The parathyroid is a small group of grain sized glands located at the rear of the thyroid. They have only one function and that is to produce calcium and phosphates at a very precise level for proper heart, nervous system and bone health. Parathyroid gland function has no similarities to the thyroid gland hosting it, but it has a great impact on how the thyroid works.
The small parathyroids produce a hormone called PTH, or parathormones. The amount of this hormone regulates how much the thyroid produces. Too little parathormone and the thyroid will not create enough metabolism hormones creating the common hypothyroidism. Too much parathromone and the opposite, hyperthyroidism, occurs.
About Proper Parathyroid Gland Function
The Importance of the Calcium from Proper Parathyroid Gland Function
Most of the time when we think of the importance of calcium in our body we think of bone density and strength. That is a function of the calcium in our system, but not its primary function. The main job of calcium in our blood is to keep our nervous system functioning properly. Even a minor fluctuation in calcium in the blood can cause serious mood swings, difficulty concentrating or remembering important events. The purpose of the parathyroid gland is to keep calcium at an exact level. The range of production is very small. Levels are produced between 9.0 and 10.1 to keep the electrical currents that travel along our nerves flowing properly.
How Low Levels of Calcium from Improper Parathyroid Gland Function Affects Patients
A sudden drop in calcium in the blood creates a foggy disorientation. Ignoring the disease makes the effects more severe and memory and concentration problems are common as well as numbness in the limbs, fatigue, irritability and sleep problems. The signs of a poorly functioning parathyroid also include:
- Persistent headaches
- Bowel changes
- Changes in heart rate
- Lack of sex drive
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Weight loss or gain
Prompt treatment for improper parathyroid gland function results in fast and complete recovery from all of the symptoms and removes the risk of the more severe complications that can occur from the disease. Surgery is the usual recommendation for the treatment of the disease. Removing even three of the glands has no effect on the quality of life of the patient following surgery. Since all of the four glands have the same function, it is possible to live a healthy life with just one gland.
If you have questions or concerns about parathyroid problems make an appointment to see our thyroid surgeon.
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