Your body’s endocrine system is a complex, integrated network of glands and organs that produce various hormones that regulate numerous functions including metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy), reproduction, growth and development, response to stress or injury, and mood.
Your thyroid gland captures iodine from the bloodstream and combines it with amino acid tyrosine to synthesize the essential triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which together are called “thyroid hormones”.
Those hormones are released into your blood stream to circulate to all of your cells and regulate your body’s metabolism and healthy functioning of your heart, brain, and other organs.
If your levels of T3 and T4 are out of balance it can lead to hypothyroidism (underactive) or hyperthyroidism (overactive). Taking in too little or too much iodine is one of several causes.
Your thyroid gland does not work alone. It is, in turn, controlled by the small pituitary gland which lies at the base of your brain. If your pituitary gland senses that your levels of T3 and T4 are too low, it produces the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which tells your brain to direct the thyroid to wake up and synthesize and secrete more thyroid hormones.
If your thyroid produces too much of the thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland senses that too and asks the brain to send a message to the thyroid gland to back off.
But the integrated system doesn’t stop there. Another gland, the hypothalamus, is part of your brain that produces TSH Releasing Hormone (TRH). TRH tells the pituitary gland to release the TSH.
You might say the pituitary gland is the thermostat regulating the thyroid furnace and the brain is the control panel which sets the thermostat at the optimum setting.
Iodine for breast pain
Iodine is an essential trace element for the thyroid gland to synthesize two important hormones for a healthy body.
It is a mineral that is found in the soil, rocks, the ocean, and other bodies of water. Humans get their iodine from agricultural products grown in iodine-rich soils and fish from iodine-rich waters.
Almost two billion people worldwide are not getting their daily iodine intake because they do not live near natural sources of iodine. Another large group experience iodine deficiency because they have poor diets that do not take advantage of the iodine sources available to them.
This iodine-deficient population includes women of reproductive age who frequently experience cyclic breast pain. Iodine is conveniently available in dietary supplements available to help those women.