Back to Previous Page

Hypoparathyroidism

(Underactive Parathyroid)

Definition

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.
Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: Posterior (Back) View
si55550931 96472 1
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Hypoparathyroidism may be caused by:
In some cases, a cause cannot be found.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chances of hypoparathyroidism include:

Symptoms

Hypoparathyroidism does not always cause symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they may include:

Diagnosis

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:

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation

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.

Prevention

There are no current guidelines to prevent hypoparathyroidism.

RESOURCES

Hypoparathyroidism Association, Inc. http://www.hypoparathyroidism.org

National Organization for Rare Disorders http://www.rarediseases.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Society of Endocrinology & Metabolism http://www.endo-metab.ca

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

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 website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 2, 2014. Accessed September 30, 2014.

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.

Marx SJ. Hyperparathyroid and hypoparathyroid disorders. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:1863.

Moffett JM, Suliburk J. Parathyroid autotransplantation. Endocr Pract. 2011 Mar-Apr;17 Suppl 1:83-89.

Testini M, Gurrado A, et al. Hypoparathyroidism after total thyroidectomy. Minerva Chir. 2007 Oct;62(5):409-415.

Thakker RV. Genetic developments in hypoparathyroidism. Lancet. 2001;357:974.

Winer KK, Ko CW, et al. Long-term treatment of hypoparathyroidism: a randomized controlled study comparing parathyroid hormone (1-34) versus calcitriol and calcium. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003;88:4214-4220.

Revision Information