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Hypoparathyroidism, Idiopathic

Parathyroid gland anatomyWhat Is Idiopathic Hypoparathyroidism?

Idiopathic hypoparathyroidism is a metabolic condition that results from reduced secretion or impaired action of parathyroid hormone (PTH) which results in a combination of low calcium and elevated phosphorus levels in the body.

Calcium and phosphorus are minerals that act in opposition to each other in the body. Idiopathic means the cause is not known.

Parathyroid hormone is produced by the four pea sized parathyroid glands that are located on the thyroid gland in the front of the neck. Partly because the thyroid and parathyroid glands share the same anatomic place in the body and partly because they have similar names, they are often confused although they have completely different actions.

Q: What does parathyroid hormone do in the body?

A: This vital hormone maintains a correct balance of calcium and phosphorous in the bloodstream and ultimately has an effect on all organs because of the complexity of intracellular calcium physiology.1 

Parathyroid hormone is required to sustain life, therefore undetected or misdiagnosed hypoparathyroidism may pose a significant threat to health outcomes, as its presence may increase disease and mortality in affected individuals.

The clinical consequences of parathyroid hormone deficiency or impaired receptor action involve many body functions. In some patients, however, its manifestation may be non-specific, and in these cases the correct diagnosis may be easily missed.

Digestive manifestations of hypoparathyroidism are few and consist mainly of steatorrhea due to insufficient meal-stimulated cholecystokinin secretion by the duodenal mucosa.2

Laboratory measurements show hypocalcemia (low blood calcium level), hyperphosphatemia (high blood phosphate level), and inappropriately low or undetectable parathyroid hormone levels. Treatment consists of oral calcium supplementation and vitamin D derivatives.3

Idiopathic hypoparathyroidism is rare, although there is a growing incidence of the autoimmune form of hypoparathyroidism, which may occur in combination with other autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease.

What Is Idiopathic Hypoparathyroidism In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Abboud B, Daher R, Boujaoude J. Digestive manifestations of parathyroid disorders. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Sep 28;17(36):4063-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i36.4063. 

  2. Abboud B, Daher R, Boujaoude J. Digestive manifestations of parathyroid disorders. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Sep 28;17(36):4063-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i36.4063. 

  3. Krysiak R, Handzlik-Orlik G, Kedzia A, Machnik G, Okopień B. Hypoparathyroidism: the present state of art. Wiad Lek. 2013;66(1):18-29. 

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