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I'm not for a moment suggesting these guys are natural, NZMM, but you do need to be careful when judging people by their gyno. It can occur quite naturally remember.

Yeah... so the proliferation of gyno amongst Bodybuilders is just a co-incidence then?

Have these men not heard of nolvadex?

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Waldo, I wouldn't call bodybuilder's gyno a coincidence... not at all. In fact I'd agree that mostly it would be directly attributable to AAS. But that's mostly - not always. Gyno can still occur without the use (or at least, without the intentional use) of steroids. Therefore you have to be careful when calling natural-or-not... gyno may be an indication of steroid use, but it's not a guarantee.

Ngapuhistrong, I can't remember the exact figure, but I understand that roughly half of all teenage boys experience gyno at puberty. Most never notice it, and it disappears as their hormonal levels stabilise. Here's an article with more info:

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do? ... dy_111gyno

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I think you might be being a little precious in regards to this topic, Pseudonym. It's a little similar to Floyd Landis's first defence after being stripped of his Tour De France title two years back: He claimed the higher than normal test rating was due to having a celebratory beer after his magnificent stage win on the day in question. He claimed that hops can increase test, and along with the fact there was no evidence of him jabbing a needle or taking some orals, that he was absolutely not guilty of doping.

I can see it now: every bodybuilder with Gyno is going to claim he has a naturally high estrogen rating.

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I remember a few kids at intermediate school having it but it tended to go away for all of them. I'm pretty sure I had a bit of it when I was around 13yo.

I reckon the reason many adult males "naturally" have gyno is down to crap diet and drinking alcohol which depresses T levels and increases estrogen and fatty deposits. It's the same reason most serious alcoholics have a full head of hair that vary rarely goes grey. I don't know of too many alcoholic bodybuilders though (except maybe NZMM?) and I'm not too sure that the prevalence of gyno on stage can be down to unfortunate genetics and naturally occuring bitch tits. And it certainly won't be caused by tribulus and ZMA.

I'm not so sure about disqualifying someone with gyno as it's punishment enough that they're foolish enough to get up on stage. Maybe they should just have an award at the end of the night for the worst case of gyno and that might put guys off.

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I'm not so sure about disqualifying someone with gyno as it's punishment enough that they're foolish enough to get up on stage. Maybe they should just have an award at the end of the night for the worst case of gyno and that might put guys off.

theys houdltn be disqualified, but it would be an emabarassment to themselves i would think, but at 21 u wouldnt pay to get it fixed just at that stage as it could come back fast and that would just be a waste of money

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I think you might be being a little precious in regards to this topic, Pseudonym.

Very probably. My point that gyno can occur naturally was not based on theory, but personal experience. I've had a bilateral mastectomy (that's the surgical removal of breast tissue from both sides) - and I have never touched steroids or prohormones. The most "potent" supplements I have (knowingly) taken are tribulis, methoxyflavone and ecdysterone, which are all generally agreed to fall somewhere between tame and useless. Blood tests were taken as soon as the gyno occurred - everything was right in the middle of normal range.

Anyway, perhaps that's a conversation for another topic another time. As you were. 8)

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I think we both have valid points

You may have. I had mine removed. :wink:

Seriously though, don't worry about it, Waldo. I hadn't taken any offence, I promise. It's all good. I was actually wanting to run something past you guys regarding sports supplements and gyno anyway, but I need to do a bit more research first. Expect to see a new topic started on it soon though...

Anyway, for now I seem to have killed this topic. :P

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Cant gyno be prevented with the use of an anti-e ? Sorry for my ignorance on this topic. This has been an intersting post. Ive heard gyno mentioned so many times but never really in depth.

How does it actually start? And as I asked before cant it be prevented? What actually happens?

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Can be prevented in the most part, but not always, if you are prone to it then you'l always have trouble. Some guy's will get it with 300mg/week of test others won't even get it with 3000mg/week.

It is caused by elevated levels of circulating estrogen, and is female patern brest tissue development.

Luck of the draw

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I've just split this discussion into a topic of it's own, since it had hijacked the original topic.

Melbot, to answer your question...

Gyno starts off as a small persistent itch behind the nipple, which may also be quite puffy and sensitive to touch. You may be able to feel a hard lump of tissue forming under the areola, the pigmented circle around the nipple.

Here's what Wikipedia says about the causes of gyno...

Many cases of gynecomastia are idiopathic, meaning they have no clear cause. Potential pathologic causes of gynecomastia are: medications including hormones, increased serum estrogen, decreased testosterone production, androgen receptor defects, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, HIV,[5] and other chronic illness. Gynecomastia as a result of spinal cord injury and refeeding after starvation has been reported.[6] In 25% of cases, the cause of the gynecomastia is not known.

Medications cause 10-20% of cases of gynecomastia in post-adolescent adults. These include cimetidine, omeprazole, spironolactone, imatinib mesylate, finasteride and certain antipsychotics. Some act directly on the breast tissue, while others lead to increased secretion of prolactin from the pituitary by blocking the actions of dopamine (prolactin-inhibiting factor/PIF) on the lactotrope cell groups in the anterior pituitary. Androstenedione, used as a performance enhancing food supplement, can lead to breast enlargement by excess estrogen activity. Medications used in the treatment of prostate cancer, such as antiandrogens and GnRH analogs can also cause gynecomastia. Marijuana use is also thought by some to be a possible cause; however, published data is contradictory.

For me, none of the above causes apply. I didn't and don't smoke, do drugs, or (regularly!) drink excessively. I've never been on any gyno-inducing medications, and as stated previously, have never knowingly taken anabolic steroids or prohormones.

