Fitness influencer dies amid anti-sweat procedure she was promoting

·3-min read

A fitness influencer has died while promoting a procedure to treat excessive underarm sweating on social media.

Mexican bodybuilder Odalis Santos Mena, 23, reportedly visited a clinic in Guadalajara, Mexico on July 7 to get the FDA-approved procedure, The Mirror reports.

However, according to reports, the fitness influencer suffered from a cardiac arrest shortly after she was anesthetised for the procedure, with staff at the clinic unable to revive her by CPR.

Photos from bodybuilder Odalis Santos Mena showing her before a body building competition and holding a pineapple.
Fitness influencer Odalis Santos Mena died in procedure she was promoting on social media. Source: Instagram/ Odalis Santos Mena

Mena was paid by skin clinic to promote antiperspirant treatment 

Mena regularly documented her bodybuilding training and competitions to her 147,000 Instagram followers.

According to local reports, the 23-year-old was recruited by the skin clinic SkinPiel, to promote a "breakthrough" antiperspirant treatment called MiraDry, which is a treatment that involves using thermal energy to eliminate sweat glands. 

The procedure purportedly combatted excess underarm sweat by using heat energy to remove sweat glands, thereby mitigating body odour and even reducing armpit hair.

Clinic says she took substances prior to procedure 

Skin Piel responded to the bodybuilder's death in a statement saying Mena died because she had taken substances, but failed to tell the clinic before they began the procedure, leading to a reaction to the anesthesia and subsequently a cardiac arrest.

In the statement, the Skin Piel clinic reported that the influencer Odalis Santos went to the clinic with her coach and nutritionist Víctor Gómez. 

It read that the treatment has been used for over six years worldwide with FDA approval in Mexico, and is a "simple procedure that inhibits some sweat glands with heat."

"The clinic has all its legal records to operate professionally. Administrative staff are assisted by two nurses, assistant technicians, under the direction of two doctors," it read.

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"When she gave the signed form to the doctor, he asked him again on substance use and verbally reiterated that no," Skin Piel continued.

"None of Odalis's relatives were present at the clinic. The procedure was performed according to the protocol and at no time was there negligence or carelessness.

"Everything seems to indicate that the anesthesia had a reaction to the substances present in the body of Odalis, since steroids, anabolics and clenbuterol alter the metabolism and affect the growth of the heart," they said.

Her family and boyfriend dispute the statement

Mena's boyfriend, Victor Gomez Carreno, says the autopsy disputes the clinic's statement.

Mena's family have accused the SkinPiel clinic of "negligence", claiming that the treatment was carried out by non-professionals and the anesthesia was carried out by an employee who was not trained.

Gómez Carreño told Insider that he received the toxicology reports from Santos Mena's autopsy on July 13, and "The cause of death was determined as anaphylactic reaction secondary to anesthesia".

Mr Carreño also claims the autopsy showed no traces of oxandrolone, creatine, or clenbuterol. 

However, according to The Mirror, Coroners have stated her death was caused by the combination of anesthesia with a powerful steroid-like medication the bodybuilder was taking.

The publication also reported Mena's death is now being investigated by the Jalisco State Public Prosecutor's Office.

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