself so it can cause gyno, unfortunately, due to its estrogenic compounds, the only way to prevent symptoms caused by Anadrol is to take something like Nolvadex of Clomid to block the estrogen receptors.
Testosterone is a commonly used steroid that can cause gyno, like any other steroid you will not know if it will cause gyno until you start taking it, however, there are many men who suffer from symptoms of gyno from taking testosterone enanthate even in low doses.
Some will keep some Nolvadex on hand just in case they begin to experience certain symptoms like puffy or tender nipples.
Deca is an anabolic steroid that may cause gyno, the difference between Deca and other steroids is that it does not aromatize, meaning it is not converted to estrogen. Deca, on the other hand, increases progesterone levels in the body.
In the case of Deca, the only way to prevent the effects of progesterone is by taking an aromatase inhibitor like Letro, Aromasin, Arimidex.
Men suffering from gynecomastia from steroid use is very common. But we have to ask ourselves, why did we not see old school bodybuilders with gyno?
In the '70s and '80s, there was an awareness that taking steroids could possibly cause gyno. In most cases, those affected the most werepowerlifters. Powerlifters are big guys and carry around a lot of weight, this combined with heavy testosterone use caused gyno.
It was rare for bodybuilders to suffer from gyno. old school bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane did not use such high doses of steroids and none of them used any sort of testosterone suspension.
Most old school bodybuilders did not take steroids all year round. Many would begin taking them 8-12 weeks before competing to help refine their physique and add more size.
The other thing I would add about bodybuilders from the past is that they focused more on training and nutrition and rarely carried a lot of extra weight even during the offseason. Most maintained a lean body all year round.
How to Treat Gyno
The treatment of gynecomastia all depends on the severity, men suffering from Pseudogynecomastia (fatty tissue) in the breast simply need to lose weight and exercise. Strength training exercises that target the chest muscles can help firm up the breast and eliminate excess body fat.
There are many companies that sell dietary supplements like Gynectrol made to help reduce body fat. They can help to some degree and work best with proper diet and exercise.
Chemical Gyno Treatments
A chemical gyno treatment is usually the next best option, what treatment you take is dependant on the steroids you took that caused the gyno.
There is a great article here that describes individual gyno treatments based on the steroids that were used. These are just a reference. If you are unsure about what treatment to use you should consult your physician.
Like with any surgical procedure there are risks. Surgery should only be considered as a last resort. Gyno surgery can be very expensive and cost more than $3800.00.
Many of the symptoms of gynecomastia may subside on their own after you discontinue steroid use. If your breasts and nipples become extremely big due to long-term steroid use surgery may be your only option.
How to Avoid Gyno
The only surefire way to avoid getting man boobs is to not use steroids. If you begin to experience symptoms of gyno from steroid use you should discontinue them immediately.
Taking steroids comes with all kinds of side effects. So, before you even consider taking them you should consult your personal doctor or trainer and know what to expect. A lot of young men begin taking steroids with no previous knowledge of the possible side effects, this is when problems arise.
The easiest way to avoid gyno is to maintain a healthy body weight and avoid taking steroids. There are many legal steroids that offer similar benefits without the risk of you getting man boobs. If you do consider steroids you should know that you do run the risk of suffering from gyno. A lot will depend on your genetics and the steroids you take.