AAS Use May Lead to Kidney Failure

Discussion in 'Articles' started by woodswise, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. woodswise

    woodswise TID Board Of Directors

    Apr 29, 2012

    ASN: Anabolic Steroid Abuse May Damage Kidneys[/h]Published: Oct 30, 2009
    By Todd Neale , Staff Writer, MedPage Today
    Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner


    [h=2]Action Points[/h]
    • Explain to interested patients that this study looked at renal damage as a previously unexplored consequence of abusing anabolic steroids.
    • Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    SAN DIEGO -- Among other hazards, bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids to improve their physique may be putting their kidneys at risk, researchers reported here.

    Ten bodybuilders who admitted to long-term use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs developed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis that was more severe than the condition found in a historical control group of morbidly obese individuals, Leal Herlitz, MD, of Columbia, reported at the American Society of Nephrology meeting here.

    They had higher mean serum creatinine (3.0 versus 1.47 mg/dL) and proteinuria (10.1 versus 4.09 g/day) and more glomerular and tubulointerstitial scarring.
    This was despite a lower BMI among the bodybuilders (34.6 versus 41.7 kg/m[SUP]2[/SUP]).
    It's unclear how prevalent such kidney damage is among individuals using anabolic steroids, "but I think it probably is under-recognized," Herlitz said.
    She speculated that the damage results from a combination of the glomeruli being overworked because of the increased lean body mass and also, "a direct toxic effect of these androgens and these anabolic steroids on the glomeruli."
    That combination likely explains the unusual severity of the disease in these bodybuilders, she said. A high-protein diet and exercise-induced hypertension were also likely contributors.
    Nephrologists and other clinicians should "be aware that even though somebody can look like they're the picture of health, it's not necessarily true," Herlitz said.
    She acknowledged that detecting kidney damage in heavily-muscled patients is difficult because they're expected to have an elevated serum creatinine level. That means it's also important to look for proteinuria and to get a history of steroid use, she said.
    Although anabolic steroids have several well-known adverse health effects, including testicular atrophy and gynecomastia, hepatotoxicity, and neuropsychiatric disturbances, renal injury had not been previously described, Herlitz said.
    She and her colleagues looked at 10 men (mean age 37) who participated in either bodybuilding (nine) or power-lifting (one). Their mean body mass index was 34.7 kg/m[SUP]2[/SUP].
    All had protein leakage into the urine (mean 10.1 g/day) and a renal biopsy diagnosis of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, glomerulomegaly, or both.
    Their mean serum creatinine was 3.0 mg/dL. Half of the men had full-blown nephrotic syndrome.
    Follow-up with a mean duration of 2.2 years was available for eight of the men.
    One progressed rapidly to end-stage renal disease despite discontinuation of steroid use.
    The other seven also discontinued anabolic steroids, reduced their level of exercise and received renin angiotensin system blockers. One also received corticosteroids.
    This led to weight loss and stabilization or improvement in serum creatinine (mean 2.34 to 1.61 mg/dL) and a drop in proteinuria (9.9 to 1.83 g/day).
    One of the men was unsatisfied with his body after discontinuing anabolic steroids and started taking them again. According to Herlitz, he said he'd rather go on dialysis than have a less bulky physique.
    His decision to start taking steroids again led to progressive proteinuria and renal insufficiency. In about three and a half years, his serum creatinine nearly doubled, from about 1.25 to nearly 2.5 mg/dL. His 24-hour urine protein increased from near 0 to 14 g/day.
    "He doesn't need to lose too much more [renal function] until he'll be considered to have severe chronic kidney disease," Herlitz said. He could reach end-stage renal disease in as little four to five years.
    ketsugo likes this.
  2. woodswise

    woodswise TID Board Of Directors

    Apr 29, 2012
    When I started AAS I knew their use could lead to heart disease and kidney failure, so I decided to educate myself and do everything I could to avoid those harmful side effects.

    My last annual physical my bloodwork came back showing a 10% impairment in my kidney function. My doctor promised to send me the report, but never has so I can't tell if that is kidney damage or just high creatinine.

    But in an effort to be sure I am doing everything I can to avoid long term damage, I decided to be pro-active about this.

    From this and other articles I have read you can do several things to help reduce the stress on your kidneys.

