Study Links Hypothyroid Meds to Increased Lung Cancer Risk

Science & Medicine

pillModern medications come with a long, long list of side effects. The commercials for some of these remedies often have more information on the negative effects than the beneficial ones. A new study from Italy indicates yet another, serious possible effect of one particular type of medication, showing that individuals taking a common hormone replacement used for hypothyroidism may be at an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormone thyroxine. When thyroxine levels are low, the body literally slows down. Chronic fatigue, aches, dry skin, and constipation are just a few early symptoms. Impaired mental activity, hearing loss, muscle weakness, and increased weight gain can come later. One of the most common prescription drug treatments for this condition is known as levothyroxine (T4), which supplements the deficient thyroxine. But, this drug may be presenting additional problems.

As published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, Italian researchers have discovered a possible link between this popular drug treatment and an increased lung cancer risk. They compared increasing sales of LT4 with cancer rates in women ages 30 to 84 (where use of LT4 is most common).

While they didn’t find any correlation between breast, colorectal, or gastric cancer, they did find “a significant correlation for lung cancer (p < 0.05)”, according to GreenMedInfo.

Read: Hypothyroidism Natural Treatments

While the researchers cautiously pointed out the potential for hypothyroidism itself to increase lung cancer risk, they also said that this isn’t likely because typically, “…hypothyroidism reduces the aggressiveness of some cancers because of the presence of thyroid hormone receptors on cancer cells, and spontaneous hypothyroidism may delay onset or reduce aggressiveness of cancers.”

In our modern age, people are given drugs for the smallest of symptoms, or sometimes none at all. As GreenMedInfo reports:

“The increasingly global medical-industrial complex has begun to co-opt all aspects of the natural human bodily life cycle, and all the organ systems within it, as potential targets of medical surveillance and intervention, not excluding the human thyroid. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, years 1988-1994, [13] while 0.3% of the American population exhibits overt symptoms of hypothyroidism, 14 times more  (4.3%) have so-called ‘subclinical’ hypothyroidism only detected via blood work. This relatively symptom-free reservoir of ‘hypothyroid’ cases provides a veritable gold mine of potential office visits, billable services and drug prescriptions.”

In other words, once again, Big Pharma could be sacrificing the health of the people for the health of their own wallets.