Effect of opiates on testosterone level?

Question by Dav: Effect of opiates on testosterone level?
I’m a 20 yr old male and have been using morphine and codeine fairly regularly for the past year and three months (in the form of opium poppy tea, not good I know but I have Asperger syndrome and it’s all I can find to ease my social anxiety). My tolerance and level of use has been increasing lately and I currently get through a kilo of poppies a week. Anyway, basicly, I recently decided to have a blood test to check hormone levels, because although I do need to shave regularly I was sure that I had less facial hair than average for my age (everything else is developmentally normal). My serum testosterone was measured at 11.0 nmol/L where the normal range is 8.0-29, LH was eleveated at 10.7 u/L (n = 1.5 – 6.3) and FSH normal at 2.7 (r = 1.0 – 10.1). So basicly although testosterone is within range it is just at the cut off point for below normal, and is certainly below average and I find the high LH a little concerning (I know hi LH and low Tes. is usally due to testicular failure, although I don’t feel I have this). They’re repeating the LH and FSH in 2 weeks, not tes. bc it was normal, tho I might request this again. Could these findings be related to the opiate consumption, or other chemicals in the tea? I’ve heard of morphine causing both low LH and TES, but not hi LH. I’m planning to get off soon, how long do you think it would take to recover TES levels after ceasing morphine use? Thanks for any help you can offer, D. Dinneen

(Plus, I also had slightly low serum thyroid stimulating hormone, 0.34 mu/L (r= 0.35 – 5.5) suggesting borderline hyperthyroidism, wld this be related ?)

Best answer:

Answer by Nick C
Don’t use my answer as the definite conclusion.

The source i used claimed opiates have an inhibiting effect on the hypothalamus’s secretions of GnRH(gonadotropic releasing hormone) which directly stimulates the anterior pituitary, causing it to release FSH ( follicle stimulating hormone) and LH(leutenizing hormone) into the blood. Because of the inhibitory effect of opiates on the hypothalamus i have no idea why your LH levels are higher than normal.

However I am 80% certain that your low levels of thyroid stimulating hormone are unrelated to your use of opiates. Please keep in mind this is just an educated guess, as I am not your physician.\

I would assume that the time it would take to recover would be the same as the “withdrawal” period.

I hope this helps,

Nick C.

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