What causes elevated parathyroid levels?

Joane Goodroe

Answer provided by Dr. James Normal of the Norman Parathyroid Center:

"The most common cause of excess hormone production (hyperparathyroidism) is the development of a benign tumor in one of the parathyroid glands. This enlargement of one parathyroid gland is called a parathyroid adenoma which accounts for about 94 percent of all patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. This out of control parathyroid gland is essentially never cancerous (less than one in 1000 is cancer---essentially all of them are benign tumors), however, it slowly causes damage to the body because it induces an abnormally high level of calcium in the blood which can slowly destroy a number of tissues."


Calcium level in the body is regulated by the parathyroid gland. Normally low calcium level in the body signals the gland to release parathyroid hormone(PTH) and once the calcium level is back to normal the gland stops releasing PTH. However, when a tumor or cancer arises from the parathyroid gland this auto-regulation is broken and PTH release is unchecked.

For additional information, please refer to www.endocrine  

Parathyroid gland

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.