What is Hypoparathyroidism?

Hypoparathyroidism is a rare endocrine disorder that occurs when the parathyroid glands in the neck produce too little parathyroid hormone. The parathyroid hormone regulates calcium-phosphate balance in the body, and when this hormone falls out of balance, calcium levels in the body can become dangerously low. Hypoparathyroidism also affects phosphorus and magnesium levels.

Causes of Hypoparathyroidism

Hypoparathyroidism can be caused by many different conditions. The most common cause is surgical removal of the parathyroid glands, which may occur during neck or thyroid surgery. Other causes can include autoimmune issues, genetic problems, magnesium deficiency, or damage to the parathyroid glands from radiation therapy.

Symptoms of Hypoparathyroidism

Common symptoms of hypoparathyroidism include:

  • Muscle cramping
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, your doctor may order blood tests to check for low calcium levels. In some cases, an MRI or CT scan may be used to examine the parathyroid glands. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment typically includes calcium and vitamin D supplements and possibly medications. Surgery may be necessary to treat underlying causes or to replace the parathyroid gland.


Hypoparathyroidism is a rare but serious disorder of the endocrine system. Recognizing the symptoms of hypoparathyroidism and seeking medical attention early is key to successful treatment and managing the condition.