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‘Tens of thousands’ of British men risk growing BREASTS because of rising steroid use

‘Tens of thousands’ of British men are at risk of growing breasts by abusing steroids, a top plastic surgeon warned.

It is estimated that around a million men and women in the UK use anabolic steroids or other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to look more muscular or fit.

They have become more and more common over the past decade, linked to unrealistic body images promoted on social media and on reality TV shows like Love Island.

A common side effect of steroid abuse in men is the development of breast tissue, known medically as gynecomastia or “gyno” in the bodybuilding world.

dr. John Skevofilax, chief surgeon at Signature Clinics, claimed that a growing number of men abusing the drugs are coming to him for breast reduction surgery.

He has performed more than 600 gynecomastia surgeries since 2020, but believes many more are suffering in silence, too embarrassed to come forward.

Tens of thousands of men are at risk of gynecomastia because they use IPEDs [image and performance enhancing drugs]’ said Doctor Skevofilax.

“Many do not seek advice before starting, and the link between these drugs and this condition is well known.

It is estimated that around one million men and women in the UK use anabolic steroids or other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)

It is estimated that around one million men and women in the UK use anabolic steroids or other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs)

A common side effect in men is the development of breast tissue, medically known as gynecomastia or 'gyno' in the bodybuilding scene (stock image)

A common side effect in men is the development of breast tissue, medically known as gynecomastia or ‘gyno’ in the bodybuilding scene (stock image)

And while some men are happy to have a breast reduction, there will be many who won’t because they’re ashamed.

“These people will suffer in silence the physical and emotional damage caused by gynecomastia.”

Former Love Island star Thomas Powell livestreamed his own gynecomastia surgery with Dr Skevofilax in April to raise awareness of the condition.

He admitted to developing the condition, which leads to puffiness and swelling around the nipples, after years of injecting anabolic steroids.

Gynecomastia occurs when there is too much estrogen, the female sex hormone, in the male body.

This is normally found in low levels in men, but steroid abuse can lead to unusually high amounts.

Former Love Island star Thomas Powell admitted he developed gyno after years of injecting anabolic steroids

Former Love Island star Thomas Powell admitted he developed gyno after years of injecting anabolic steroids

Men who abuse steroids can be left for years with low sex drive, poor erections and low sperm count

Taking muscle-building anabolic steroids can leave men with long-term reduced testicular function for years, a study reveals.

Researchers in Copenhagen, Denmark, tracked a biomarker of testicular function in the blood of current and former anabolic steroid users.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of the male hormone testosterone, and their abuse is common among athletes around the world.

The lowest levels of the biomarker were detected in the men using anabolic steroids at the time of the blood test, but former users, who had not used anabolic steroids for an average of 32 months, also had lower levels of the marker.

The biomarker is produced by cells in the testicles that also produce testosterone, indicating that anabolic steroids are ‘continuing to compromise their capacity’.

Low testosterone can lead to decreased sex drive, poor erections and low sperm count.

Steroids work by binding to receptors responsible for muscle growth. One of the byproducts of converting steroids in the body is the release of estrogen.

But gynecomastia can also occur when men come off the steroids altogether.

The testes stop producing testosterone to conserve resources when men take steroids because the body gets an abundance of the hormone from the drugs.

Long-term abuse of steroids can lead to the permanent shutdown of natural testosterone, causing a hormonal imbalance in the body.

Having too much estrogen also stimulates the formation of fat cells, which explains why some steroid users gain weight after stopping the drugs.

The use of steroids and other PEDs was once thought to be limited to high-performing athletes and amateur bodybuilders.

But they have become increasingly popular with the public, from teens seeking the perfect physique to older men hoping to maintain a youthful appearance.

The trend has been attributed to unrealistic male body images promoted on social media and featured in Hollywood and reality TV shows like Love Island.

Recent research by the National IPED Info Survey in 2017 found that at least 900,000 people in the UK use anabolic steroids and other PEDs.

A legal loophole means that it is not illegal to possess drugs, but it is against the law to make, supply or import them.

The maximum penalty is 14 years in prison or a heavy fine.

In addition to gynecomastia, anabolic steroid abuse can cause a wide variety of side effects.

Too much testosterone in the body can lead to increased aggression, known as ‘roid rage’, insomnia and anxiety.

They also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems by raising bad cholesterol and putting a strain on vital organs.

Stopping the drugs can lead to low mood, erectile dysfunction, infertility and depression – due to too much estrogen.

It comes after MailOnline revealed banned performance-enhancing drugs were being sold on eBay and Depop.

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) were available for as little as 25 cents a pill on the online marketplaces used by children as young as 13 years old.

The drugs have been popular in the underground bodybuilding scene for several years now because they are easier to buy online than traditional steroids.

They act like steroids, but have not been fully tested for safety in humans, are not prescribed by doctors and are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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