Thyroxine (T4) hormone is one of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid-stimulating hormone plays a crucial role in thyroid homeostasis. The hormone is released by the pituitary gland and stimulates the secretion of thyroxine produced by the thyroid gland (Mateo & Hennessy, 2019). Thyroxine is an amino acid-derived hormone and falls under the peptide group of hormones with a slightly varying mechanism from other peptide hormones (Mateo & Hennessy, 2019). Its uniqueness falls in the fact that it requires no second messenger to cause a response. Thyroxine receptors are located in the brain, skeletal muscle, kidney, liver, retina, and cochlea (Mateo & Hennessy, 2019). Thyroxine receptors are located in the nucleus of cells of these organs.
The thyroid gland releases thyroxine into the bloodstream, where it travels to various organs, such as kidneys and liver and gets converted to the active form – triiodothyronine (T3) (Köhrle, 2018). Thyroxine hormone regulates the amount of energy used by the body, that is, the metabolic rate. It regulates the rate at which food products react to produce energy for use by the body. The hormone also plays a crucial role in growth and development. It functions to aid brain development, bone health, digestion, and heart and muscle performance (Köhrle, 2018). The hormone impacts almost all body systems; therefore, optimized thyroxine level in the body is crucial for health.
When iodine is in excess in the bloodstream, the secretion of thyroxine hormone is repressed as both TSH and TRH are inhibited. The inhibition of TSH and TRH leads to the shutdown of thyroid epithelial cells; therefore, no more thyroxine is produced (Köhrle, 2018). If the excess levels of thyroxine are not regulated, it results in a condition known as thyrotoxicosis, which causes goiter. This is known as hyperthyroidism. Conversely, when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormone, it results in hypothyroidism.
Intermittent fasting is a dieting routine that involves limiting meals within a stipulated time range, preceded by fixed periods of eating little or nothing. After ingestion, the food is broken down with the aid of enzymes in the stomach and absorbed into the bloodstream as molecules. Carbohydrates, such as refined grains and sugars, get broken down immediately, and the cells use them as a source of energy. If the cells fail to use all of the metabolized sugars, they are stored as fat in the fat cells (Tello, 2021). This sugar can only be incorporated into the fat cells for storage by the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. Therefore, insulin levels drop when snacking is avoided during intermittent fasting between meals. This makes the fat cells release the stored sugar to be used as a source of energy. Thus, insulin levels go down during intermittent fasting, which leads to weight loss from the body using the stored reserves of fat and sugar (Tello, 2021). Obesity is linked to diabetes and high blood pressure complications; cutting down on the body’s weight through intermittent fasting regulates these conditions.
It is essential to recommend that patients undergo intermittent fasting as it reduces body weight, lowers cholesterol, controls glucose, reduces liver fat, and helps manage hypertension. The patient opting for intermittent fasting as a diabetes maintenance plan should avoid consuming sugary foods and refined grains. Instead, they should consume lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lentils, and healthy fats within the strictly laid out routine implemented for intermittent fasting (Tello, 2021). The patient should also avoid snacking and ensure they are active throughout the day to enhance the body’s ability to burn fat between meals. Furthermore, nighttime eating should be avoided for the best outcomes. The patient should limit eating hours to the bare minimum, and it should be mainly in the morning to the afternoon hours, approximately between 7 am to 3 pm.
Köhrle, J. (2018). Thyroid hormones and derivatives: Endogenous thyroid hormones and their targets. Thyroid Hormone Nuclear Receptor, 85-104. Web.
Mateo, R, Hennessy, J. (2019). Thyroxine and treatment of hypothyroidism: Seven decades of experience. Endocrine, 6(1), 10-17.
Tello, M. (2021). Intermittent fasting: Surprising update. Harvard Health Publishing. Web.