Health

A fitness influencer who died during a procedure she was promoting was accused of steroid use by the clinic. Now trolls are ‘invading’ her social media, her boyfriend says.

Summary List PlacementIn the wake of the death of fitness influencer Odalis Santos Mena, her boyfriend, Victor Manuel Gómez Carreño, told Insider that social media users have been "invading" the comments sections on her accounts with "mockery and derogatory comments" following reports that she had been using steroids at the time of her death. While comments appear to have been disabled on Mena's most recent Instagram posts, Insider found evidence of online trolling in the comments of her TikTok account.   Mexican bodybuilder and influencer Santos Mena, 23, reportedly traveled to wellness center and dermatology clinic SkinPiel in Guadalajara, Mexico on July...

Composite image of a photo of Odalis Santos Mena and a stock photo of an anti-sweat procedure

Summary List Placement

In the wake of the death of fitness influencer Odalis Santos Mena, her boyfriend, Victor Manuel Gómez Carreño, told Insider that social media users have been “invading” the comments sections on her accounts with “mockery and derogatory comments” following reports that she had been using steroids at the time of her death.

While comments appear to have been disabled on Mena’s most recent Instagram posts, Insider found evidence of online trolling in the comments of her TikTok account.  

Mexican bodybuilder and influencer Santos Mena, 23, reportedly traveled to wellness center and dermatology clinic SkinPiel in Guadalajara, Mexico on July 6 in order to undergo an FDA-approved treatment called miraDry. The treatment, which is intended to reduce underarm sweating, was one that Santos Mena was “hired” by SkinPiel to promote through a series on social media, Gómez Carreño told Insider.

LadBible reported that in the run-up to her surgery, Santos Mena posted about SkinPiel and the procedure on her Instagram story, which is no longer visible on her profile. Her boyfriend confirmed that she posted on her stories shortly before her death.

Gómez Carreño told Insider that as part of the deal with SkinPiel, Mena underwent the treatment and uploaded various posts. He said she did not struggle with hyperhidrosis (a condition that causes excessive underarm sweating), adding that they were told by the clinic that the procedure was “safe and non-invasive.” 

 

Santos Mena reportedly died from a cardiac arrest shortly after being administered an anesthetic by the clinic. 

Following her death, SkinPiel released a widely reported statement to Mexican newspaper Milenio saying that “everything seems to indicate that the anesthesia reacted with the substances present in Odalis’ body, since steroids, anabolics, and clenbuterol alter the metabolism and affect the growth of the heart.”

The clinic said that doctors who examined Santos Mena following her heart attack found traces of anabolic steroids “clenbuterol, creatine, and oxandrolone in [her] body” — something which, they said, Santos Mena failed to declare both on her medical forms and verbally prior to the procedure.

Gómez Carreño told Insider that he received the toxicology reports from Santos Mena’s autopsy on July 13. “The cause of death was determined as anaphylactic reaction secondary to anesthesia,” he said. Gómez Carreño also said that, contrary to SkinPiel’s statement, the autopsy showed no traces of oxandrolone, creatine, or clenbuterol. Insider has been unable to independently verify the results of the autopsy.

 

Saying that the clinic’s statement was released “irresponsibly,” Gómez Carreño added, “There is no medical support for what they mention. We consulted with anesthesia specialists and they all ruled out the possibility of a negative effect even if Odalis was taking steroids since there is no absolute contraindication between steroids and anesthesia. Even so, the autopsy showed that Odalis did not have said substances in her body.”

A June 2019 clinical update based on research by Croatian peer-reviewed medical journal Acta Clinica Croatica and published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information looked at potential contraindications and complications of local anesthetic and steroid use. Major adverse reactions and complications were described as “rare.” 

“What happened to Odalis can happen to anyone,” Gómez Carreño said. “It is an allergic reaction and has absolutely nothing to do with the sport she practiced and to which she devoted her life and years of work.”

He also said the clinic was being investigated for medical malpractice and alleged it was not equipped with a defibrillator. This comes after The Mirror reported that Santos Mena’s death is being investigated by the Jalisco State Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

Neither SkinPiel nor Jalisco state government officials immediately responded to Insider’s request for comment.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.

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