Hormonal Balance and Oxycodone Use

Hormonal Balance and Oxycodone UseWhile the euphoric effects of oxycodone are felt very quickly, the negative side effects often only develop over time as it is abused. Some do not appear until after its use has stopped. Many of these effects are slow to develop because they are rooted in hormonal imbalances that oxycodone abuse creates.

Hormones in the Body

The body uses chemicals to stimulate and regulate growth, development, adaptation and routine functions. These chemicals, called hormones, are produced by glands, are released into the bloodstream and bond to cells on other organs in the body. The reactions of those organs to the hormones prepare them to help to body meet a challenge or make a beneficial change.

Oxycodone Effects Hormone Levels

The use of opiates has been shown to affect several of the body’s hormone secreting glands over time. These include the gonads, pituitary gland and adrenal glands.

Sometimes the physical effects can be detected directly. The gonads, for example, can develop a condition called hypogonadism in which they actually shrink. Other times, the hormonal effects of oxycodone can only be detected by noting the drop in the levels of hormones normally produced by those glands.

The reasons for this suppression of glands and hormones are not fully understood by scientists. It may be because the chemicals in oxycodone and other opiates bond to the cells, which are supposed to bond with the body’s hormones. Pushing aside the hormones could interfere with natural feedback processes and make the glands react as though much there is too much of the natural hormones in the system already.

Symptoms of Imbalance

A different set of symptoms is felt by the suppression of each gland. Gonads, which take the form of testes in males and ovaries in females, produce testosterone. Abnormally low levels of testosterone rob an oxycodone user of energy. Feelings of physical fatigue, psychological depression and sexual dysfunction are likely to develop.

Adrenal glands, which are situated at the top of each kidneys, produce a hormone called cortisol. Production of cortisol is suppressed by oxycodone use. This deficiency also contributes to feelings of fatigue and depression that testosterone’s absence brings. Insufficient cortisol also causes injuries to heal more slowly.

The pituitary gland produces at least eight different hormones, which help regulate growth and the activity of other hormone-producing glands. Endorphins produced by the pituitary gland help the brain to regulate feelings of pain. Oxycodone reduces the gland’s production of endorphins. Pain is kept in check by the drug itself, but the user will likely suffer from the imbalance when oxycodone use is ended.

Restoring Balance

When the use of oxycodone stops and it no longer appears in the bloodstream, the body will begin to adjust. Over time, hormone levels should return to normal. Hormone functions also begin to readjust.

Unfortunately, the endocrine system can be very slow to respond. The period after the drug use ending and hormone levels returning to normal can bring some terrible physical symptoms. Support from friends and family can be very important during the withdrawal period of oxycodone recovery.

Addiction Help

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to learn more about treatment for oxycodone addiction and the restoration of hormonal balance.