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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 small glands of the endocrine system typically the size of a grain of rice and found in the neck behind 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.

Most Common Parathyroid Disorders

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 or more 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.

Receiving Treatment for Parathyroid Disorders at the TGH Thyroid & Parathyroid Institute

As a patient at the TGH Thyroid & Parathyroid Institute, you will be evaluated by the world’s leading specialists in parathyroid treatment and surgery. Because our physicians focus exclusively on the surgical treatment of thyroid and parathyroid disorders, we have in-depth knowledge about all aspects of diagnosing and treating these conditions. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's Best Hospitals for Diabetes & Endocrinology in 2018-19, TGH is a destination for parathyroid patients from around the world. 

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.