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Endocrinology (Diabetes and Metabolism) >
Your Marshfield Clinic Endocrinologist can diagnose and treat this condition and all other problems on the endocrine system.
Hypoparathyroidism occurs when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are underactive. You have 4 of these tiny glands.
Each one is about the size of a grain of rice. They are found in your neck, next to the thyroid gland.
They keep the amount of calcium in your blood in a normal range.
They also keep the levels of magnesium and phosphorus normal. If these glands are underactive, they do not make enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). This lowers the level of calcium in your blood.
Symptoms are different for each person. These are the most common ones:
Uncontrollable, painful spasms of your face, hands, arms, and feet
A burning or prickling feeling (pins and needles) in your hands and feet, and around your mouth
These symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
How old you are
Your overall health and past health
How sick you are
How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
How long the condition is expected to last
Your opinion or preference
An IV (intravenous) infusion of calcium may be able to ease your symptoms right away. You may also need to take calcium and vitamin D pills every day.
Hypoparathyroidism happens when 1 or more of your parathyroid glands are not active enough. They don’t make enough parathyroid hormone. This lowers the level of calcium in your blood.
The most common cause is injury to or removal of all 4 parathyroid glands. That can accidentally happen during surgery to remove the thyroid.
Symptoms may include painful spasms of your face, hands, arms, and feet. They may also include a burning or prickling feeling in your hands and feet, and around your mouth.
Blood tests can spot low levels of calcium and parathyroid hormones.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
If this is a medical emergency, call 911.
(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
If you have diabetes, taking steps right away to control it will help you avoid complications that may come up later. This multiple-choice quiz will help you with important answers now. It is based on information from the American Diabetes Association, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the CDC.