Krisha McCoy, MS
The parathyroid glands are four pea-sized glands. They are located next to the thyroid gland in the neck. The glands secrete the parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH helps to regulate the level of calcium in the blood.
In hypoparathyroidism, there is not enough PTH secreted. This causes low levels of calcium in the blood. Low blood calcium is known as hypocalcemia.
Hypoparathyroidism may be caused by:
In some cases, a cause cannot be found.
Factors that may increase your chance of hypoparathyroidism include:
Hypoparathyroidism does not always cause symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Calcium and vitamin D will usually be taken indefinitely. They are often taken by mouth.
Calcium may be given by injection. This is done when immediate symptom relief is needed.
There are no current guidelines to prevent hypoparathyroidism.
Hypoparathyroidism Association, Inc.
NORD—National Organization for Rare Disorders
Canadian Society of Endocrinology & Metabolism
Definition of hypoparathyroidism and related disorders. The Hypoparathyroidism Association website. Available at:
https://www.hypopara.org/about-hpth/definition.html. Accessed September 30, 2014.
Hypoparathyroidism. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114796/Hypoparathyroidism. Updated September 15, 2015. Accessed September 27, 2016.
Hypoparathyroidism. National Organization for Rare Disorders website. Available at:
http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/703/viewFullReport. Updated April 2, 2014. Accessed September 30, 2014.
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Last reviewed September 2015 by James Cornell, MD
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