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Information About Parathyroid Disorders

Parathyroid disorders are characterized by any abnormal functioning or condition regarding the parathyroid glands. Parathyroid glands are four pea-sized organs found in the neck near the thyroid. These glands control body calcium by producing parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps the body use and store calcium to help keep calcium in the blood at a normal level.

In general, parathyroid disorders are fairly uncommon. However, some of the most common parathyroid disorders include:

  • Hyperparathyroidism – Also called parathyroid disease, this condition is characterized by the overproduction of PTH. Hyperparathyroidism is typically caused when a benign (noncancerous) tumor, called an adenoma, forms on one of the parathyroid glands. When the parathyroid glands produce too much PTH, this releases too much calcium in the blood, a serious and life-threatening condition called hypercalcemia.
  • Hypoparathyroidism – This rare condition is characterized by the underproduction of PTH. Symptoms include tingling or burning in the fingertips, toes, and lips; muscle aches and cramps; twitching and spasms of the mouth muscles; fatigue and weakness; and patchy hair loss. This condition can typically be resolved by taking oral calcium supplements. 
  • Parathyroid cancer – Parathyroid cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of a parathyroid glands. Symptoms of this disease include weakness, fatigue, trouble swallowing, and a lump in the neck.

The TGH Thyroid & Parathyroid Institute treats patients affected by parathyroid disorders. TGH, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's Best Hospitals for Diabetes & Endocrinology, utilizes leading-edge technologies and takes a multi-specialty approach to treatment for all individuals affected by a parathyroid disorder.

Click here to watch a video of a minimally invasive radioguided parathyroid surgery.

Click here to watch a video about one TGH patient’s experience at the Parathyroid Center.