What are parathyroid disorders?
Parathyroid disorders cause abnormally high or low blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are important for muscle contractions and to transmit nerve signals. They also keep bones and teeth healthy. The disruption of normal levels of calcium and phosphorus can cause serious health problems, including brittle bones, fatigue, kidney stones, weakness, and other conditions.
What are parathyroid glands?
Each of the four parathyroid glands are about the size of a grain of rice. Located near the thyroid gland, they are part of the body’s endocrine system, which produces and secretes hormones into your blood. Hormones control most bodily functions such as growth, reproduction, and metabolism.
What are the functions of parathyroid glands?
Properly functioning parathyroid glands can sense when calcium and phosphorus levels are too low or too high. When they’re too low, the glands release parathyroid hormone (PTH), which causes bones to release calcium into the bloodstream. It also signals the kidneys to increase vitamin D production to increase calcium absorption in the intestines. If calcium is too high, PTH production and secretion decrease.