The use of anabolic steroids in bodybuilding is notorious to the point of being synonymous. But the trend is not limited to the sport’s competing athletes; even the regular gym-going Joe and hobbyists are onboard the steroid train. What’s more alarming is the reports on the rising numbers of its use among teenagers.
What are anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids are essentially synthetic variations of the male sex hormone, testosterone and often used to build muscles. Healthcare professionals prescribe them to address hormonal issues such as delayed puberty and muscle loss caused by diseases.
But it is the misuse and abuse of these drugs that often form the headlines. For professional bodybuilders or even anyone who’s looking to put on some muscles, these drugs may seem to be the “miracle” supplement and dismally, even a staple diet.
One of the most common side effects is roid rage. Although it is not classified as an official medical condition, the root of this issue can be linked to the misuse of anabolic steroids as they can cause extreme irritability. In women, common side effects include reduced breast size, deepening of the voice and the growth of facial and body hair, among others.
In men, they include shrunken testicles, decreased sperm count, baldness, acne and even gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the breast tissue in men. The cause of this condition is hormone imbalance, primarily the rise in estrogen levels. The abuse of anabolic steroids causes this increase and overtime, men will develop oversized breast tissues resulting in the, not only embarrassing but at times also painful, condition.
Although exercise won’t help, stopping the use of anabolic steroids is the first step in preventing the condition from evolving further. For those already affected, help comes in the form of Gynecomastia Surgery.
Gynecomastia surgery, usually done in the form of liposuction or mastectomy, involves the removal of excess fat and glandular tissue. This tightens the skin leaving a more contoured and flatter chest. The procedure usually takes around one to two hours and recovery typically varies with each patient.
Muscle up without steroids
Taking anabolic steroids to build muscles knowing that there is a high probability of getting Gynecomastia is certainly not an option. Instead, there are other ways to achieve your goals. These include:
- Proper nutrition and dietary habits
- Custom-tailored (gym) training programmes
- Getting enough rest
- Additional supplementation like whey proteins
Regardless of gender, a beautiful or more defined physique is arguably a common goal. If bodybuilding is your hobby, by all means, pile those muscles on. But do it the right and do it the safe way.