Location of the parathyroid gland

The parathyroid glands are four, very small glands found in the neck behind the thyroid gland. Each gland is about 3-4 mm in size.

Functions/Roles of the parathyroid gland

The main role of the parathyroid glands is to produce hormones that regulate calcium levels in the blood. Calcium is critical for bone development, bone strength and density, muscle contractions, kidney and heart function. Calcium is also needed by the brain to help nerve cells communicate with each other.

Hormones produced by the parathyroid gland


Keeping parathyroid hormones in balance

The parathyroid glands self-monitor the levels of calcium in the blood. When calcium levels drop too low, the parathyroid glands make more PTH. If calcium levels get too high, the parathyroid glands make less PTH. This keeps calcium levels in the blood within a tight range.

Common Problems / Disorders of the Parathyroid Gland




Primary Hyperparathyroidism



Page last reviewed on 2 Mar 2023