Parathyroid Conditions

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Parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone, which is important for the regulation of both calcium and phosphorous. Disorders of the parathyroid gland can disrupt the balance of calcium and phosphorous in the body. 

With proper diagnosis and skilled treatment, many patients are able to successfully manage their parathyroid conditions. UT Southwestern Medical Center’s experienced endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons expertly evaluate, diagnose, and treat parathyroid disease.

Specialized Care for Parathyroid Conditions

The parathyroid gland – located next to the thyroid gland – secretes parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium and phosphorus in our bodies. Despite its proximity to the thyroid gland, the parathyroid gland is a separate part of the endocrine system and can develop its own unique issues.

UT Southwestern’s skilled endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons treat parathyroid conditions that include:

  • Hyperparathyroidism: A condition in which parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone, often leading to elevated calcium levels in the blood  
  • Hypoparathyroidism: A rare disorder in which secretion of parathyroid hormone is too low
  • Parathyroid cancer: A rare cancer that arises in the parathyroid gland. These tumors often produce parathyroid hormone.

Diagnosis of Parathyroid Conditions

For people suspected of having a parathyroid condition, UT Southwestern endocrinologists conduct a complete history and physical examination.

This is usually followed by laboratory tests of blood and urine – to analyze levels of hormones, immunoglobulins, calcium, and phosphorus – and might include other lab tests.

Imaging studies might be used, such as neck ultrasound, nuclear medicine scanning of the parathyroid, and computed tomography (CT) scanning. Occasionally, fine needle aspiration from suspicious parathyroid tissue is performed.

Treatment of Parathyroid Conditions

The treatment of parathyroid gland disorders depends on the specific condition. UT Southwestern offers treatments that include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Medications to restore the body’s proper balance of calcium and phosphorous
  • Surgery – including minimally invasive procedures – to remove tumors
  • Surgery to remove the parathyroid gland