Hypothalamic-pituitary and thyroid function in chronic alcoholics with neurological complications.Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1990 Jun; 14(3):363-7.AC
Endocrinological tests were performed in 14 chronic alcoholic men with signs of intellectual impairment and/or peripheral neuropathy. All had been abstinent from alcohol for at least 1 month. Basal serum growth hormone (GH) was consistently increased in only one patient whereas the GH responses to insulin hypoglycemia stimulation was normal in all patients. Thyroid function values (T4, T3, rT3, TSH) were normal in all patients whereas baseline serum prolactin values were significantly increased in alcoholics as compared with a control group. In a combined TRH- and GnRH-stimulation tests, GH-responses were also normal whereas TSH and prolactin responses were blunted or absent in about half of the patients, the responses correlating significantly (p less than 0.01). It is concluded that disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis may occur in chronic alcoholics with nervous impairment independently of the physical deterioration, which often is associated with chronic alcoholism.