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Glossary

  • Endocrine System– as a whole system means producing hormones. Our hormones are instant fast chemical messengers that are secreted into the blood that affect the body and functioning of other cells. There are many different hormones that act on different parts of our body and its processes.

    Thyroid Hormones
  • Hypothalamus – is deep in the brain it releases a hormone called Thyroid Releasing Hormone (TRH)
  • Pituitary Gland – connected at the base of the brain with the hypothalamus. It has two lobes – specifically the anterior pituitary releases Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Free T4 (Free Thyroxine) – considered a precursor hormone, a large amount of T4 is converted to T3 as required by cells throughout the body; levels of T4 are generally much higher than T3.
  • Free T3 (Free Triiodothyronine) – the more potent and more biologically active thyroid hormone, T3 regulates growth, nerve cells, and metabolism throughout the whole body.
  • Total T4 (Total Thyroxine) – Most T4 in the blood is bound to carrier proteins which make it biologically inactive. Total T4 includes unbound (free) T4 plus T4 that is bound to carrier proteins in the blood.
  • rT3 – Reverse T3 (Reverse Triiodothyronine) – Reverse T3 opposes the biological action of T3. It slows metabolism and renders T3 in the body biologically inactive. The rate of rT3 production relative to T3 will increase in times of stress (high cortisol) and in the presence of nutrient deficiencies, inflammation or certain medications.
  • TPO Antibody (Antibodies to Thyroperoxidase) – is an enzyme that initiates the synthesis of T4. Antibodies to TPO indicate autoimmunity where the body is attacking normal proteins in the blood (in this case, TPO). People with anti-TPO have a higher chance of developing hypothyroidism that those who do not have antibodies to TPO.
  • TBG (Thyroid Binding Globulin) – is a carrier protein for thyroid hormones so its role is to transport T4 and T3 through the bloodstream. The thyroid gland adjusts to changing levels of TBG in order to keep free T4 constant and it is particularly useful when thyroid (T4) levels do not necessarily correlate with clinical symptoms. TBG levels are largely affected by other hormones and many prescription drugs and is useful in diagnosing the reason behind abnormal thyroid hormone levels.
  • TSI (Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin) – a form of immunoglobulin G (IgG) that can bind to thyrotropin (TSH) receptors on the thyroid gland. TSIs mimic the action of TSH, causing excess secretion of thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The TSI level is abnormally high in persons with hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease.

Vitamins and Minerals

  • B Vitamins – they are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. Though these vitamins share similar names, they are chemically distinct compounds that often coexist in the same foods. In general, dietary supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex
  • B12 – a vitamin important for the normal formation of red blood cells and the health of the nerve tissues. Patients who have this disorder do not produce the protein substance in the stomach that allows the body to absorb vitamin B12. This substance is called intrinsic factor (IF).
  • Vitamin D –  It is important to the body in a lot of ways. It helps the body absorb calcium (one of bone’s main building blocks) from food and supplements. People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
  • Ferritin – a protein produced in mammalian metabolism which serves to store iron in the tissues.
  • Iodine – Iodine is a mineral found in some foods. Your body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. These hormones control your body’s metabolism and other functions.
  • Iron – an essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin in red blood cells) and for oxidation by cells (via cytochrome). Food sources of iron include meat, poultry, eggs, vegetables and cereals (especially those fortified with iron).
  • Magnesium – a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy.
     Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.
  • Selenium –  An essential mineral that is a component of an antioxidant enzyme, glutathione reductase, that is key in tissue respiration.
  • Zinc – A mineral that is essential to the body and is a constituent of many enzymes that permit chemical reactions to proceed at normal rates. Zinc is involved in the manufacture of protein (protein synthesis) and in cell division.