Parathyroid glands are small endocrine glands which are four in number present near the neck region. They are about the size of a small pea. They cling at the base of the thyroid gland two on each lobe of the thyroid gland, curving back to the trachea.
The function of the parathyroid glands is to regulate the level of calcium and other elements which are required in regulated amounts in the blood stream and other tissues.
These glands regulate the metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.
The parathyroid gland secretes two hormones namely parathormone and calcitonin.
Parathormone : It is secreted when the calcium level is low in the blood.
Calcitonin : It is secreted when the calcium level is too high in the blood. Both these hormones work by controlling the interchange of calcium between the bones and the blood.
When there is defect in parathyroid gland, it results in a disorder named as Tetany.
Tetany : Tetany is a chronic or acute case of muscle spasms. This can be controlled by administering the synthetic parathyroid like chemicals or concentrated vitamin D preparations.
If parathyroid glands are removed, there will be disturbance in the regulation of calcium levels in the blood,and may lead to different levels of Tetany. It can be controlled by giving the synthetic hormones and vitamin D supplements for regulating the levels of calcium in the blood and body tissues.
Symptoms of any kind of disorder of the parathyroid glands include muscle weakness and low levels of calcium in the blood leading to Tetany.