Calcitonin is a hormone produced by special cells in the thyroid called C-cells. Calcitonin is involved in the regulation of calcium levels in the blood and inhibits bone breakdown (resorption).
The most prominent factor controlling calcitonin secretion is the blood concentration of ionized calcium. Elevated blood calcium levels strongly stimulate calcitonin secretion, and secretion is suppressed when calcium concentration falls below normal.
A calcitonin test provides additional information if there are symptoms of medullary thyroid cancer or a family history of this condition. Calcitonin also appears to be a valuable aid in the management of certain types of osteoporosis.
An 8 to 12 hour fast is required for this blood test. However, drink plenty of water and take your medications as prescribed.