PTH is ParaThyroid Hormone. This is not Thyroid. The Parathyroid glands live next to the thyroid gland. They are like 4 spots on the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland’s wings. But their function is totally different
High PTH warns us that not enough Calcium is being absorbed from diet and/or supplements. When not enough calcium is being absorbed, the blood calcium level drops. If the blood calcium drops too low, you will die. The Parathyroid glands prevent that. The Parathyroid glands’ job is to steal calcium from your bones.
Recently researchers have discovered that the flow of calcium into and out of bone keeps a very delicate balance of calcium in the blood. Calcium level is crucial in many areas, especially in nerve and muscle function. Bones are a lot more important to all parts of the body than anyone knew.
Chronic high PTH (HyperParathyroidism) will keep stealing calcium from your bones until they crumble away. This becomes severe osteoporosis. This is bad. We can prevent this,but only if we know it is happening. That is why we check PTH.
Next time, the different types of hyperparathyroidism, what they mean, and how we can correct them.
Jay Ginther, MD