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