Hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism is a condition caused by poor functioning of the parathyroid glands, which are the small glands that are located next to the thyroid gland in the neck. The parathyroid glands release a substance called parathyroid hormone that helps control the amount of calcium in the bloodstream.

When the parathyroid glands do not produce enough hormone, the amount of calcium in the blood decreases. Symptoms of hypoparathyroidism include uncontrolled, painful movements (spasms) of the face, hands, and feet; and seizures.

Treatment may include an injection of calcium to provide immediate relief, as well as lifelong supplements of calcium and vitamin D tablets.

Last Updated: April 7, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology & Metabolism

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