What Are The Parathyroids?
The parathyroids are 4 tiny glands located behind your thyroid in the neck. These glands manage the calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood by releasing parathyroid hormones (PTH) into the bloodstream. Parathyroid hormones help your muscular system and nervous system function properly. The parathyroids are constantly balancing your hormone levels. Your parathyroid glands increase or decrease the amount of parathyroid hormones being released, depending on your body’s needs. If calcium levels are low, then your parathyroids will produce more parathyroid hormones. If calcium levels are too high, then less parathyroid hormones will be released. By doing so, your parathyroid glands help maintain homeostasis throughout your body. In some cases, however, your parathyroid hormone levels may become unbalanced. This can lead to the development of parathyroid disorders.
What Are Some Common Parathyroid Disorders In NYC?
The most common parathyroid condition is known as hyperparathyroidism. This disorder occurs when your parathyroid glands are overactive and produce too many parathyroid hormones, which can create abnormally high levels of calcium in your blood. Hyperparathyroidism can be caused by dysfunctional parathyroids (primary hyperparathyroidism) or an underlying condition like kidney failure (secondary hyperparathyroidism). If the disease is left untreated for a prolonged period of time, your parathyroids may begin making parathyroid hormones uncontrollably (tertiary hyperparathyroidism). Hyperparathyroidism can cause many complications that worsen over time if not properly treated.
Hypoparathyroidism is another parathyroid disorder that occurs when your parathyroids are underactive and produce too few parathyroid hormones, which leads to unnaturally low levels of calcium in your blood. Hypoparathyroidism is a rare condition that usually occurs as a complication of parathyroid surgery. Surgical removal of the parathyroid glands can lead to hypocalcemia (low calcium levels) and cause hypoparathyroidism. Though this condition is rarer than overactive parathyroids, it should not be ignored. Hypoparathyroidism can cause severe muscle spasms, lethargy, anxiety, and headaches.
Parathyroid growths are rare conditions in which a tumor grows inside one of the parathyroid glands. Most parathyroid growths are benign (non-cancerous). These tumors may disrupt the balance of parathyroid hormones being released into your blood. In some cases, parathyroid growths may be cancerous and spread to other areas of the body. Parathyroid surgery is usually recommended to remove benign and cancerous growths.