Bodybuilders lift weights and take steroids to grow man boobs. Said no one ever.
In reality, bodybuilders lift to get jacked and as a result look more masculine/alpha. However, it’s not unusual for some bodybuilders to experience gyno on their quest for physical perfection. Almost always those who take anabolic steroids.
The reason why steroid-users are more susceptible to gyno, is because estrogen levels can rise to extremely high levels during a cycle.
Men by nature convert a certain amount of Testosterone into Estrogen via the Enzyme Aromatase in fat cells. If you introduce a boatload of exogenous Testosterone, then more will be converted into Estrogen.
Bonus fact, the more fat cells you have, the more Aromatase you have. The more Estrogen you have.
Regardless, some Estrogen in the male body is incredibly important. It can be cardio-protective (helping keep blood pressure and blood lipids in range), it’s good for joints, great for libido (to an extent) and is also WILDLY Anabolic.
Yup. Estrogen can help you build muscle. Hypertrophy is by and large an inflammatory process, recall times your muscles were less detailed the next day after training them. What can help cause inflammation? Estrogen.
However, this rise in Estrogen can result in the synthesis of breast tissue under the pecs…making you look less manly. Some people experience swollen nipples before they actually form any significant amount of breast tissue. Thus there are different stages of gynecomastia.
Why do Steroids cause Gyno?
Men have Estrogen. Sorry to burst your bubble. Men need Estrogen. In fact, if you did not have Estrogen, you probably wouldn’t be able to be successful on Tinder without a pop of the ‘ol Blue Pill…
Men need Estradiol for libido, erectile function, and spermatogenesis as well. However, having Estrogen present also makes your body very Anabolic, as Estrogen can help with inflammation, which in turn can help with Hypertrophy.
Men get Estrogen naturally from the conversion of Endogenous Testosterone into Estrogen via Aromatase, an enzyme. When Exogenous Testosterone (Steroid) is introduced into the body, naturally more Testosterone will convert into Estrogen.
When the male body has more Estrogen, some of that Estrogen can bind to the receptors in the breast tissue, and cause the feminizing side effect known as breast tissue growth, Gyno.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws.
Steroids Notorious for Causing Gyno Are:
Some people who are scared of developing gyno, but want to take the Steroids above, have the option of combining them with anti-estrogen drugs such as: Arimidex, Aromasin, or Nolvadex.
Other steroids (not on this list) will also aromatize too, but not to the level of the 4 mentioned above and thus are less risky.
Dianabol is a very common oral Steroid, used for rapidly increasing muscle mass in a bulking phase. Dianabol is notorious for being very “wet”, and part of the cause is its affinity to convert into Estrogen. It seems to be quite Estrogenic due to 17α-methylestradiol, a powerful Estrogen metabolite, also more bioactive than Estradiol.
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Anadrol is a tricky one. Not only because the gains you can receive off it are insane, but because it doesn’t actually convert into Estrogen at a great rate. It does however increase Progesterone levels in the body, which down the line can cause Estrogen side effects.
The golden oldie. The more you take, the more is going to convert. There are going to be a few unlucky people out there who are very Estrogen sensitive, the only way you’ll know if you fit this demographic is if you have your bloods tested.
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Right off the bat (if you know your pharmacology) you should see red flags immediately. Deca doesn’t inherently convert to Estrogen very well. Problem is, most people run Deca with a tonne of Testosterone, which CAN raise Estrogen. Bonus comes in where Deca (similarly to Anadrol) can raise Progesterone. Having high Estrogen and high Progesterone is a recipe for disaster.
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Steroids Less Likely to Cause Gyno:
These steroids will almost exclusively be DHT (dihydrogentestosterone) derivatives. These cannot be Aromatised at all, and therefore will not raise Estrogen at all. In fact, the opposite might be true…
Drostanolone is a wonderful Anabolic Steroid that can massively impact your anabolic ability, but also can help make you seem leaner. Why? Masteron does not convert to Estrogen, and in actuality it acts as an AI (Aromatase Inhibitor), thus lowering levels of Estrogen.
A classic, especially for women. Known for having very low (and tolerable) side effects, this oral compound might help you gain some lean mass, lose some fat, and because it’s a DHT derivative, will not convert to Estrogen at all.
