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Calcium and Parathyroid Disorders

Calcium is a mineral that our bodies need in order to maintain strong bones and teeth, help nerves work properly and maintain a healthy blood pressure. Calcium levels are regulated through the secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) from the parathyroid glands which are located in the neck. The parathyroid glands can, however, be affected by conditions similar to the thyroid and other glands leading to too much or too little production of parathyroid hormone. Primary hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which too much parathyroid hormone from the parathyroid glands leads to elevated calcium levels. High calcium levels in the blood can cause weakness, increased thirst and urination, nausea, constipation, kidney stones and weak bones. Depending on the patient's age, symptoms, bone strength and laboratory findings the endocrinologist may recommend surgery, observation or medications.

Hypocalcemia is a decreased blood calcium level that can cause tingling and numbness throughout the body, as well as muscle twitching. Treatment for this condition depends on the cause.

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