What is hypoparathyroidism?
Hypoparathyroidism is a condition in which the body doesn't make enough parathyroid hormone (PTH).
This hormone regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus in your body's bones and blood. Decreased levels of PTH lead to low levels of calcium and high levels of phosphorus in the blood. This imbalance can lead to problems with bones, muscles, skin, and nerve endings.
What causes hypoparathyroidism?
The most common cause of hypoparathyroidism is injury to the parathyroid glands, such as during head and neck surgery. Parathyroid glands are small endocrine glands that are located in the neck behind the thyroid gland.
It other cases, hypoparathyroidism is present at birth or may be associated with an autoimmune disease that affects the parathyroids along with other glands in the body, such as the thyroid, ovaries, or adrenal glands.
Hypoparathyroidism is very rare. It is different from hyperparathyroidism, a much more common condition in which the body makes too much PTH.
What are the symptoms of hypoparathyroidism?
Symptoms of hypoparathyroidism may include:
- Tingling in the lips, fingers, and toes
- Dry hair, brittle nails, and dry, coarse skin
- Muscle cramps and pain in the face, hands, legs, and feet
- Cataracts on the eyes
- Malformations of the teeth, including weakened tooth enamel and
misshapen roots of the teeth
- Loss of memory
- Severe muscle spasms (also called tetany) and convulsions
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