Arizona Transplant Associates, PC
2218 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
phone: (602) 252-2543, fax: (602) 252-3861
Health Topics
About Endocrine Glands

Endocrine glands release hormones into the blood stream of the body. Some important areas of the endocrine glands are the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. The thyroid and parathyroid glands are located inside a person's neck while the adrenal glands are located in the abdominal region. Doctors Koep, Cashman and Brink perform surgery on the parathyroid and adrenal glands.

The only function of the thyroid gland is to make thyroid hormone which affects nearly all areas of the body because its job is to regulate the body's metabolism. The parathyroid glands are situated behind the thyroid in the neck however their function is not related. While the thyroid secrets thyroid hormone, the parathyroid's role is to regulate the level of calcium in the body. When a person's blood calcium level reaches below a certain point, calcium-sensing receptors in the parathyroid gland are activated to release parathyroid hormone into the blood and regulate calcium levels. Some times this regulation of calcium levels and production of parathyroid hormone does not function as it should.

Please view our adrenal glands page to learn more about the adrenal glands and diseases that affect them.

Diseases of the Endocrine Glands

While there are various diseases of the endocrine glands, the parathyroid is mainly affected by one major disease, hyperparathyroidism.

  • Hyperparathyroidism - A condition in which the parathyroid gland produces too much parathyroid hormone which depletes the body of necessary calcium. This can lead to severe osteoporosis, bone fractures, kidney stones and other health issues related to calcium production.
  • Parathyroid adenoma - A non-cancerous tumor of the parathyroid glands. Growth of this benign tumor is the most common cause of hyperparathyroidism.
Treatments Provided by Arizona Transplant Associates
  • Parathyroidectomy - During this procedure, the surgeon removes one or more of the parathyroid glands. Then the doctors monitors blood calcium levels to see if they return to acceptable levels.
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