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Palumboism: Potential Causes, Treatment & Prevention

- Written By

John Rodriguez , MD, SCD

Updated on

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument. This article contains scientific references. Read more about our process.

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What is Palumboism?

Palumboism is a condition that makes it difficult for bodybuilders to contract their stomach muscles, also known as the rectus abdominal muscles, by stiffening the orthogonal muscles on the sides of the abdomen.

The following labels are also known as Palumboism:

  • Steroid stomach 
  • Human growth hormone or HGH stomach 
  • HGH bloat 
  • Bubble gut
  • Insulin guts
  • Muscle guts
  • Bodybuilder belly gut

Please keep reading to learn more about the condition of bubble gut, why it occurs, and how to treat with plumbism.

Potential causes of bubble gut (Palumboism)

Bodybuilders frequently use extremely high-calorie diets or overdose on HGH and insulin drugs to lose weight quickly.

Increasing the amount of fat that accumulates in and around the abdominal cavity due to insulin use induces abdominal swelling. With the typical protruding belly that develops from this illness, the name “HGH belly.”

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While there is no single cause of bubble gut, they may all have an effect.

1Carbo Loading for treating Palumboism

A strategy that includes reducing one’s carbohydrate consumption while simultaneously dehydrating oneself is pursued by excessive carbohydrate ingestion. Bodybuilders and supermodels use this technique to evoke glycogen storage quickly and “jack up” their body muscles before the competition.

2) Insulin Overreliance

This demands the potentially hazardous technique of “stacking,” which involves combining various drugs, such as HGH and insulin. Consuming insulin regularly results in the growth of visceral fat and a more distinct tummy.

3) HGH Abuse

Professional bodybuilders take five milligrams of human growth hormone daily, a very high dose. Repeated abuse may have adverse effects, such as improper intestinal tissue growth. Some people’s stomachs might swell to twice their average size, especially after having a meal filled with carbohydrates.

4) Growth Of Abdominal Muscle Mass

An individual may have a considerable increase in muscle mass while continuously using a high-protein diet, HGH, insulin drugs, and other supplements. The rectus abdominis also referred to as a “six-pack,” and the entire abdominal region enlarges and bulges outward as a result. Abdominal distension may result from this remarkable muscle gain.

5) High-Calorie Diets

Professional bodybuilders usually follow a high-calorie diet to enhance muscle growth. Bodybuilders occasionally abuse this, even to the point of consuming more than 10,000 calories a day. HGH may develop due to the more significant amounts of food being stored for longer periods of time in the intestine.

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How We Handled Palumboism (Bubble Gut)?

There is no recommended treatment for Palumboism because there is no clinical research.

According to logic, the first step in treating Palumboism should be giving your body a break from overuse and stopping taking synthetic supplements like steroids, HGH, and insulin.

The next step would be to speak with a medical professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating muscular ailments suffered by athletes who may overuse performance-enhancing drugs like steroids.

How Can You Avoid Bubble Gut?

For those who participate in bodybuilding, the “bubble gut” condition is not usually a one-off problem.

Let’s say you’re trying to gain muscle while eating a lot of carbohydrates and taking insulin and human growth hormone simultaneously. Your bubble stomach may be caused by one of the right three things. Therefore, it’s important to collaborate to make those changes, especially as we seek to achieve the changes we value the most.

Here are some strategies for avoiding and preventing Bubble Gut

1) Reduce The Use Of HGH & Insulin

Reduce your dose of the drug or intensity of use of these drugs as your next competition or performance technique. You want a shredded appearance rather than a round one because they will continue to help you bulk up as the tournament date approaches. Make an effort to reduce your intake to avoid abdominal inflammation and swelling.

2) Eat Fewer Carbohydrates

Fixing this problem should not be too difficult, and it will help you avoid bloating and a bubble belly. Protein usage is permitted to be high. Make an effort to limit your carbohydrate intake. You will feel fuller and continue to work on muscle development if you consume more protein.

3) Try Other Form Of Diet

Practices like intermittent fasting may significantly impact your ability to lose weight, which may help your body respond to sudden changes easier. By consuming fewer calories while retaining the same degree of comfort and satisfaction, you may increase your chances of making the changes you want safely and healthily.

4) Weight-Loss Supplement

Bodybuilders can utilize two different sorts of supplements to lower their body fat, boost their metabolism so that the fat can be burned off, and maintain their muscle mass: effective fat burners and muscle builders.

A fat burner containing hydroxy ß-methyl butyrate (HMB) may be beneficial to maintain body fat loss throughout a cut.

It might also help you keep the muscle you’ve worked hard to build. It makes sense that most fat-burning supplements focus on procedures like thermogenesis and fatty acid mobilization.

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Adverse effects of using Steroids regarding Palumboism

Misuse of appearance- and performance-enhancing medications may have mild to fatal consequences (APEDs).

They consist of:

The usage of these drugs can be stopped, which will have several positive effects. Some consequences could be permanent or only temporary.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that abusing anabolic steroids may adversely affect one’s health in the following ways.

  • Cardiovascular system issues such as heart attacks, strokes, arterial damage, and high blood pressure
  • Liver Issues
  • Skin problems
  • Hormonal system problems
  • Psychiatric problems
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Father of palumboism (Dave palumbo)

Former national bodybuilding contestant Dave “Jumbo” Palumbo is now retired. His nickname, Jumbo, referred to his weight in the competition, which was almost 300 pounds. Although he competed from 1995 to 2004, he never went pro.

Father Of Palumboism (Dave Palumbo)
Source / Instagram

Dave Palumbo is mostly known for founding RXmuscle, an online magazine for bodybuilders, and the dietary supplement company Species Nutrition.

Watch this video to see the Dave Palumbo’s Bubble guts

Source / RxMuscle

The bottom line

Palumboism is a rare disorder that causes a bodybuilder’s abdomen to appear unnaturally round, stretched, and out of proportion to the chest. It was named after the bodybuilder Dave Palumbo.

The evidence suggests that a combination of the following brings on Palumboism:

  • Arduous exercise for growing muscle,
  • A high-calorie, high-carb diet, 
  • HGH
  • Usage of insulin

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