T4 Hormone Common Uses
On the surface, thyroid function seems deceptively simple. It is actually one of the most complex processes in your body.
As patients with thyroid conditions learn more about this essential gland, there can be some confusion about how the hormones and neurological responses work together to balance the automatic functions of your body.
The Hormonal Assembly-Line
Let’s start with the basics, what are the T3 and T4 hormone used for? That’s actually a trick question because these hormones have the same building blocks, they are just in different forms when they are released by your thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland absorbs iodine from the food you eat and any supplements you take. Iodine is the secret to healthy metabolic, cellular, and immune functions. The iodine combines with amino acids already present in the gland to produce thyroxine; otherwise known as T4 hormone.
This inactive version of thyroid hormone is carried by your bloodstream to specific organs in need of oxygen and energy. Once T4 hormone is absorbed by a particular biological cell, it goes through a conversion and becomes T3 hormone – the active version of thyroid hormone – delivering the energy and nutrients your organs need to function properly.
The gland itself also produces a limited amount of the T3 hormone automatically that it can use to stimulate neurological function and continuous hormone production. There is an 80/20 split between T3 and T4 hormone production. T4 makes up the lion’s share of that split. The neurological bifurcation of the hormone delivery system ensures that the process works as it should.
TSH; The Neurological Traffic Cop
Your body is built to allow for fluctuations in hormone production. If such a fluctuation happens in the thyroid gland, a neurological domino effect takes place between your hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
Essentially, your hypothalamus tells your pituitary gland to release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). That hormone sends a message to your thyroid gland to increase T3/T4 hormone production. Once the levels normalize, the TSH message stops being sent.
Inflammation and disease can disrupt hormone production and your neurological backup system. This is what causes underactive or overactive thyroid conditions. Production and communication have to come back online so your thyroid hormones can properly support:
- The conversion of iodine and calories into energy and oxygen to fuel your metabolism
- Regulate your body temperature
- Allow the cellular production of hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and muscle tissues
- The body’s absorption of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide
There are different schools of thought on how to best realign this one-of-a-kind process. Talk to an endocrinologist today.
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