    Keep blood pressure in check
    Lower your bad cholesterol and raise the good
    Keep your weight under control (i.e. don't get too fat)
    Lower your protein consumption.
    Avoid things that stress your body (i.e. alcohol, harsh drugs and chemicals, etc.).
    Drink plenty of water (1 gallon minimum per day).
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
    silntrunin, ketsugo, ozzy69 and 2 others like this.
  3. PillarofBalance

    PillarofBalance Strength Pimp Staff Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    They compared aas users to a historic control group of morbidly obese people...

    It's long been suspected that our high protein diets may impair kidneys.

    Therefore I don't think this study is anything but another hit piece. Compare aas users to non aas users both on high protein diets. See who is worse off. Compare aas users to non aas users on a lower protein diet and see who is worse off. Include a control group.
  4. rawdeal

    rawdeal TID Board Of Directors

    Nov 29, 2013
    Would love to get a 2nd opinion on the research cited in the OP from folks who know more than I do. I am only hard core Layman, but what I took away was that I was impressed they did a 2 yr follow-up on the subjects, and that they acknowledged we weren't just talking about aas, but about intense exercise and high protein intake and bp as well. I was worried about a test group of only 10 subjects, but I will grant them it might have been hard to round up a larger group of volunteers. Pretty sure most medical studies involve many more than 10, however. Also hoping they assembled as random a group of 10 as they could, and that all 10 did not work in a coal mine and live across the street from a nuclear power plant, or any other silly examples that might skew results. Might have been neat if they could examine non-aas-using close relatives of the 10 subjects too, see if any of this may have been genetically predisposed. In a perfect world, the report would have included specific compounds and doses too, so us recreationals could compare, see where we stand. Thnx, woodz, it's a thought-provoker, no doubt.
    woodswise likes this.
  5. woodswise

    woodswise TID Board Of Directors

    Apr 29, 2012
    The reason I posted this is to start a conversation about what we need to be doing to be sure we are putting the least stress on our kidneys possible. And while I can see and understand (and the article acknowledges) high creatinine itself is not alone proof of kidney damage, there are bodybuilders and power lifters who are suffering kidney failure and AAS, high blood pressure, high protein diets, and high BMI are all factors that make the kidney disease worse in those individuals.

    So I figure if they're right and AAS use is causing side effects that are damaging my kidneys, I can cut down on the damage by taking common sense steps, that allow me to achieve my goals just the same, but a little more cautiously than if AAS was completely benign.
  6. BrotherIron

    BrotherIron TID Board Of Directors

    Mar 6, 2011
    I'm not gonna lie, I didn't read the article. Doesn't sound credible from what others are saying. Look at the size of the group studied and other variables that were and were not included in conducting it.

    Abuse of anything can and usually does lead to problems down the road when it's long term abuse.
  7. woodswise

    woodswise TID Board Of Directors

    Apr 29, 2012
    Pillar, if you think about it for a minute, if (as you say) the control group was in bad shape, that would make the bodybuilders look good in comparison. For there to be harm to the study from the control group, it would have to give an unrealistic standard, i.e. if the control group was all 20 something fit and never used any drugs, so the incidence of kidney problems would be so much better the BBErs who might be no worse than the regular population would look like they have one foot in the grave.

    The ideal study would have a large sampling of both the control and the BBer populations, and they would have been randomly selected.

    My question about this study, is how did they select the BBers? What criteria did they have to meet to be in the study? Did any of them have known warning signs in advance? Were they referred by their physicians because the physicians saw warning signs? That would bias the results against the average BBer who did not participate in the study.
  8. woodswise

    woodswise TID Board Of Directors

    Apr 29, 2012
    You should read it. This article has some good information about what people can do to minimize the risk to themselves.
  9. BrotherIron

    BrotherIron TID Board Of Directors

    Mar 6, 2011
    I already do pretty much what you can... my bp is good, LDL and HDL are good, bodyweight is down from what I used to sit at, I'm not fat, don't drink or drug, drink 2 gallons of water daily, etc...
    woodswise likes this.
  10. Stumpy

    Stumpy Olé, Olé, Olé VIP

    Sep 29, 2010
    It's long known that a very high protein diet alone can cause damage, we know all this. As responsible AAS users we already take measures to help look after our organs, it's called researching before you jump in. If you worry about crap like this you may as well start ballet dancing.....the crap these people write to try and make a name for themselves ffs.
  11. IronCore

    IronCore Bigger Than MAYO - VIP

    Sep 9, 2010
    Fuk that... do you know ballet dancing causes foot cancer in California?
  12. RAIDEN

    RAIDEN VIP Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    Drinking soda causes kidney problems as well.

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