Everyone has heard a story about a friend, relative, or celebrity who struggled with the side-effects of steroids. Not the steroids prescribed for a sinus infection but anabolic steroids used in body building. These performance-enhancing drugs can help build muscle and body mass in record time, but at the same time, these medications can lead to acne, hair loss, liver dysfunction, heart disease, volatile behavior, and yes, increase breast tissue.
While body builders are themselves, not prone to having gynecomastia, the use of steroids makes them one of the most likely groups to have the disorder. Body builders, as well as other athletes, often turn to performance enhancing drugs to buff up and contour their musculature. However, one of the most direct causes of gynecomastia is the use of exogenous steroids, used in any form, including gels, pills, and injections.
The body produces sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, to regulate bodily functions. Exogenous steroids work by increasing the level of free testosterone in the body, which helps build stamina and muscle mass. Unfortunately, the excess estrogen from anabolic steroids can get converted to estrogen, the female sex hormone. One of the side-effects of increased estrogen is the increased production of breast tissue. The result is gynecomastia. Even those athletes who take an estrogen blocker, designed to counteract the side-effects of their steroid use, may continue to develop enlarged breasts.
The good news is that gynecomastia can be corrected, no matter the root cause. Glandular tissue will be excised through a small incision along the areola. If excess adipose (fat) tissue is present, liposuction can smooth and flatten the breast. A contoured, masculine chest can be restored in a short, out-patient procedure. It is important to remember, though, that if the use of anabolic steroid continues, the excess breast tissue can continue to accumulate and gynecomastia will return.
If you have any further questions about the relationship between anabolic steroids and gynecomastia, reach out to Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery. Call our Houston office at (281) 668-7370 or fill out our online Contact Us form. Every consultation is completely confidential. Dr. Vitenas has 30 years of experience, making him one of Houston’s most sought-after gynecomastia providers.