Anabolics and More : What Causes Gynecomastia

IN THE LAST WEEK actor Vyacheslav Manucharov told that he had to remove the mammary glands due to gynecomastia, and it, in turn, led to the use of steroids without medical indications. In the same program of the NTV channel, Stas Kostyushkin and Pavel Derevyanko admitted to taking anabolic steroids – according to both, the drugs helped to achieve results in the gym and did not have time to lead to any dangerous consequences, because the courses were short-term. We figure out why anabolic steroids are used more often than it seems, and what breast problems can occur in men.                   

What breast problems do men have ? 

Gynecomastia, that is, overgrowth of the mammary glands, in typical men can occur not only as a side effect of the use of hormonal drugs. Other common causes are abnormal hormone levels, alcohol use, certain drugs, and prescription drugs, including antidepressants and antiretrovirals. Overweight and obese breasts can also appear large due to adipose tissue .         

A more serious problem is breast cancer , which is not limited to women. In men it occurs much less frequently ( less than 1% of all people with this diagnosis), but all the same we are talking about several thousand cases in a year. Risk factors can be hereditary, including notorious BRCA gene mutations; the risk increases with age, with obesity, liver disease and with the use of estrogens (and they can be prescribed, for example, for prostate cancer). Breast cancer is treated in men in the same way as in women: operations, radiation and chemotherapy, targeted drugs.                       

There are other conditions , when symptoms of which appear, you should not hesitate to consult a doctor: these are benign tumors from different tissues (lipoma, papilloma), abscesses, inflammatory foci in people with diabetes mellitus. Sunburn and even just being in the sun without burns increases the risk of melanoma and other types of skin cancer , which can occur in the chest area as well.             

What is bad about the cult of a sports body

You can say as much as you like that in the days of Arnold, bodybuilding was different, and athletes looked more natural – but Schwarzenegger himself does not hide that he, like his then environment, used pharmacological drugs; moreover, in those days it was discussed openly and was not something illegal. In 2018 , a number of anabolic steroids were included in the list of potent substances in Article 234 of the Criminal Code “Illegal Traffic in Potent or Poisonous Substances for Sale”; even before this, in 2016 year, the three coaches of Zhukovsky near Moscow, comes anabolics from Moldova, rendered the verdict, equating them to almost traffickers – on four years’ probation to eight in a strict regime colony.                                

The undesirable effects of excessive doses of anabolic steroids have been talked about for several decades – among other things, liver problems, mood swings, disruptions in the production of their own hormones – but the situation has not changed, and people continue to use pharmaceutical support in order to quickly get a muscular body with a lower percentage of fat. Ten years ago, in Moscow gyms, one could openly hear from a trainer a proposal to “slightly chew” (anabolic steroids are usually called “chemistry” or “pharmacy”); Perhaps now, due to the criminalization of steroid trafficking, they are less likely to be spoken about out loud. There are no official recommendations on doses, but on thematic forums and in telegram channels you can find dozens of “proven” schemes for beginners and those who continue to gain muscle mass and reduce body fat. Recommendations for the treatment of complications (from abscesses at the injection site to pain in the liver) are also passed from one amateur to another.                            

One of the important reasons for the abuse of anabolic steroids is the prevailing cult of an athletic, muscular body, when both overweight and too thin are shamed; it is known that, for example, adolescents with bodily dysmorphic disorders, concentrating on the “shortcomings” of their own bodies , begin to “chew” . Of course, it’s not always about mental difficulties or the desire to be like someone. Sometimes people want to simplify their lives (and choosing clothes is much easier with conventional body proportions) or to experiment – how will I look with raised shoulders? With breasts one size larger or smaller? With tattoos? But as implants or tattoo inks become safer and more modern, pharmaceutical support for muscle building is fading into dangerous shadows.

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