My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

Please visit the new WebMD Message Boards to find answers and get support.

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
Q.

What are the parathyroid glands?

 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

1,216 Answers
31,205 Helpful Votes
79 Followers
A.

The parathyroid glands are four pea-sized glands located on the thyroid gland in the neck. Occasionally, a person is born with one or more of the parathyroid glands embedded in the thyroid, in the thymus, or located elsewhere around this area. In most such cases, however, the glands function normally.

Though their names are similar, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are different glands. Each makes distinct hormones with specific functions. The parathyroid glands secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH), a substance that helps maintain the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body. PTH regulates the level of calcium in the blood, release of calcium from bone, absorption of calcium in the intestine, and excretion of calcium in the urine.

When the level of calcium in the blood falls too low, the parathyroid glands secrete just enough PTH to restore the blood calcium level.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

88 of 105 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Hyperparathyroidism