What’s the Difference Between the Thyroid and Parathyroid?
Despite having names, the thyroid and parathyroid play very different roles. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located below the Adam’s apple. This gland produces thyroid hormones, which are responsible for the regulation of many of our bodily functions, including metabolism, heart rate, growth and temperature.
The parathyroid typically includes four glands, which are located behind the thyroid. These glands work to produce parathyroid hormone (PHT) to regulate the body’s calcium and phosphorous. Together, the thyroid and parathyroid are a part of the endocrine system.
What is a Thyroid Disorder?
The most common forms of the thyroid disorders are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones. This can cause processes in the body to speed up, resulting in symptoms of weight loss, increased body temperature, feelings of nervousness, hair loss and frequent bowel movements. Hypothyroidism is the opposite and occurs when the thyroid under produces hormones. This disorder results in dry skin, brittle nails, sluggishness, depression, constipation and moderate weight gain.
What is a Parathyroid Disorder?
The parathyroid is also disrupted by the irregular production of hormones. When PHT is excreted in excess, that results in hyperparathyroidism. The symptoms of hyperparathyroidism include fragile bones, abdominal pain, kidney stones, joint pain, loss of appetite or chronic, undefined illness.
Hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon disorder where too little PHT is produced. As a result, you may experience tingling or burning in lips or fingertips, twitching and muscle spasms (particularly near the head, hands and throat), dry skin, headaches, memory loss and depression.
If you’ve experienced a combination of any of these symptoms or have reason to suspect you may have on of these disorders, visit a doctor of otolaryngology. To schedule a consultation with one of Houston’s best ENT professionals, contact us today! Our ENT team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders, including thyroid and parathyroid surgery. Learn more about our services by calling Center for ENT at 713-795-5343.