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Theparathyroid glands are in the neck and control the body’s calcium levels. They are very small, no bigger than a grain of rice. They release the parathyroid hormone, which breaks down bones and allows calcium to be released, allows the body to absorb calcium from food, and prevents the kidneys from losing too much calcium in the urine. They can bring the calcium level up or down based on its levels and what the body needs.

If the parathyroid glands do not function properly, the calcium levels cannot be regulated properly. Some diseases can prevent these glands from functioning properly.

Causes of Hyperparathyroidism

When one or more of the parathyroid glands become overactive, they can produce too much parathyroid hormone. The thyroid may also become enlarged as a result. Producing too much of the hormone can cause the body to release too much calcium. This can result in the body not having enough calcium to function properly. Many things can cause hyperthparathyroidism. Some of the most common include:

Symptoms of Hyperparathyroidism

Diagnosis of Hyperparathyroidism

Diagnosing  hyperparathyroidism is not always easy. The symptoms often mimic other more common ailments, and many sufferers ignore them until they become severe. Some of the common ways these diseases are diagnosed include:

  • Blood tests – Doctors can use blood tests to check the calcium levels in the blood. If the calcium levels are too high or too low, they can determine if a patient is suffering from hyperparathyroidism.

Hyperparathyroidism can also be diagnosed with:


Treatments for hyperparathyroidism are aimed at reducing the number of parathyroid hormones released into the body and restoring calcium levels. These treatments include:

  • Surgery – The parathyroid glands may be removed to reduce the number of hormones released.
  • Medication – Oral medications can suppress the thyroid to prevent it from releasing too many hormones.
  • Calcium supplement – These can help keep calcium levels at a safe level.
  • Bisphosphonates – They help prevent too much calcium from being lost and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.


Once treatment has been administered for either hyperparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism, the prognosis is good. Sufferers must be continuously monitored to make sure the treatments are working and calcium levels are staying at safe numbers.



Medline Plus

Endocrinology, Hyperparathyroidism

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