What is the Difference Between Thyroid and Parathyroid Gland

When evaluating patients with thyroid gland and parathyroid gland gland problems over the years, I have heard the same comments from them over and over again. At the top of the list is “ I did not evening know I had parathyroid gland glands ”, followed by “ what is the difference between my thyroid and parathyroid gland glands, do they do the lapp things ? ” .
This is apprehensible since everybody has heard of a thyroid gland, but most people don ’ triiodothyronine even know they have a parathyroid gland gland ( or 4 of them ). The thyroid and parathyroid gland glands, while sharing like names ( more on this belated ), have no functional relationship at all – they do completely different but equally authoritative things to keep your body working properly. Let ’ s take a look at the differences between thyroid and parathyroid gland glands .

The Difference Between Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands

Difference #1 Between Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: They have completely different functions 

Our Thyroid Gland’s Job

We all have one thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck. While this gland is relatively humble ( about the size of a walnut in most of us—located on both sides of the trachea ), it has a very authoritative job, which is to control our body ’ s metamorphosis – its production of the energy the drive all the processes and functions that keep us going. Your thyroid gland uses tincture of iodine from the foods you eat and combines it with the amino acid tyrosine to produces two hormones, triiodothyronine ( T3 – 3 iodine atoms ) and thyroxine ( T4 – 4 iodine atoms ). While your thyroid gland produces significantly more T4 than T3, T4 is converted to T3 in other tissues in your body ( such as the liver ), with T3 being 3-4 times more potent than T4.

Your brain, specifically the pituitary, gland controls how much thyroid hormone your thyroid secretes with another hormone – thyroid gland stimulating hormone ( TSH ). When your body needs more thyroid hormone, the pituitary secretes more TSH, which in turn tells your thyroid gland to make and secrete more T4 and T3 ( figure1 ). basically every cell in our bodies relies on thyroid hormone to control its metabolism – the conversion of oxygen and calories into energy .

Our Parathyroid Gland’s Job

Most of us have four parathyroid gland glands ( in rare cases we can have more than four ). This is a excess system, with all four glands producing the same hormone – parathyroid gland hormone ( PTH ). PTH has one job, which is to regulate the levels of calcium in our bloodstream. While this may not sound like an crucial job, calcium is closely involved in many crucial biological functions. For example, the summons of heart conduction involves a tightly regulated flow of calcium ( and other ) ions in and out of the heart cells throughout our body. additionally, muscle contraction relies on a exchangeable procedure of regulated flow of calcium ( and other ) ions in and out of our muscle cells. calcium is therefore significant for the proper function of our musculoskeletal system, our cardiovascular system, and our nervous systems .
It is convention for calcium levels to fluctuate to some degree in our bloodstream, depending upon how much our body is using and how much we have taken in through our diet, etc. This is no problem within a certain roll of assiduity. however, when the concentration of calcium drops below a set luff, the cells in our parathyroid gland glands sense this and secrete PTH in response. This hormone then does three main things to increase the concentration of calcium in our bloodstream. First, PTH activates cells in your bones ( called osteoclasts ), which then break down bone mineral releasing calcium from the bones into the blood. PTH besides acts within the kidneys sol less calcium is filtered into our urine and stays rather within our bloodstream. ultimately, PTH converts vitamin D from its less active form ( 25-hydroxy vitamin D ) to its more active kind ( 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D ). This activated vitamin D facilitates absorption of calcium in your intestines. Once the calcium concentration is bet on improving where we need it, our parathyroid gland glands once again sense this and PTH secretion slows down .
There you have it – a crash run in thyroid and parathyroid gland physiology and how they are different. Learn more about parathyroid gland glands here .

