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Hyperparathyroidism Definition & Overview


The parathyroid glands are four small glands in the neck. They secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH controls the level of calcium in the blood.

In hyperparathyroidism too much PTH is secreted. This causes high levels of calcium in the blood. High calcium is known as hypercalcemia. The condition is classified as being:

  • Primary hyperparathyroidism—most common form
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism—occurs in patients with kidney failure or a severe vitamin D deficient state
  • Tertiary hyperparathyroidism—also occurs in patients with kidney failure or a severe vitamin D deficient state

Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: Posterior (Back) View

© 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2021 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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