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Primary Hyperparathyroidism

The body’s parathyroid glands—four pea-sized glands in the neck—produce parathyroid hormone (PTH). Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a condition in which an overactive parathyroid gland makes too much PTH.

PTH keeps calcium at a normal level in the blood, so it can do its job in the body. For example, calcium helps nerves work properly and maintains a healthy blood pressure. When blood calcium gets low, PTH brings it back to normal by moving calcium from the bones, kidneys, and intestines into the blood.

Too much PTH causes more calcium to be released from the bones, and raises levels of calcium in the blood and urine above normal. Over time, this can result in osteoporosis (weak bones that break easily), kidney stones (small clumps of calcium), and a decline in kidney function.

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The Hormone Foundation

Dr. Lysette Iglesias M.D.

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