Many men who utilize anabolic steroids suffer from a condition called gynecomastia, in which their breast tissue swells and takes on an almost feminine appearance. The following is a brief overview of the early symptoms of gynecomastia and what to do to reverse it.
What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia, also known as man boobs, is a condition that involves the swelling of the breast tissue in men. This condition is not uncommon, especially in infants and pubescent teenagers. It arises from changes in estrogen and androgen levels, which help to control the development of female and male characteristics.
Gynecomastia generally starts as a small, tender lump directly below the nipple. This can occur on one, or both sides, of the body, and growth can be uneven or balanced. In very rare cases, milk production (galactorrhea) has been noted.
This condition can arise from developmental factors, lifestyle, or even heredity, and can occur in up to 50 percent of males that have undergone puberty. It is also common in bodybuilders or anyone using anabolic steroids. For those who are overweight and have difficulty maintaining a healthy body fat ratio, it could be a sign of a thyroid imbalance.
Although most cases of gynecomastia will resolve spontaneously, those using anabolic steroids will have to address the underlying cause before the condition is resolved. In rare cases, this may require additional hormone therapy or even breast reduction surgery.
What are the early signs of gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia usually has a very noticeable set of symptoms before the actual breast tissue begins to swell.
The symptoms are:
- sensitivity on or around the nipple
- a feeling of discomfort or tightness in the breast area
- itching around the nipple
- a burning or tingling sensation in any area of the breast tissue
Ways to reverse gynecomastia
Many individuals must face hormone replacement therapy or even surgery in order to reverse gynecomastia. However, for those utilizing steroids, this is generally not the case. Just a few tweaks here and there are usually all that is needed to correct the issue.
Please keep in mind that there are many factors that contribute to this condition, and following just a few of the hints below may be all that is needed to avoid it altogether.
The following hints and tips will help you prevent and even reverse steroid induced gynecomastia.
- This is the most important point to remember when taking steroids: 5a- reduced metabolites are useful in preventing and even reversing gynecomastia. These metabolites include androstanediol, androstanedione, dihydrotestosterone and androsterone. These are the key hormones that prevent and reverse gynecomastia by reducing estrogen levels and preventing the development of the estrogen growth receptor.
- Avoid finesteride ( trade name Proscar, Propecia). It is known to lower 5a-reduced metabolites to extremely low levels, and has a half-life which works to suppress DHT levels months after discontinuing its use. Progesterone is a better-known alternative.
- Almost all cases of gynecomastia in steroid users can be linked to having low levels of 5a- reduced metabolites circulating in the body. A popular theory states that any amount of progesterone or estrogen can be blocked by sufficient amounts of DHT. DHT and prostate enlargement is a myth, although high DHT combined with high estrogen levels can lead to an inflamed prostate.
- Nandrolone, Trendolone and TREN are known to cause gynecomastia due to the fact they lack 5a- reduced metabolites. If you are taking progestational steroids and are concerned about gynecomastia, you should boost your 5a-reduced metabolites during the above-mentioned cycle.
- Actual DHT is the best at antagonizing estrogen at the receptor. Although DHT derivatives may be 5a- reduced, they are unable to actually convert DHT, and cannot inhibit gynecomastia at the receptor level.
- Natural anti-estrogens, such as DIM and chrysin, help to manage estrogen metabolism, but they are not strong enough to stop aromatization from the overuse of aromatizing steroids. Do not rely on these solely to prevent gynecomastia during cycles.
What is DIM? Diindolylmethane (DIM, in short) is the principal breakdown product of indole 3-carbinol (I3C), the phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, collards, mustard greens, radishes, watercress, and turnips
- You can reduce the stimulation of mammary growth by reducing prolactin. However, this treatment should not be continued beyond 8 weeks. A well-known method of suppressing prolactin is to take 460 milligrams of Vitex (Vitex (Common names: Agnus Castus, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, Monk’s Pepper) is a plant that grows in Mediterranean countries and central Asia. Its fruit has a pepper-like aroma and flavor, is used in herbal medicine preparations.)per day, or increasing DHT levels.
- Even though your nipples may become sensitive or sore, avoid any type of massage, which can stimulate breast tissue growth and make gynecomastia worse.
- Avoid any supplements containing forskolin. Forskolin is known for increasing aromatase activity, which stimulates the formation of estrogen.
- Increasing your intake of both insoluble and soluble fiber can help clear estrogen from your intestines. Studies have shown that humans can reduce their estrogen levels by up to 22 percent by increasing their fiber intake.
- Lowering your steroid dose mid-cycle usually offers relief from gynecomastia within 4-5 days. You do not have to completely stop taking steroids at the first signs of gynecomastia. Simply lowering your dose is greatly beneficial.
- Adipose tissue (body fat) is where androgens convert to estrogens. Therefore, having excess body fat, or a high body fat percentage, increases your risk for gynecomastia. This is the main reason why individuals who are prone to gynecomastia resort to a cutting cycle by reducing your overall body fat percentage.
- As a last resort against gynecomastia, you can utilize a SERM, such as nolva, clomid or tormifene. This method should only be used if all of the above methods fail.
- You can consider taking Gynectrol
Following most or all of the above tips will greatly reduce your risk of developing gynecomastia and can even reverse it if you are already experiencing symptoms. If you are still experiencing the symptoms of gynecomastia after incorporating all of the points above, you may need to realize you have a poorly planned cycle, and should reevaluate your chosen compounds.
It you are experiencing extreme pain along with strange lumps and bumps underneath the breast tissue, fever, dizziness, or bloody discharge from the nipple, you should seek the advice of a physician immediately. These are possible signs of breast cancer, not gynecomastia, and should be addressed immediately.