Parathyroid Hormone (PTH)
In order to diagnose parathyroid disease, your physician will need to assess the function of your parathyroid glands, which are four, pea-shaped structures located in your neck.
When working properly, your parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates calcium levels in your blood. If calcium blood levels fall below a certain point, the parathyroid glands secrete PTH into the bloodstream, signaling calcium levels to increase. However if calcium blood levels rise above a certain point, your glands will halt production of PTH.
About the PTH Test
If you have high calcium or low phosphorus levels in your blood, or severe osteoporosis that does not respond to treatment, your parathyroid function may need to be checked through a PTH test. In order to perform a PTH test, a blood sample will be drawn with a needle.
Normal PTH values range from 10 to 55 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL). Test results that show too much PTH in your blood could indicate hyperparathyroidism; results that show too little PTH could indicate hypoparathyroidism. Your physician will fully explain your test results, as well as any further testing or treatment that may be necessary.