The parathyroid glands are several (usually four) tiny glands, located next to or behind the thyroid gland in the neck. They help control the amount of calcium in the blood. Normal calcium levels help maintain muscle control and the blood's ability to clot.
Enlarged parathyroid glands can cause excess levels of parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism), which may lead to excess calcium in the blood. Surgery may be needed to treat this problem.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.