There is a direct relationship between our thyroid and calcium. Specifically, the parathyroid gland is regarded as the “calcium-regulating” gland which is important in keeping our bones strong and healthy.
Have you ever wondered why there are some people who remain skinny even if they eat a lot of food? What is the role of calcium in the development of osteoporosis and thyroid problems?
Get to Know More About the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a two-lobed organ located in front of the neck, just beneath the Adam’s apple. It secretes three types of hormones which are the thyroxine or T4, triiodothyronine or T3, and calcitonin. These hormones are important in the promotion of normal calcium levels in the blood.
The first two are responsible for the body’s metabolism. Iodine found in our diet is very important in the production of thyroid hormones.
You might have heard people saying that they have either a “fast” or “slow” metabolism, which is actually the rate of how the body uses the stored energy. Thyroid hormones enable the cells to consume more energy and they are important in protein production as well as glucose and fat consumption.
Calcitonin plays an important role in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus in our bodies, that’s why thyroid and calcium work together. It is released into the bloodstream by the thyroid gland if there is a high level of calcium in the blood. It decreases the calcium and phosphorus blood level and increases their absorption in the bone.
Get to Know More About the Parathyroid Glands
The parathyroid glands are found in the lower neck region behind the thyroid. They are four small glands that are the shape and size of a grain of rice. The parathyroid is responsible for secreting the parathyroid hormone which is used in regulating the blood calcium levels.
What is the role of parathyroid hormone? It is very powerful because it influences our bones to release more calcium into the blood. It regulates the calcium that is absorbed from the food we eat. It determines the amount of calcium that should be excreted via our kidneys.
The parathyroid hormone also dictates the amount of calcium stored in our bones. Moreover, it increases the active Vitamin D formation, thus increasing intestinal phosphorus and calcium absorption.
How Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands Work With Calcium
The release of parathyroid hormone is triggered when the blood calcium level is low. If the serum calcium is high, the parathyroid hormone release is suppressed. Calcitonin and parathyroid hormones work together to regulate blood calcium levels.
When will these hormones be released? The calcium level in the blood is the primary stimulus for the parathyroid hormone and calcitonin to be released. When the blood calcium serum level is high, the thyroid gland secretes calcitonin, slowing down the activity of osteoclasts in the bone.
If the blood calcium level is low, it stimulates the parathyroid glands to secrete parathyroid hormone, encouraging the normal and natural process of bone breakdown.
This is crucial for the growth and maintenance of bones. Thyroid and calcium levels work together with the hormones to achieve normal blood calcium levels.
The parathyroid and calcium work together. Calcitonin and parathyroid hormones have opposing actions, and these regulate the calcium levels in the blood. This is why disorders of the parathyroid hormone such as parathyroid adenoma (tumor of the parathyroid glands) may result in hypercalcemia (increased blood calcium levels).
What Studies and Research Show
Calcium and thyroid function work hand-in-hand. In 2005, the Department of Medicine of the University Hospital of North Norway reported a case about a young man who has extreme hypercalcemia associated with parathyroid adenoma. The young man manifested hypercalcaemic syndrome.
The patient underwent parathyroidectomy which quickly resolved the clinical symptoms. It prevented the occurrence of hypercalcaemic crisis, which is a life-threatening condition as a complication of primary hyperparathyroidism. It is manifested by muscle weakness, gastrointestinal problems, and cerebral symptoms.
Hypothyroidism and calcium levels have a direct correlation. How is this possible?
Thyroid and calcium play an important role together and having an imbalance in one affects the other.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, there are various studies showing that hypothyroid subjects who were given an acute dose of calcium retained elevated serum calcium levels for a longer period of time as compared to controlled subjects.
In the reported case of a woman having hypothyroidism and hypercalcemia, as published in the Southern Medical Journal, thyroid replacement therapy greatly improved the woman’s condition. However, in order to determine if the association of hypercalcemia and hypothyroidism is real, further research and studies should be carried out.
In the interplay of thyroid and calcium, as the parathyroid hormone function also plays a crucial part in achieving normal blood calcium levels.
They have a direct relationship in the maintenance of proper hormonal and cellular activity, primarily blood calcium regulation.
Thyroid and calcium play a crucial role in the promotion and maintenance of health.