Take Our Steroid Quiz
Most people would probably agree: life in the digital age has its pros and cons. It’s easier than ever to track down information, for one thing, but there’s no guarantee that what you find on the Internet is accurate. This can be especially true when it comes to the world of medicine and related topics—everyone seems to have opinions, rumors and anecdotes to pass along.
When bodybuilders with gynecomastia—or “bitch tits”—come to our New York consulting room, we usually find they have been experimenting with steroids or supplements that affect the endocrine system without fully understanding what can happen, and often on advice they found online.
Test your own knowledge of steroids with our true/false quiz.
True/False Steroid Quiz
1) A steroid is a steroid is a steroid.
FALSE: Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone, according to WebMD. Another class is corticosteroids, such as prednisone, often prescribed to reduce inflammation.
2) There’s no legitimate use for anabolic steroids.
FALSE: Anabolic steroids may be used to treat delayed onset of puberty or loss of testicular function, says Web MD, along with a few other conditions.
3) Anabolic steroids available on the Internet are illegal.
TRUE: Steroids of any class, injectable or oral, are only available legally through a doctor’s prescription.
4) Generally, only bodybuilders take illegal steroids.
FALSE: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, other athletes, construction workers, law enforcement officers, and body guards as well as bodybuilders commonly use steroids. Unfortunately, the DOJ also notes that teens are increasingly likely to experiment with steroids, which can have a negative effect on natural growth.
5) Dietary supplements are safer than steroids.
FALSE: Taking dietary supplements (even those labeled “natural”) available over the counter, online or by mail order is a crapshoot. Claims like “muscle building” or “power enhancing” or “testosterone boosting” may indicate a supplement contains what’s known as a “steroid precursor.” Due to the way they mimic actual steroids, the risks of using these “far outweigh the benefits,” says an article in the Journal of Athletic Training.
6) Taking steroids causes your own testosterone production to slow.
TRUE: As we’ve noted on our web page devoted to body builders, when you introduce testosterone from outside, the body senses it has enough and tends to decrease natural production. Effects can include testicular atrophy, libido loss, decreased sperm counts and more.
7) You can “cycle” safely—taking steroids for a time and then stopping.
FALSE: According to American Family Physician, the body “cannot recover rapidly enough between steroid-injecting cycles to prevent estrogen predominance.”
8) You can counteract the side effects of steroids with other drugs.
FALSE: The actual mechanism that causes male steroid users to grow breasts is called “aromatization,” or the conversion of extra testosterone into estrogen that may bind to breast tissue cells. It’s true that doctors can prescribe a drug used to prevent tissue growth in women (for example, for breast cancer patients to avoid future tumors), but little is known to date about when and for which male patients such treatment may be appropriate. Also, says American Family Physician, attempts by steroid users “to prevent gynecomastia with the use of concomitant tamoxifen or other aromatase inhibitors may result in irreversible adverse effects.”
9) If you grow “bitch tits,” they will go away when you stop steroid use.
FALSE: We know from our own experience with bodybuilders with gynecomastia in New York: once breast tissue develops, there’s virtually no chance it will disappear on its own.
10) Steroid-induced changes to your body and psyche can be permanent.
TRUE: Anabolic steroids can have long term and even permanent impacts on people in a variety of ways. It’s possible to become addicted to steroids, says the DOJ, and those whose body image is at stake can become dependent. With long-term use kidney and liver problems can develop, as well as an enlarged heart, high blood pressure and more, says the National Institutes of Health. For guys, the negative impact on the sex organs can also be permanent, and long-lasting emotional changes that can induce the well-documented “roid rage” can even make you dangerous to be around.
While any man can develop man boobs for no apparent reason, the majority of bodybuilders with gynecomastia we treat in New York have taken steroids or steroid-like substances. This signals that they would probably fail this quiz, or at least that they disregarded the potential dangers of messing with the endocrine system. Don’t be one of them!
If our warning comes too late and you’ve grown man boobs due to steroid use, we would be very happy to meet you and discuss gynecomastia surgery (as well as these and other reasons to avoid using steroids in the future). Bodybuilders make up a large group of our patients, and we know how to sculpt the masculine contours they were aiming for in the first place. Give us a call at 212-570-6080 to find out more.