It’s not just pubescent teens or overweight adults who develop the often-embarrassing symptoms of gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement. Additionally, a surprising group of people who develop breast tissue are some of the fittest people alive, bodybuilders. This is because of male breast enlargement’s many possible causes, which includes the use of certain medications or supplements, including steroids.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the medical term for an under-studied condition often referred to as “man boobs” or “puffy nipple.” It’s the abnormal development of breast tissue (not just fat) in the chest in biological males. There are several degrees, or grades, of gynecomastia, from localized fat tissue just beneath the nipple to pectoral-sized growth of glandular tissue and fat that causes the chest to droop.

Along with the look of the chest changing with gynecomastia, the sensation and texture of the chest can change as well. Glandular tissue is firmer than pure fat, and can result in tinges of pain when touched. Fatty deposits feel squishy or pliable as they contribute to a swollen or enlarged look.

Causes of Gynecomastia

Because there isn’t a wealth of research on gynecomastia, there are many possible contributing factors for gynecomastia. Most often, though, it’s due to hormone fluctuations common in younger men. It can also be influenced by:

  • Genetics
  • Weight gain
  • Substance use (or abuse)
  • Certain medications

While some remedies for gynecomastia make the condition reversible, such as growing out of puberty or losing weight, you can’t often change your genetics, and if you’ve tried and failed to reduce gynecomastia on your own, it might be a more permanent case.

Why do Steroids Cause Gynecomastia?

Steroids themselves may not be to blame for the growth of breast tissue in users of substances like Anadrol or Dianabol. Instead, they might influence the user’s hormones, causing them to be out of balance. These anabolic steroids are often converted to estrogen in the body, which signals a number of changes, including breast tissue growth.

These substances are often available without a prescription, but even doctor-monitored drugs can cause the condition as a side effect. This is why it’s important to fully understand the risk of side effects when starting any medication, no matter how accessible it might be.

Preventing Steroid Gynecomastia

As with many conditions, early diagnosis is vital for the best outcome. When it’s caused by a medication or steroids, the simple solution is to stop the medication if possible. There might be alternative drugs that provide the same boosts or necessary health benefits that don’t have the same side effects.

For bodybuilders, switching from anabolic steroids to more natural supplements that won’t be converted to estrogen once they’re in your body. Many supplements are available to help you gain muscle mass without the risk of gynecomastia.

Treating Gynecomastia

If you’ve had a case of gynecomastia for a long time, perhaps outlasting your use of steroids or other medication, the best solution is gynecomastia surgery. This is a highly customizable procedure that an expert like Dr. Miguel Delgado is well-versed in and who can get you the best results.

Schedule a Consultation About Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is often “treated” by the person changing their behavior, wardrobe, or activities in order to hide the condition rather than seek help. At gynecomastia.org, that’s what we hope to change with the information we share. No matter who you are, gynecomastia can affect you, and there are treatment options available to help you feel like your masculine self again. To learn more about your options for treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us online today.