Understanding Your Disease
What Is the Role of PTH?
The parathyroid glands play a role in tightly controlling calcium levels in the blood through the release of PTH. People with HypoPara may have reduced quality of life, which may be related in part to missing PTH.
How PTH acts to maintain calcium levels in the normal range
PTH helps maintain the balance of calcium in the blood and bones.
PTH signals the kidneys to keep calcium in your body and helps them convert vitamin D into the active form that works in the body.
Active vitamin D acts on the intestines, where it helps with the absorption of calcium.
PTH receptors are present in the brain. PTH may have an effect on cognitive function.
Missing PTH Can Affect Many Different Areas of the Body
The effects of hypoparathyroidism
- Trouble thinking (brain fog)
- Optic nerve swelling
- Abnormal tooth development
- Vocal cord spasms (laryngospasm)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart disease from low calcium
- Involuntary muscle movements
- Tingling in arms and legs
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- Calcium deposits in kidneys*
- Kidney stones*
- Chronic kidney disease*
- Dry skin
- Thinning hair
- Brittle nails
- Abnormal bone structure (such as increased bone mineral density)
- Muscle weakness
Adapted by permission from Springer Nature. Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 2017;3:17055. Hypoparathyroidism. Mannstadt M, et al. 2017.
“I have trouble recalling things and cannot perform simple tasks.”
— Person living with hypoparathyroidism.
Hypoparathyroidism Is a Rare Endocrine Disease
Most commonly occurs after neck surgery (such as a total thyroidectomy)
About 77,000 to 115,000*people in the US have hypoparathyroidism
*Based on estimates from a study of US healthcare claims from 2007 to 2008 that looked at the number of diagnoses related to hypoparathyroidism, along with the 2009 population-based Rochester Epidemiology Project that identified hypoparathyroidism diagnoses from medical records since 1945.