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Get to know your Thyroid and Parathyroid Hormones

By Natalia Kay
from Pure Health Solutions

Thyroid and Parathyroid hormones are part of your endocrine system.  The Thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland at the base of the front of the neck.  Most people have four pea-sized parathyroid glands located behind their thyroid gland.

In order to make thyroid hormones, your thyroid gland needs iodine and water. Your thyroid gland traps iodine and transforms it into thyroid hormones.  If you have too little or too much iodine in your body, it can affect the level of hormones your thyroid makes and releases and cause illness.

A full panel of Thyroid pathology includes TSH, T4, T3, RT3 and Thyroid Antibodies.

Thyroxine (T4)

Also known as Tetraiodothyronine.  This is the main hormone released by the Thyroid Gland into the bloodstream.  It is a less active form of thyroid hormone and is converted into the more active T3.  Thyroxine regulates the basal metabolic rate, sensitivity to catecholamines, regulates protein synthesis, heart, digestive function, muscle control, brain development and maintenance of bones.  Excessive amounts of T4 result in thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism and Grave’s Disease.  Too little production of T4 creates thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. (1)

Triiodothyronine  (T3)

Triiodothyronine is the active form of the T4 hormone.  Around 20% of T4 is secreted into the bloodstream directly by the thyroid gland. The remaining 80% is produced from conversion of thyroxine by organs such as the liver and kidneys.  Similar to thyroxine, T3 affects almost every physiological process in the body.

Reverse triiodothyronine RT3

Your thyroid makes very small amounts of RT3, which reverses the effects of T3.  After its release from the thyroid gland, T4 is converted to T3, which is active thyroid hormone, or to rT3, which is considered an inactive form, and is incapable of the metabolic activity normally carried out by T3.  In some people with Thyroid conditions, the RT3 becomes dominant.

Researchers believe the body produces rT3 in times of severe illness or starvation.

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

Your hypothalamus releases TRH, which triggers your pituitary gland to release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates your thyroid to release Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).  Once your thyroid releases T4, it is transformed into T3 so that it can impact your cells and your metabolism.  In infants it is critical for brain development.  A fetus will start to use its own thyroid at around 12 weeks gestation, utilising the mothers hormones, until it produces enough of its thyroid hormones at around 18-20 weeks.  (2)


Calcitonin is made and released by your thyroid gland to help regulate calcium levels in your blood (not bones) by decreasing it.  Calcitonin opposes the actions of the parathyroid hormone, which is a hormone that increases your blood calcium levels.

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH)

PTH is a hormone that your parathyroid glands make and release to control the level of calcium in your blood, not your bones.  PTH also helps control the levels of phosphorus and Vitamin D in your blood and bones.  PTH levels are mainly controlled by a feedback loop of calcium levels in your blood to your parathyroid glands.  Low calcium levels in your blood stimulate parathyroid hormone release, whereas high calcium levels in your blood prevent your glands from releasing parathyroid hormone. (3)


  1. Thyroxine | You and Your Hormones from the Society for Endocrinology. (n.d.).
  2. Professional, C. C. M. (n.d.-h). Thyroid hormone. Cleveland Clinic.
  3. Professional, C. C. M. (n.d.-g). Parathyroid hormone. Cleveland Clinic.

More about the author

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Natalia Kay
– Pure Health Solutions

Written by: Natalia Kay, Clinical Nutritionist for Pure Health Solutions

Pure Health Solutions is the Australian distributor for Metabolics supplements.  Strictly practitioner grade products for dispensing in a clinical environment.  We offer Activated Vitamins and Ionic Minerals in a purified water base.  No alcohol or nasties.  All liquid formulas, highly bioavailable and suitable for all ages.  All dispensing products, online and in-person training, kinesiology kits, mentoring and other clinic tools are also available for registered practitioners.

We are also a proud stockist of Zinzino Omega-3 oils, prebiotics and testing kits.  This range of scientifically proven omega supplements is a blend of small fish oil and extra virgin olive oil and leaves no fishy aftertaste.

Pure Health Solutions is committed to purity and health and strives to give only the best products to our practitioners for better patient outcomes.