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It is possible that the main title of the report Hypoparathyroidism is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Hypoparathyroidism is a rare condition in which the parathyroid glands fail to produce sufficient amounts of parathyroid hormone or the parathyroid hormone produced lacks biologic activity. The parathyroid glands are part of the endocrine system, the network of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to various areas of the body. These hormones regulate the chemical processes (metabolism) that influence the function of various organs and activities within the body. Hormones are involved in numerous vital processes including regulating heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure as well as cell differentiation and growth and also in modulation of several metabolic processes. Parathyroid hormone (along with vitamin D and the hormone calcitonin, which is produced by the thyroid gland) plays a role in regulating the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Due to a deficiency of parathyroid hormone, individuals may exhibit abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia) and high levels of phosphorus (hyperphosphatemia).

Hypocalcemia can cause a variety of symptoms including weakness, muscle cramps, excessive nervousness, headaches, and/or uncontrollable twitching and cramping spasms of certain muscles such as those of the hands, feet, arms, legs, and/or face (tetany). Numbness and tingling around the mouth and in the fingers and toes can also occur. The most common cause of hypoparathyroidism is damage to or removal of the parathyroid glands due to surgery for another condition. Hypoparathyroidism can also be caused by an autoimmune process or can occur for unknown reasons (idiopathic) or in association with a number of different underlying disorders.

In rare cases, hypoparathyroidism may occur as a genetic disorder. Such cases can include familial hypoparathyroidism, which may be inherited as an autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant or X-linked recessive trait. NORD has a separate report on familial isolated hypoparathyroidism.


Hypoparathyroidism Association, Inc.
PO Box 2258
Idaho Falls, ID 83403
Tel: (866)213-0394
Fax: (205)524-3857
Tel: (866)213-0394

Thyroid Foundation of Canada
P.O. Box 298
Bath ON K0H 1G0,
Fax: 5146309815
Tel: 8002678822

Endocrine Society
8401 Connecticut Ave
Suite 900
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Tel: (301)941-0200
Fax: (301)941-0259
Tel: (888)363-6274

American Thyroid Association
6066 Leesburg Pike, Suite 550
Falls Church, VA 22041
Tel: (703)998-8890
Fax: (703)998-8893

Hormone Health Network
8401 Connecticut Avenue
Suite 900
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-5817
Fax: (310)941-0259
Tel: (800)467-6663

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 4/2/2014
Copyright 1989, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2011, 2014 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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