Paul Hogan’s ‘kidney problem’ led him to have a puffy face

Kidneys: Expert details the signs something might be wrong

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In May 2021, Paul Hogan told viewers of the Australian breakfast show, Sunrise, that he “looks funny” because he had been taking steroids to treat a “kidney problem”. “I look funny because I’ve taken this treatment with steroids and it’s made my cheeks puff up, I’ve usually got a gaunt face,” Hogan said. “I was having a kidney problem and the steroids have fixed it and that’s the main thing.”

While the 82-year-old didn’t disclose what type of kidney issue he had, there are a few possibilities based on the treatment method he received.

According to the UNC Kidney Center, kidney diseases treated with steroids include:

  • Lupus nephritis
  • Systemic vasculitis
  • Glomerulonephritis.

The National Kidney Foundation explained that lupus nephritis is inflammation and scarring of the small blood vessels that filter waste in the kidneys.

Signs of lupus nephritis include blood in urine, protein in urine, oedema (swollen legs and ankles), weight gain, and high blood pressure.

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Diagnosis involves urine and blood test, and a kidney biopsy might be required.

The autoimmune condition is treated by steroids that can help to block the body’s immune system.

In addition to steroids, treatment may include immunosuppressive drugs, ACE inhibitors, and diet changes.

Systemic vasculitis

The National Kidney Federation pointed out that vasculitis “is a medical term for inflammation of blood vessels”.

The cause is “immunological”, which means that the white blood cells and antibodies (responsible for fighting off infections) start damaging your own body.

“Doctors do not understand fully why this happens and the condition is quite rare,” the organisation noted.

Triggers that start vasculitis can vary from a flu-like infection, after an operation, or a bacterial infection.

Usually, the only symptoms of the condition tend to be tiredness and feeling unwell.

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In severe cases, blood can appear in urine, which is a medical emergency.


The NHS explains: “Glomerulonephritis is damage to the tiny filters inside your kidneys (the glomeruli).

“It’s often caused by your immune system attacking healthy body tissue.”

The condition tends not to produce any noticeable symptoms; it’s more likely to be diagnosed when routine blood or urine tests are carried out.

The Australian actor and comedian hasn’t revealed how long he would be on steroids for.

However, Hogan was recently spotted running errands in his neighbourhood in LA, and he’s not looking puffy anymore.

In fact, he now looks very slim, and somewhat frail in his older age.

Paul Hogan stars in the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee, which airs on Saturday, October 8 at 6.50pm on Channel 4.

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