A lot of men envision themselves hitting the gym and making their bodies look like some of their favorite superheroes. Whether it be Captain America or Batman, there's nothing wrong with using fictional heroes as inspiration. If anything, it's a great reason to get in shape! But what happens when the love of bulking up becomes too strong? Things can get pretty dangerous.
Romario Dos Santos Alves wanted to look like a real-life version of the Incredible Hulk, and took things a few steps too far. The 25-year-old, married father-of-one, injected a cocktail of synthetic filler, Synthol, that made him look like the Hulk, but nearly at the cost of his life.
In Brazil, the aspiring bodybuilder joined a gym and took notice of the men much larger than him. Eventually, he befriended them and they let him in on their secret to humongous muscles: Synthol.
Synthol is a "site enhancing oil" that creates the appearance of massive muscle gain. Although it's sold online and intended for topical use, Romario began injecting it and quickly became addicted to the drug and the results they had.
Romario's muscles grew and gave him the Hulk-like look he wanted, but after time they became more and more difficult to inject into.
Because of the toxins in the oil, he nearly suffered kidney failure.
Romario hopes that people will see the images of his past mistakes and that they will serve as a means to educate people on the dangers of Synthol and self-medication.
I remember the doctor told me that they would need to amputate both arms - they said everything in there, all my muscles, were rock.
I want other people to see the dangers, I could have died all because I wanted bigger muscles. It's just not worth it.
Luckily, the doctors were able to remove the small rocks of Synthol without having to amputate Romario's arms or having to remove all of his muscles.
While Romario still aspires to pursue his dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder, he has vowed to do so without the help of any outside substances.
I regret it a lot - my ambition is still to become a bodybuilder but I've got a long way to go. I know I will achieve it though.
It sounds like he's doing a great job keeping clean thus far. I just hope Romario keeps his wits about him and is able to become a bodybuilder without turning to life-threatening drugs. Besides, we already have a Hulk!
Keeping in shape is one thing, and ultimately, you can do what you want with your own body, but it's still important to know the risks. I think Dr. Bruce Banner would agree that it's absolutely imperative to consult a professional before undergoing any medical procedures.