A 36-year-old professional body-builder who used growth hormone to boost his performance landed up with inflamed liver and enlarged kidneys according to a report. He was also dehydrated and had very high blood sugar (diabetic).
The body builder was admitted with chest pain for emergency treatment. He had lost 40 kg in 12 months, during which he had also experienced excessive urination, thirst, and appetite.
He confessed to using anabolic steroids for 15 years and artificial growth hormone for the past three. He had also taken insulin, a year after starting on the growth hormone to counter the effects of high blood sugar. However, he had stopped taking insulin after suffering a couple of episodes of acute low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) while at the gym.
He was given intravenous fluids and gradually increasing amounts of insulin over five days, after which he was discharged. His symptoms completely cleared up, and he was no longer diabetic.
The use of growth hormone has steadily risen among amateur athletes and bodybuilders all round the world, say the authors, because it is easy to buy online and difficult to detect in screening tests—unlike anabolic steroids.
The authors believe that this is the first reported case of diabetes associated with the use of high dose growth hormone, and urge anyone taking high doses to regularly check their blood sugar levels.