What is the parathyroid gland and its functions?

The four glands in the neck that create parathyroid hormone are parathyroids, which help the body maintain a balance between calcium and phosphorus. If they have excessive or meager hormones, the balance can be altered.

parathyroid gland function

The balance between calcium and phosphorus can be affected if the parathyroid glands make too many or too few hormones. The first case is known as hyperparathyroidism, in which the level of calcium in the blood increases. 

In some cases, a benign tumor in these glands can increase their activity. In others, the excess of hormones can cause an increase in their size and, in more isolated cases, even develop cancer.

If not enough hormones are produced, the pathology is known as hypoparathyroidism, where the calcium content in the blood is insufficient, and the phosphorus content is excessive. Its causes can be lesions in the glands, endocrine disorders, or genetic conditions.

Pathologies that the parathyroid gland can suffer

The parathyroid gland can develop three pathologies: hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, and cancer.

Hyperparathyroidism: calcium levels in the blood are increased. The symptoms vary, including suffering from fragility in the bones that can cause their brittle breakage, Kidney stones, frequent urination, abdominal pain, exhaustion or weakness, depression or forgetfulness, and bone and joint pain symptoms of kidney stones.

Hypoparathyroidism levels of calcium in the blood and an excess of phosphorus. Numbness around the lips, hands, and feet, spasms, seizures, low blood pressure, mental instability, anxiety or depression, dental difficulties, and rough or brittle hair are some of the symptoms.

Cancer: the symptoms to detect cancer in the parathyroid gland are difficulty speaking or swallowing, muscle weakness, increased calcium levels in the blood, and if the patient finds a lump in the neck.

Treatments for pathologies of the parathyroid gland

Hyperparathyroidism: to combat this pathology, specialists use fluid intake to prevent the formation of kidney stones, recommend the patient to exercise, avoid diuretics or undergo surgery to remove the parathyroid glands.

Hypoparathyroidism treatment aims to restore the body’s calcium and mineral equilibrium. If the physician believes it necessary, calcium carbonate, vitamin D supplements, and PTH injections can treat it.

Some of its symptoms, such as seizures or spasms, may also be treated separately.

Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are the most effective cancer therapies, yet the specialist will always choose the most effective treatment for each instance.

A specialist who treats pathologies of the parathyroid gland

The specialists who can treat the pathologies found in the parathyroid gland are the experts in General Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Endocrinology, and Otorhinolaryngology. 

Depending on the case and the patient’s situation, it will be a specialist or another who will develop the diagnosis and subsequent treatment for the affected person.