What Is Primary Hyperparathyroidism?

Primary hyperparathyroidism is a metabolic disorder in which one (or more) of the parathyroid glands produces too much parathyroid hormone, which can result in the loss of bone tissue.

Primary hyperparathyroidism affects about 100,000 people in the United States each year, and is more prevalent in women than in men.

A function of the parathyroid hormone is to keep blood-calcium levels from going too low by releasing calcium from bones, conserving calcium that would be excreted by the kidneys, and increasing calcium absorption from food. When the hormone overacts, the result is a rise in the blood-calcium level.

When one parathyroid gland becomes enlarged, the condition is called adenoma. When more than one becomes enlarged, the condition is called hyperplasia. Both of these conditions are benign (non-cancerous).

Too much parathyroid hormone causes too much calcium to be released from bone.

Did you know?

The parathyroid glands are located in the neck, near the thyroid gland. These glands are responsible for calcium regulation.

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