What Causes Steroid Gut And How Can You Avoid It?

When Arnold Schwarzenegger recently spoke at Mr Olympia, he was rather critical about today’s bodybuilders. He was keen to point out that the sport was awarding ‘the wrong people’ and that aestheticism was no longer the highest aim. Instead, modern bodybuilders flaunt large guts and lack the tapered silhouette of legends like Arnie himself or Frank Zane. This is something that any bodybuilder fan knows only too well. Take a look at most of the recent big names in bodybuilding and you’ll see that they struggle with the stomach vacuum pose. In fact, most of them have large distended bellies that make them look as though they’ve been gorging on pies. And this doesn’t seem to make much sense either, seeing as they are also sporting incredibly low bodyfat percentages… This is what is known as ‘steroid gut’. But what exactly is a steroid gut? And how can it be avoided?

Introducing Palumboism

Steroid gut is technically known as ‘palumboism’ and it actually has little to do with any specific steroids. In fact, steroids have very little to do with at all. Rather, steroid gut is better described by one of its other names: GH gut. That’s because growth hormone and insulin are actually much more responsible for the look. Take a little GH and you won’t see that much change in your stomach size. But if you abuse the supplements and take them in large amounts, then you’re much more likely to see your stomach start to increase in size.

The Role of GH

GH is called growth hormone for a reason. It’s not just muscles that grow from it. Actually, GH can lead to growth inside of the chest as well and in the abdomen. This is known as ‘visceral growth’. And it gets worse too because it can even lead to changes in the size of facial features like the nose, jaw, and brow. And it can cause the hands and feet to grow as well! When we reach a certain age, the bones in our limbs close over at the ends at a point known as the ‘growth plate’. This prevents them from growing anymore. But no such similar thing occurs in the stomach, or in the face and as such, they can carry on growing.

The Role of Insulin

Meanwhile, insulin can also be problematic. Insulin is popular among bodybuilders because it’s actually a highly anabolic substance. Insulin causes the body to draw sugar, fat, nutrients and proteins from the blood and to put them to use building muscle. Unfortunately though, it also increases water retention and it increases fat storage. And seeing as growth hormone has now made your colon and other internal organs larger, you can start to see bodybuilders swelling in the gut region. And this doesn’t only look bad – it is also actually very dangerous as the ribs can’t grow and can’t accommodate the enlarged organs (despite some claims to the contrary). The best way to avoid steroid gut then? Steer clear of insulin and growth hormone! And if you must use the latter, keep it moderate! Or try natural HGH supplements that are made with amino acids and other natural ingredients that help boost your body’s own production of HGH.

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