• Parathyroid Glands

    Calcium Correctors

Parathyroid Glands

Calcium Correctors

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.”

The Role of Parathyroid Hormone (PTH)

Your parathyroid glands monitor the calcium in your blood. If your calcium level gets a little low, the parathyroids add some parathyroid hormone (PTH) to your blood. PTH goes looking for calcium in your body and draws it into your bloodstream. If your diet has a good supply of calcium in it, PTH will retrieve some from your intestines. It will also draw some calcium from your bones.

If your calcium level gets a little high, the parathyroids dramatically reduce their production of PTH. Vitamin D then helps the bones reabsorb some of that calcium. Your kidneys filter out and get rid of the rest.

Calcium That’s Just Right

Usually, your parathyroid glands do their one important job very well, to the benefit of your overall health and wellness. You work, you rest, you think, you play, and your body stays in good balance. You don’t need to think much about your parathyroids or even know that you have them.

Only when one of your parathyroids becomes overactive do we sometimes have to pay attention and take action to make things right. Learn more about that in Hyperparathyroidism: High Calcium Consequences.