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Difference #2 Between Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: Their location within the neck

Normal Locations for the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands

The thyroid gland and parathyroid gland glands live reasonably conclude to each early in the low part of our necks. The thyroid gland is draped over the trachea ( trachea ), with a exit and right lobe connected in the center field by a bridge of thyroid tissue called the isthmus. It is situated about half an column inch below our “ Adams Apple ” ( thyroid cartilage ), is butterfly shaped, and in most people is about the size of a walnut. The thyroid is held in this position by a firm band of connection weave between itself and the trachea, angstrom well as the blood vessels feeding into and out of it .
The parathyroid gland glands typically are located in close proximity to the thyroid gland gland, and are much smaller in size. A convention parathyroid gland gland ranges in size between a grain of rice and a kernel of corn. While these glands are much described as being “ behind ” the thyroid gland, this is a spot simplistic. As mentioned above, most people have four parathyroid gland glands – two embryonic upper glands and two embryologic lower glands. The upper glands are located further binding in the neck, so it is accurate to say in most cases that these glands are “ behind ” the thyroid gland – normally the upper separate of each lobe ( the upper berth pole ). The lower glands have more “ convention ” variability in where they are located, with common locations being behind, on the english, or precisely below the lower function of each lobe ( lower pole ). ( figure 2 )

Abnormal Locations for Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands

The above describes the homes of our thyroid and parathyroid gland glands in MOST people. however, both the thyroid gland and parathyroid gland glands can end up exist in some less common locations. This has to do with what happens when early on in our development ( embryology ). Our thyroid gland begins its development in the same tissue that becomes our tongue. As we develop, the thyroid gland moves down from the clapper through the floor of the mouth until it takes up its normal home as described above .
sometimes, though, things do not proceed as planned. A relatively common abnormality is for some thyroid weave to be left behind during the origin from the tongue. A rare happening is for the thyroid to never leave the mouth, with some people having their thyroid gland glands located in the rear of their tongues. besides rare is the thyroid gland gland migrating lower than it is supposed to and ending up entirely in the thorax. functionally, these errors during development are of no consequence. It merely becomes important if thyroid operation become necessary .
The parathyroid gland glands undergo a alike migration during embryology, with the tissue that becomes these glands beginning in what becomes our head and migrating south into their normal locations in the neck as described above. As with the thyroid, errors can occur during this migration with parathyroid gland glands ending up located well above the thyroid gland gland near the angle of the chew, well below the thyroid gland gland in the chest near the affection, hidden amongst the large vessels in the neck ( carotid artery and jugular vein ), or hidden inside the thyroid gland gland itself ( figure 3 ). When having surgery of the thyroid gland and parathyroid gland glands it is very authoritative to have a surgeon with intimate cognition and understand of the embryology and both normal and ectopic anatomy to ensure a successful consequence. Learn more about our technical thyroid gland and parathyroid gland surgeons here.

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Difference #3 Between Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: They develop different problems and diseases

Thyroid Problems

There are two main types of problems that can occur with your thyroid gland gland – morphologic problems and functional problems. structural problems include the development of one or more nodules within the thyroid or a generalized expansion of the thyroid. Nodules in the thyroid are coarse and by and large are nothing to worry about, but their bearing may lead to thyroid surgery if there is concern for thyroid gland cancer or if they become large adequate that they cause problems due to compression of the trachea or the esophagus. Learn more about thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer and thyroid surgery here : hypertext transfer protocol : //livingcorner.com.au
functional problems with the thyroid can be due to the production of excessively much or besides little thyroid hormone. The production of besides much thyroid hormone can be due to one or more thyroid nodules not following the rules and making excessively much hormone ( toxic nodule or toxic multinodular goiter ), Graves disease where antibodies attach to thyroid cells and activate the thyroid gland continuously, vitamin a well as some medications ( amiodarone ). hyperthyroidism can cause a murder of symptoms and health problems then treating it is important. This can involve checkup therapy ( most cases of Graves disease ) or surgical therapy ( toxic nodule or toxic multinodular goiter ) .
Making excessively little thyroid hormone is cause in most cases by an autoimmune condition. About 20 % of the population make antibodies to their own thyroid glands and lento destroy it. As more and more thyroid gland cells are killed by these antibodies, not enough thyroid gland hormone can be produced to maintain the body ’ s metabolism. This is treated medically with thyroid gland hormone supplementation – T4 synthesized in the lab and given in the form of a pill .

