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Parathyroid Disease

Parathyroid glands are small glands of the endocrine system that are located behind the thyroid.

There are four parathyroid glands. The sole purpose of the parathyroid glands is to regulate the calcium level in our bodies within a very narrow range so that the nervous and muscular systems can function properly. Although they are both part of the endocrine system, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are otherwise unrelated.

The single major disease of parathyroid glands is overactivity of one or more of the parathyroids (hyperparathyroidism).  This condition causes one or more of the parathyroid glands to make excessive amounts of hormone regardless of whether the level of calcium is normal.

The most common treatment for hyperparathyroidism is surgical removal of the overactive, enlarged gland.