Metformin, a drug that is commonly prescribed to diabetes patients may be the cause of thyroid problems in some patients. People at risk are those with low levels of what is referred to as thyroid-stimulating hormone aka TSH especially if they have an underactive thyroid according to are recently published study warns.
Low levels of the hormone can cause bone frailty and heart disease however no solid link between the drug and the maladies can be found from the study’s data. It’s reported that 495 incidents of low levels of TSH occurred among participants with underactive thyroids in comparison with 322 participants with normal thyroid function. The participants who with low TSH were given metformin for their diabetes at 55% of the time while others were given sulfonylurea. The study wasn’t 100% conclusive that metformin in combination with low TSH levels caused the problems, the potentiality of such occurred enough of the time to warrant suspicion and further investigation.
The preliminary result predictions paint a warning sign regarding the millions of people with Diabetes II and low thyroid function might be in jeopardy. The potential that metformin might be detrimental to people with low TSH is to blame for thyroid dysfunction, they had to admit that the measurements of the participant’s blood was not done. It will take much more investigative effort to to determine if there is a solid lead here.
Again, no conclusive data has proven the connection but the possibility is there, yet evidence shows that the drug can decrease production of glucose in the liver and this suggests metformin can be the source of unknown side effects in other regions of the body.
Additional data comes from smaller more cross sectional studies pointing to metformin as a drug that might lower TSH levels with patients who have hypothyroidism and diabetes. One collection of data was by the Clinical Practice Research Datalink that collects information from 13 million people from some 680 practices located I the UK who started using metformin or sulfonylurea between the years of 1988 and 2012. In this research some almost 60,000 people had normal thyroids compared to some 5,600 plus who had hypothyroidism. It was discovered that a significant increase of risk of lower TSH levels was found among people treated for hypothyroidism after they were given metformin in comparison with sulfonylurea. The rate of incidence of low TSH levels was found to be 123.2 per 1,000 person-years from metformin in comparison to 79.5 per 1,000 person-years using sulfonylureas.