Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What controls the release of the parathyroid hormone?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat controls the release of the parathyroid hormone?


My levels are low. What's causing this? I am a 38 year old.


Parathyroid hormone is secreted by the parathyroid glands which are paired endocrine glands (4 of them total) that sit on the back side of the thyroid gland. Parathyroid hormone is a polypeptide compound made up of 84 amino acids and acts to increase the concentration of calcium within the blood. It has a very short half-life (the amount of time it takes for 50% of the compound to degrade), approximately 4 minutes. Parathormone (parathyroid hormone) acts on 3 main tissues within the human body: bone (largest calcium resevoir within the body), the kidney, and the intestine. There is something called osteoclasts which break down bone and mobilize the calcium so that it can enter into the blood stream. PTH (parathyroid hormone) promotes the function of osteoclasts indirectly to help mobilize calcium. PTH also acts on something within the kidney called the distal tubules to promote calcium resorbtion, so that it is retained and not excreted in urine. Lastly, PTH increases calcium absorbtion within the intestine by increasing the amount of activated vitamin D which takes place in the kidney. I recommend discussing your own personal case with your primary care physician or endocrinologist in order to determine why your PTH levels are low. I hope this helps.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.