Link Between Metformin and Thyroid Hormone Levels

Metformin is generally used to deal with type 2 diabetes by controlling the quantity of sugar in the blood. Now, a new research indicates individuals with under-active thyroids who consume metformin have an enhanced danger of reduced levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone.

According to new research, Metformin a generally used drug for type 2 diabetes, could raise danger of low levels of TSH.

Having an under-active thyroid – also well-known as hypothyroidism – signifies that the thyroid gland doesn’t develop sufficient thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to fulfil the body’s requires. The thyroid hormone manages the metabolism, impacting nearly every body part.

Lower levels of TSH can lead to serious damage, such as cardiovascular conditions and fractures.

Metformin is used either alone or in combo with other drugs, such as insulin, to deal with type 2 diabetes by reducing the quantity of sugar consumed from food and the quantity made by the liver.

Long-term diabetes and high blood-sugar can grow into severe or life-threatening problems, like as heart disease, kidney problems, stroke, nerve damage and eye issues.

On the other hand, earlier study has recommended that metformin could decrease TSH levels, possibly exposing individuals to dangerous effects of subclinical hyperthyroidism.

As such, the scientists of this recent study, lead by Dr. Laurent Axoulay, analyzed data on 74,300 sufferers who obtained metformin and sulfonylurea – one more popular drug for diabetes – over a 25-year period.

They presented their outcomes in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

‘Metformin connected to 55% enhanced risk of low TSH levels’

Of the research participants, 5,698 had been treated for hypothyroidism, while almost 60,000 had normal thyroid function. Among the hypothyroidism team, there were 495 conditions of low TSH per year, in comparison with 322 in the normal group.

The scientists identified that in individuals with treated hypothyroidism, metformin use was connected with a 55% enhanced risk of reduced TSH levels, in comparison with the use of sulfonylurea.

The group adds that use of metformin did not seem to influence those with normal thyroid function.

They conclude that their results “support the hypothesis that metformin may lad to cutbacks in TSH levels in individuals with treated hypothyroidism.”

Dr. Axoulay adds:

“Given the comparatively high occurrence of low TSH levels in sufferers taking metformin, it is essential that future research assess the clinical consequences of this impact.”

Though their research had a huge sample size, there were certain restrictions. For example, their data revealed records of medications written by physicians, but it is unidentified whether the sufferers followed the treatment. However, the scientists say prescription renewals were “probably good indicators of adherence.”

They add that given the observational nature of the research, residual confounding requires to be considered, regardless of the fact that reliable results were observed.