Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Competitive bodybuilder became diabetic

Anabolic steroids users have an amazing amount of medical knowledge. This is the only explanation for why so few users become ill from what they use, despite the fact that they subject their bodies to an incredible variety of forbidden substances. This is the conclusion of British doctors in an article about a competitive bodybuilder who developed diabetes as a result of using growth hormones.

The 36-year-old bodybuilder took himself to Accidents and Emergencies because he was feeling so sick. In a year's time he had lost 40 kg body weight but at a height of 1.65 m, he still weighed a hefty 90 kg. The guy was losing liquid in the form of urine, urinating about 12 litres a day. Even though he was drinking huge amounts, it wasn't enough to stop him from dehydrating.

When the doctors examined the bodybuilder they discovered that his liver was enlarged. He made no bones about it and said he had been using anabolic steroids for fifteen years. He was able to tell the doctors exactly what he was using at the time. See his schedule below.

Competitive bodybuilder became diabetic

The bodybuilder was admitted to hospital for five days and the doctors asked him to stop using the muscle enhancers. During his stay the man was given insulin and recovered enough to be able to go home. When the doctors saw him again six weeks later he was still clean and all symptoms of diabetes had vanished.

The bodybuilder had been suffering from a temporary form of diabetes. The doctors suspect that the mega-doses of growth hormone that he had been using had made his cells resistant to insulin. That meant he had a very high level of sugar in his blood, which caused the extreme thirst and urination.

High levels of sugar in the blood are dangerous. They can cause kidney damage and the sugars can react with proteins to form harmful compounds, such as ones that make the cornea opaque, resulting in cataracts in the eyes. If your cells cannot absorb sugars they starve and die off.

Competitive bodybuilder became diabetic

Using excessive amounts of growth hormones can in theory lead to diabetes. Doctors have been warning chemical athletes about diabetes since it has been known that growth hormones are used for doping. Nevertheless, doctors had never seen diabetes in a growth hormone user. The case that the British researchers describe is the first and the bodybuilder himself was on the road to recovery within a few days.

Competitive bodybuilder became diabetic

The fact that so few chemical bodybuilders run into problems is evidence of their good understanding of what they are doing, the doctors conclude. But on the other hand, the diabetes case does show that bodybuilders don't know everything there is to know about growth hormones. The British researchers argue that there should be a way of providing bodybuilders with more information about the side-effects of taking mega-doses of growth hormones.

Incidentally, there are those who do not agree with the Brits. Eight years ago researchers had already observed that there were very few chemical athletes that had run into problems from using growth hormones. But at that point the researchers put this down to the large numbers of fake drugs with too few active ingredients. [Medscape Pharmacotherapy 2(2), 2000]

Other bodybuilding forum users describe less positive experiences. MassiveMonster has been taking seven units a day for a month and has noticed nothing at all. And he wonders why not. [ 22-02-2007]

A few days ago we wrote that the growth hormone drug Hygetropin doesn't contain growth hormone at all but albumin. Seems like the theory from 2000 still holds water.

Br J Sports Med. 2007 May;41(5):335-6.