Parathyroid Problems

Parathyroid glands can cause problems when one or more of them become hyperfunctioning – they secrete PTH constantly quite than lone when you calcium levels are low and your body needs it. This is called basal hyperparathyroidism. It occurs more normally in women than men ( 3 to 1 ) and is most normally seen in people in their 60 ’ south. In most cases this is the result of a benign tumor ( adenoma ) developing in one of the glands. The tumor cells do not follow the rules, then to speak, so quite than raising low calcium concentrations to normal, the constant secretion of PTH raises calcium levels above normal. Over time, primary hyperparathyroidism has serious health consequences including the development of kidney failure, increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and osteoporosis. hyperparathyroidism can besides cause a number of debilitating symptoms. Because of this, hyperparathyroidism should always be treated when diagnosed. This involves surgical removal of the gland with the tumor in it. There is NO checkup treatment for primary coil hyperparathyroidism. For more information about hyperparathyroidism click here : hypertext transfer protocol : //www.parathyroid.com

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Difference #4 Between Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: One can develop cancer and one cannot

Thyroid Cancer is Common

cancer of the thyroid gland is relatively common, with around 50,000 modern cases diagnosed in this area every year. There are several types of thyroid gland cancer, with the most coarse by far being papillary thyroid gland cancer. other types include follicular, medullary, and ill differentiated or anaplastic thyroid cancer. fortunately, the most normally occurring character ( papillary ) is very successfully treated in most cases. The less common types are more aggressive and harder to treat successfully, with anaplastic thyroid gland cancer being one of the most aggressive cancers we can have .

Parathyroid Cancer Is Extremely Rare

As mentioned previously, hyperparathyroidism is caused in the majority of cases by a tumor growing in one of the parathyroid gland glands. however, these are BENIGN tumors – there is no opportunity these tumors can invade other tissues or spread to other areas of the body. parathyroid gland glands can develop cancer – you will see sections in textbooks describing it – but it is then finely rare that most doctors who take worry of parathyroid gland patients never see it once in their whole careers. Again – the reason hyperparathyroidism needs to be treated is because the overproduction of PTH and the resulting lift calcium levels cause end electric organ wrong over time, not because there is any concern for cancer .

Difference #5 between Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: Thyroid and parathyroid surgery is completely different

How the Thyroid Gland Relates to Parathyroid Surgery

Despite being close to each other anatomically, operation for problems with the thyroid and parathyroid gland glands is quite different. surgery for hyperparathyroidism involves finding and removing the hyperfunctioning gland. While the thyroid is not related to the problem of hyperparathyroidism per southeast, because of the proximity of the thyroid gland and parathyroid glands to each other, it can become an publish during a parathyroid gland mathematical process .
For example, it is not unusual to encounter thyroid gland nodules during a parathyroid gland operation. These need to be evaluated and if there is any refer for thyroid cancer then they should be biopsied/removed as share of the parathyroid gland operation. In other circumstances, the thyroid gland can be importantly enlarged or crumbly, making it more unmanageable to locate the normal and abnormal parathyroid gland glands. It is very important to have an know parathyroid gland surgeon who is capable of dealing with these thyroid-related issues to ensure a dependable result.

How the Parathyroid Glands Relate to Thyroid Surgery

surgical removal of the thyroid gland involves freeing it from its attachments in the neck. As mentioned earlier, this includes the connective tissue attachments between the thyroid gland and the trachea and the rake vessels supplying the gland. This is a delicate business, as there are nearby structures that are important to keep safe, including the parathyroid gland glands. With the thyroid and parathyroid gland glands being so conclusion to each early, it can take meaning surgical skill to remove the thyroid while preserving the parathyroid gland glands. Thyroid surgeons besides must be able to recognize an unsuspected parathyroid gland adenoma when they encounter it during a thyroidectomy and be certain to remove it .
surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid gland glands is identical specialize and requires a great deal of experience for successful outcomes .
Learn more about the surgical diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid gland glands and the expert surgeons who treat them .