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Parathyroid Glands



Introduction


The parathyroid glands are four small glands located in the neck, near the thyroid gland. They are responsible for regulating the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body.


Each parathyroid gland contains cells called parathyroid cells, which produce a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH helps to maintain the proper levels of calcium in the blood by increasing the absorption of calcium from the diet and decreasing the loss of calcium through the kidneys. PTH also helps to release calcium from the bones into the bloodstream when needed.


The parathyroid glands are regulated by the levels of calcium in the body. When the level of calcium in the blood falls too low, the parathyroid glands release more PTH to increase the level of calcium in the blood. When the level of calcium in the blood is normal or high, the parathyroid glands reduce their production of PTH.





Types of parathyroid glands


There are four parathyroid glands in the human body, located in the neck near the thyroid gland. They are typically referred to as the "superior parathyroid glands" and the "inferior parathyroid glands," with two of each type. The superior parathyroid glands are located near the top of the thyroid gland, while the inferior parathyroid glands are located near the bottom of the thyroid gland.


Each parathyroid gland is composed of cells called parathyroid cells, which produce parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH helps to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. The parathyroid glands are regulated by the levels of calcium in the body, and they produce more PTH when the level of calcium in the blood falls too low and less PTH when the level of calcium in the blood is normal or high.


Problems with the parathyroid glands can lead to conditions such as hyperparathyroidism (too much PTH) and hypoparathyroidism (too little PTH). Hyperparathyroidism can cause high levels of calcium in the blood, leading to kidney stones, osteoporosis, and other problems. Hypoparathyroidism can cause low levels of calcium in the blood, leading to muscle spasms, tingling sensations, and other problems.

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