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Winstrol is a drug used very often by bodybuilders close to a competition. Why? Well, it’s wildly anabolic, it does not convert into Estrogen at all, and can lower Progesterone levels in the body! Less Progesterone, a leaner and sharper physique.
Winsol By Crazy Bulk
How to Avoid Gynecomastia
Avoiding Gyno is actually extremely easy, but it can be tedious and in certain situations, a bit unhealthy. Regardless, there are a few steps you can take to avoid it:
1) Use non Aromatising Drugs
This is the simplest and easiest way to avoid Gyno and other Estrogenic side effects. Just don’t take the Steroids that cause them. Avoid high Testosterone, avoid high Dianabol, and you probably will have less Estrogen. Making use of drugs such as Masteron, Primobolan and Winstrol (even in the off season) can still yield great results.
2) Use a Aromatase Inhibitor
AIs have one function. Inhibit the conversion of Testosterone into Estrogen in the first place, which will without doubt keep you from having Estrogenic side effects.
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How to Get Rid of Gynecomastia
Getting rid of Gyno is no easy task, and quite a controversial one at that. Firstly, just avoid Gyno in the first place. Better to not treat the aftermath, and just avoid the escalating factors. Regardless, there are a few things you can do.
1) Immediately use an AI
This is where things get a bit tricky. If you’re too far down the beaten path, this will not work. Using a very strong Aromatase Inhibitor like Letrozole will keep your body from converting more Testosterone into Estrogen. Next, you can also use a SERM like Nolvadex to stop the current Estrogen from binding to tissue. Again, this will not save your Gyno, but could save you in the very early stages of.
Just have the tissue removed, and then the glands as well. Gyno surgeries are usually not covered by medical aid, and can run you upwards of $4000. For some, this is the only option they have left.
4 Causes of Gyno: Why Does Gyno happen?
Breast tissue is formed when a male’s estrogen levels rise excessively high, and bind to the tissue in the breast.
So, if estrogen (the female sex hormone) increases to high levels…testosterone decreases and a man begins to look and act more like a woman. This may result in a lack of confidence, lowered libido and even the accumulation of breast tissue.
Why can estrogen levels rise in men?
The main reasons why some men have an estrogen dominance is due to:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Bulking Steroids
In puberty hormones can surge, which can sometimes lead to imbalances, leading to puffy nipples or even gyno.
If you’re currently going through puberty and believe you may have gyno, visit your doctor who will be able to regulate your estrogen levels if there is a strong imbalance.
Also, some breast tissue that’s formed in childhood can stay in adulthood, however this usually should decrease somewhat as you get older.
2. Excessive Alcohol
Alcohol is famous for sapping testosterone levels and increasing estrogen.
This is why many drinkers develop man boobs and have little muscle mass.
Aka the skinny fat look.
If you’re a big drinker, laying back on the alcy will have a big effect on your body composition and health. You may be able to take supplements to treat your gyno, without giving up binge drinking…but then you won’t be addressing the main cause, you will simply be treating it.
3. Being Overweight
The higher your body fat percentage, the higher your body’s level of Aromatization.
Aromatization is the process that converts testosterone to estrogen. This is why losing weight and getting lean not only makes you look better, but also can make you feel 10 feet tall.
It’s because less of your testosterone will be converting to estrogen, resulting in greater overall well-being, increased confidence and motivation.
…by the way losing weight doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite junk foods. It simply means eating in a calorie deficit.
As discussed, an introduction of Exogenous hormones that do convert to Estrogen can logically cause Gyno.
Your initial reaction is probably that high level Olympia bodybuilders take a great amount of Steroids and they don’t have Gyno? This is true, however you’re forgetting two tiny things. Number one, Pro’s run a great deal of AI’s to deal with the Estrogenic side effects. That’s why you’ll often hear Pro bodybuilders mention cholesterol this, and cholesterol that. What raises cholesterol magnificently? Aromatase Inhibitors. Secondly, Pro’s have great genetics. This includes managing side effects.
The best way of fixing Gyno is avoiding it in the first place. Don’t take stupid drugs, don’t take stupid amounts, and manage the drugs correctly.
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