Note the use of the word "knowingly". My endocrinologist told me he's seen other athletes with equally inexplicable gyno. He told me of a study in the UK that tested various over-the-counter sports supplements (protein powders, etc) and found surprisingly high amounts of steroids in them. I don't know whether that's a likely theory or not - steroids would surely be an expensive additive, particularly in the amounts needed to be effective. I'll try to get more information on the details of UK study though.

My symptoms started shortly after my first bodybuilding competition. I dieted down beforehand, and bulked back up again afterwards, enjoying the increased muscle growth from the rebound effect. Could the rapid weight fluctuation involved with competitive bodybuilding cause gyno? I wouldn't have thought I got lean enough to disrupt my hormones. And I've never heard of it happening to anyone else before.

Moving on to prevention and treatment... Yes, gyno can be prevented with anti-estrogen drugs if you can anticipate its coming (such as on a steroid cycle).

However, once gyno has arrived, it's much tougher to deal with. Currently there are no studies on treating it with drugs, meaning doctors will almost certainly prescribe surgery. Up until recently, this meant sporting a large scar curving right round under each pectoral muscle. But within the last 5 years or so (I think) a new technique has been developed. This involves cutting a semi-circle around the lower half of the areola, lifting the flap, and removing the breast tissue through this little hole. Because the incision is smaller, and runs around the border of the areola, the scar is much less noticeable. Obviously, this keyhole surgery will only work in situations where there's not much tissue to remove. Thankfully, mine was one of those situations.

Don't think surgery is the miracle cure though - it ain't. No matter how refined the technique is, hacking bits out with a scalpel is always going to be a crude solution. Your surgeon may take fractionally too much tissue, leaving you with a dimple effect, or he may not take enough. Even if he does a perfect job, there'll still be a bit of scarring.

Very recently, people have been suggesting letrozole (a drug that blocks the production of estrogen) may be able to reverse gyno, rather than just stop it progressing further. Some people have reported success with this, but as I said earlier, currently there have been no published studies done. Unfortunately, I didn't know about letrozole at the time of my surgery.

The irony in all this is that one of my original goals as a natural bodybuilder was to have a physique that made people wonder if I was on steroids. Careful what you wish for, kids... :roll:

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i find that people are not very open when it comes to this subject, all you have to do is look around at most middle aged men and they have gyno yet a very small percentage actually do something about it.

even guys around my age (21) seem to be getting it i would put it down to the binge-drinking fatty food culture in NZ as this is how i started getting it myself. i didnt even know it was a condition until i started getting into bodybuilding i just thought it was a bit of extra fat.

was a program on a few weeks ago on 60 minutes i think about man-boobs and had a few guys who got the surgery done etc. but still didnt state very clearly what the causes of gyno were and what can be done to prevent it.

seems to be something that no-one wants to know/talk about.....

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I didn't see the 60 Minutes program, but I think there's a difference between man-boobs and gynecomastia. The two are related and sometimes go hand-in-hand, but they're not the same.

Gyno is the development of breast tissue, which is the gland that sits on top of the pectoral muscle, but under a layer of fat. Man-boobs are the result of storing excess fat on the chest. The two might come together where someone is obese - so they already have man-boobs - and as a result of the obesity their estrogen level is raised, causing gyno. Conversely, a relatively high estrogen level (perhaps through steroid abuse) might predispose someone to store more of their fat over the chest.

It must have sucked for you Pseu. People would have assumed bodybuilder+gyno=roid user.

Hows your scarring? I don't remember noticing anything in you pics so it can't be too bad.

Well, I haven't really been in any situations for people to make assumptions since then. Despite all my intentions, I haven't competed since. Mostly that's just because of work and life getting in the way, but if I'm absolutely honest, I guess gyno-anxiety plays a small part too.

Scarring really isn't noticeable unless you look very closely and stretch the skin. When I raise my arms over my head, one side puckers in slightly, but unless it was pointed out, you probably wouldn't see it.

There is still a small lump on the other side. I'm currently working with an endocrinologist to see if letrozole can remove this. There's a lot of uncertainty here, namely:

- No clinical studies have shown letrozole to reverse gyno. There's only anecdotal evidence for it working among bodybuilders, and that's patchy.

- Even if letrozole does work to reverse steroid-related gyno, we don't know it will work for "natural" gyno.

- Even if it does work for natural gyno, we don't know if it will work after surgery has disrupted things.

- After all that, we're not even sure if the lump is the remainder of gyno anyway. It could just be fibrous scar tissue from the surgery.

Chchardgainer, you're right. Gyno is definitely a touchy subject that no-one wants to discuss. Hell, it's taken me several years to bring it up here! But I figure if it's affected me, it will have affected others, and if we can break the taboo, it can only make things easier. If Paul Holmes can remove the stigma of prostate cancer, perhaps I can stop people getting their tits in a tangle (sorry!) over gyno! :D

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Sorry, Marcus, I didn't give much detail on that, did I? I've just tried a course of letro - half a 2.5mg tablet every day for 30 days, followed by 28 days of 20mg tamoxifen citrate (nolvadex).

Because of all the uncertainties, the doc decided to take a relatively conservative approach to the treatment. He reasoned that if 2.5mg was enough to prevent/reverse gyno in bodybuilders who were on the juice (more testosterone floating around = more testosterone converting to estrogen) then half that dose should be enough for me. Letro is also pretty expensive (it's not Govt subsidised) so the smaller, shorter dose would also give me an idea of whether it was worth forking out more money for a bigger, longer one.

Post-letro, the lump is still there. I thought maybe there was a slight improvement, but that could have been wishful thinking. The interesting thing though is that around week 3, it started to itch - really itch! It was definitely the same itch that I got when the gyno first developed. I'm sure it's practically impossible for gyno to develop further while on letrozole, so I can only assume the itch was caused by the gyno retreating. Maybe. I'm seeing my endocrinologist later this week, so we'll see what he thinks.

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