Hormone abnormalities from severe chronic pain

Hormone abnormalities in patients with severe and chronic pain who fail standard treatments. – PubMed – NCBI – Dec 2014

Some patients with severe and chronic pain fail to obtain adequate pain relief with standard pharmacologic treatment agents, including low to moderate dosages of opioids.

Understandably, physicians might not believe patients who claim that a standard opioid dosage is an ineffective treatment. These patients may be severely impaired, nonfunctional, and bedridden or housebound

To help characterize these individuals and develop treatment strategies for them, a serum hormone profile consisting of  

  • adrenocorticotropin,
  • cortisol,
  • Pregnenolone,
  • progesterone,
  • dehydroepiandrosterone, and
  • testosterone

was obtained on 61 chronic pain patients who failed standard treatments;

  • 49 patients (80.3%) demonstrated ≥ 1 hormone abnormality defined as a serum concentration or level above or below the normal range, and
  • 7 patients (11.5%) showed a severe pituitary-adrenal-gonadal deficiency as indicated by deficient serum levels of adrenocorticotropin and ≥ 2 adrenal-gonadal hormones.

Hormone serum abnormalities are biomarkers of severe, uncontrolled pain, and, in a patient who has failed standard treatment, they are an indicator that enhanced analgesia is required and that hormone replacement may be indicated.

You can find many other posts about hormones in the context of chronic pain at https://edsinfo.wordpress.com/tag/hormones/.



1 thought on “Hormone abnormalities from severe chronic pain

  1. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA

    Haven’t they decided that it’s the opioids that are causing the hormonal imbalances (sarcasm font here)? I’m sure that’s why people on “standard (WTF?) doses” sometimes have high blood pressure….oh wait, could that be due to their uncontrolled pain?

    When, oh when, will reason prevail? My brain hurts from the bizarre disconnect in critical thinking.

    Liked by 1 person


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