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Palumbolism: Causes & Treatment

What is Palumbolism?

Bodybuilding is a sport and has its own set of associated risks. The bodybuilders work towards building, defining, and conditioning their muscles. Some get so obsessed with it, that they start the abuse of anabolic steroids and end up becoming mass monsters.(1)

Palumbolism is a term used for a condition when the muscles on the sides of the abdomen thicken and make it difficult for the bodybuilder to hold in their stomach or the rectus abdominus muscle. The term is coined after the name of a bodybuilder Dave Palumbo. He was the first bodybuilder to be observed with a bloated gut.

Palumbolism makes the body of the person look unnaturally bloated in proportion to their chest.

The condition of Palumbolism is also referred to as:

  • Muscle gut
  • Bubble gut
  • HGH (human growth hormone) bloat
  • HGH gut
  • Steroid gut
  • Bodybuilder’s belly

What Causes Palumbolism?

A rigorous regimen of bodybuilding training can be a contributing factor for palumbolism, along with:(2)

  • A high-calorie diet
  • Insulin use
  • Use of human growth hormone (HGH)

The stress and fatigue of training and eating also contribute to causative factors. Long-term stress also affects the nervous system which in turn further leads to adrenal fatigue.

How Is Palumbolism Treated?

There are no medical studies supporting palumbolism and there is no recommended treatment.

The condition can be addressed by giving the body rest from overexertion and unnatural additions such as steroids, insulin, and HGH.

A doctor specializing in the muscular condition who has experience with the athletes can be consulted.

How To Prevent Palumbolism?

Palumbolism can be treated by avoiding the use of:

  • Steroids
  • Nonmedically prescribed insulin shots
  • Pushing the body beyond limits

Using steroids gives a boost to the muscle unnaturally and this can lead to unknown side effects.

Other Side Effects Of Steroids Misuse

Misuse of steroid or appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs can lead to fatal consequences.

These drugs include:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Nonanabolic steroids such as HGH, insulin, and insulin-like growth hormone

Health consequences of misuse of anabolic steroids include:

  • Cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, artery damage, and stroke
  • Liver problems such as peliosis hepatitis, and tumors
  • Skin problems such as acne, cysts, and jaundice
  • Hormone problems in males such as testicle shrinking, male pattern baldness, enlarged breast, and decrease in sperm production.
  • Hormone problems in females that include coarse skin, a decrease in the breast size, excessive body hair, and male pattern baldness.
  • Aggression, depression, and mania

Practicing bodybuilding is not harmful, but adopting steroid and harsh regimen to reach the goal is not good. Using unnatural substances to boost the muscles is not a good practice if planning bodybuilding. You should never overexert the body beyond its capabilities.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 25, 2020

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