Your parathyroid glands have one very specific job in your body, and most of the time they do it very well. That job? To keep a healthy level of calcium in your blood.
You probably know about the importance of calcium for healthy bones. Maybe you drink milk or eat yogurt or take a calcium supplement to make sure your bones stay strong. But a healthy calcium level is also important for your nervous system, your muscles (including your heart), your blood pressure, and your kidneys. When the calcium level of your blood stays in the normal range of about 9 to 10 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), you are more likely to have a healthy heart, strong bones, more energy, good blood pressure, and an overall sense of wellbeing.
That healthy range of calcium in your blood is managed by your parathyroid glands. You have four of them, all in your neck, located near your thyroid glands. That’s why they’re called “parathyroid,” which simply means “beside the thyroid.”