Addiction is a host of many disease, in itself it is a vice, no a jail that, many people find too hard escaping from. Addiction can host many diseases because it debilitates the neurotransmitters or in the affects how they work one of the diseases that can be caused by addiction is hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism- this is a condition in which the thyroid glands fail to produce certain crucial hormones or produces the hormones but in limited quantity. Hypothyroidism is a disease that commonly affect Women who are 60 years and above of age. At an early stage it may not show any symptom but when it stays for a long time without getting treating then such symptoms as joint pain, heart disease and obesity may occur. Hypothyroidism affects the chemical balances in the body.
The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck just over the collarbone and is responsible for producing hormones which manage protein production and oxygen use by the body cells. The most important role of the thyroid gland is that they help in metabolism in the body. It also serves another purpose which is to distribute calcium in the body.
Several studies have linked addiction to hypothyroidism. These studies have found out that consumption of opium derivatives can affect the function of hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Even though some studies have rejected the effect of alcohol and heroine consumption on hypothalamic-pituitary axis or on T3 and T4 levels some other studies have reported different results and showed decreased rate of hypothalamic-pituitary axis function in alcohol and heroin addicts. A scientist Pfeiffer showed that endogenous opioids including β-endorphin, enkephalins and dynorphins and also opiate receptors have an important role in regulation of several neuroendocrine functions. It is a known fact that opioids inhibit luteinizing hormone (LH) and thyrotropin secretion in rats. Opioids control neuroendocrine processes in hypothalamic level through releasing hypothalamic releasing or inhibiting factors.
Addiction to drugs of abuse affects hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and body hormonal system. Morphine particularly increases hormones such as adrenalin, noradrenaline, corticosterone and glucagon and can reduce the activity of hypothalamic-pituitary axis, however in relation to alterations of T3, T4 and especially TSH levels following morphine consumption, different and sometimes controversial results have been reported. In some research study reports it has been reported decrease of TSH level but no alterations in T3 and T4 levels during morphine consumption. In other researches there has been reported decrease of TSH, T3 and T4 levels following short-term consumption of morphine. One particular study that was done in Pakistan has it that opium consumption leads to total T3 increase and total T4 decrease.
The controversies that are around opium effect on hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis left a gap that a more recent study strived to fill. The most recent study sought to investigate alterations of thyroid function hormones among opium addicts compared with non-addicts.
Consuming different types of opiates will lead to different effect on hypothalamic-pituitary axis and thyroid functions. For example, it has been reported that when a person consumes buprenorphine and heroin consumption it will lead to increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). In a study, no difference in TBG level has been observed between heroin- dependents and normal subjects. According to another study, those who received methadone maintenance therapy showed normal level of TSH and T3 responses to thyrotropin-releasing hormone administration. This present study emphasizes the places a particular emphasis on the effects of drugs of abuse on the thyroid and encourages doctors to pay attention to the thyroids as they take care of the entire endocrine system.
This is how addiction causes hypothyroidism. Drugs of abuse such as Opiates exert their effects on hypothalamic-pituitary axis through K-receptors located in hypothalamus and their peripheral effect on liver leads to increase in production of TBG and decrease of thyroid hormones metabolism. However, the involved mechanism causing such alterations in liver has not been known.
It has also been noted that depression has a link to hypothyroidism, depression and addiction are more of synonyms, and depression can either be a cause or a result of addiction and vice versa. When you have a mild depression, it is better to seek medical advice as the problem may affect your thyroid. Hypothyroidism may not have very severe effects on a person but when coupled with depression then all may be very difficult to deal with.
When it comes to depression then all substances of addiction come to mind, the fact is that when a person is addicted to any substance one of the side effects of addiction is depression and that isn’t safe for thyroid health and may lead to hypothyroidism.
However there are still some controversies on this topic and therefore further studies with more general evaluation of endocrine system and hypothalamic-pituitary axis and TBG are recommended to recognize the effects of opium and other substances abuse. The subject of addiction is not a light matter, many people are suffering from irreversible effects of this vice and so whenever possible its effects should be tamed for better health.
Finally, Here at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center we are committed to availing help to addicts by availing some of the most integrative approaches to healing an addict. We advocate for natural healing to all kinds of addiction. In case you are struggling with addiction just call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for help.