The thyroid gland produces two different types of hormones, the iodothyronines and Calcitonin. While calcitonin plays a huge role in our bodies, it will be the iodothyronines that we will focus on as they are the major players in thyroid disorders. So, what are the iodothyronines and what functions do they serve in the body?
There are two different kinds of iodothyronines (which will be referred to as “thyroid hormones” from here on out) and they are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These two hormones are absolutely essential and necessary for body development, growth and energy metabolism among other things. Thyroxine (T4) is what is known as a “prohormone” meaning that on it’s own, it has little to no effect and must be converted in the body to the biologically active form which is triiodothyronine(T3). There are many steps that go into the process of producing these thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland. It can certainly get confusing and complicated but most important parts to understand about the process are:
· It is essential to have the necessary amounts of iodide available in the body (iodide is a single ion whereas iodine is a compound). Not having the necessary amount of iodide in the body can lead to a lack of hormone production and an enlarged thyroid gland, also known as a goiter. Read the rest of this entry »