What is PTH?

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What is PTH?
PTH or parathyroid hormone is a hormone that is considered very important in regulating blood levels of phosphorus and calcium. It is a type of protein hormone and is produced by the parathyroid glands. Its release is said to depend on the calcium levels of the body. When there is low calcium concentration in the blood, the parathyroid glands release PTH. High calcium levels meanwhile will stop the release of PTH into the blood stream.

PTH’s release based on calcium levels is said to be a very important physiological process for the body. PTH mobilizes calcium levels from the bone to the blood. It also helps in calcium absorption in the small intestines and helps in activating Vitamin D production. And because of PTH, less calcium is excreted in the urine. And with less calcium excretion, the opposite happens with phosphates from the intestines.

When there is imbalance in the amount of PTH circulating in the blood, one may have hyper or hypo – parathyroidism. Hypothyroidism refers to a condition involving low levels of PTH in the blood. This may be due to some autoimmune disease, genetic abnormalities at birth, or some surgical accident that resulted to the removal of the parathyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism meanwhile involves higher than normal levels of PTH in the blood. If this condition involves the parathyroid gland itself, it is called primary hyperparathyroidism. And if it involves the structures outside of the parathyroid gland, it is called secondary hyperparathyroidism. The primary type is commonly caused by a tumor in the parathyroid gland called adenoma, leading to hypercalcemia, stones in the kidneys, and bone decalcification. Secondary types meanwhile may be due to some kidney disorders, or from improper or unbalanced nutrition.

PTH levels can be determined through various blood tests. If abnormalities are noted, immediate consultation with a physician is advised.

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