The parathyroid glands are small glands in the neck that are considered endocrine glands.

The are located near the thyroid gland.

Typically there are a total of 4 glands.

In some cases more or less glands have been seen.

Each gland is approximately the size of a grain of rice.

The parathyroid glands are somewhat superimposed onto the thyroid but the cells are largely different from the thyroid and are easily recognizable.

The function of the parathyroid is in regards to regulating calcium levels.

Calcium is largely important in the Muscular and Nervous systems to allow for muscular movement as well as nerve conduction.

PTH   -   Parathyroid hormone 

This protein is produced in the parathyroid gland.

PTH effects bone to either breakdown small areas of bone to release calcium or it can tell the intestines and kidneys to increase absorption of calcium.

PTH stimulates osteoclasts to break down bone and release calcium into the blood.

It also increases the absoption of calcium in the GI tract by activating vitamin D.

It affects the kidneys by keeping calcium from exiting the body in the urine.



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